Synopses & Reviews
Gardening can be frustratingly shrouded in secrecy. Fickle plants make seemingly spontaneous decisions to bloom or bust, seeds sprout magically in the blink of an eye, and deep-rooted mysteries unfold underground and out of sight. Understanding basic botany is like unlocking a horticultural code; fortunately learning a little science can reveal the secrets of the botanical universe and shed some light on whatand#8217;s really going on in your garden.
Practical Botany for Gardeners provides an elegant and accessible introduction to the world of botany. It presents the essentials that every gardener needs to know, connecting explanations of scientific facts with useful gardening tips. Flip to the roots section and youand#8217;ll not only learn how different types of roots support a plant but also find that adding fungi to soil aids growth. The pruning section both defines and#8220;lateral budsand#8221; and explains how far back on a shoot to cut in order to propagate them.
The book breaks down key areas and terminology with easy-to-navigate chapters arranged by theme, such as plant types, plant parts, inner workings, and external factors. and#8220;Great Botanistsand#8221; and and#8220;Botany in Actionand#8221; boxes delve deeper into the fascinating byways of plant science. This multifaceted book also includes two hundred botanical illustrations and basic diagrams that hearken to the classic roots of botany.
Part handbook, part reference, Practical Botany for Gardeners is a beautifully captivating read. Itand#8217;s a must for garden lovers and backyard botanists who want to grow and nurture their own plant knowledge.
and#8220;Latin for Gardeners
is useful, surprising, and beautifuland#8212;an accessible dictionary for everyone who puzzles over botanical identifications, an opportunity to get better acquainted with the extraordinary discoverers and namers of so many of our favorite plants, and a treat for all who enjoy the art and lore of the garden.and#8221;
andquot;I have several books dedicated to Latin plant names but none fall into the category of Lorraine Harrisonandrsquo;s book which is not only informative but entertaining and beautifully illustrated. This is no dull list of Latin plant namesandmdash;it is a book which begs to be picked up and looked at.andquot;
andquot;For those who want a better understanding of plant taxonomy,and#160;Latin for Gardeners,and#160;by Lorraine Harrison, is a treasure.andquot;
"Comprehensive and beautifully illustrated."
"For anyone who has been horrified by the lopsided life that remains after a bout of pruning, gardening writer Geoff Hodge has some gentle advice: Pruning is both an art and a science. Youand#8217;ll be better equipped to take on the challenge after reading the chapter on pruning in Practical Botany for Gardeners. . . . Botanical illustrations on almost every page add a decorative touch, and profiles of botanical artists pay tribute to those who make plants come alive on the page."
"A gentle guide to the green world . . . organized precisely how a nonbotanist would need it done.and#160;Chapters introduce the plant kingdom and how botanists classify it; tackle growth, form and function; and take you inside a plant to understand how its cells, nutrition and hormones actually function. Others explore reproduction, soil, pests and disorders. . .and#160;It's a beautiful book."
and#8220;Remarkable Plants is readable and engaging. There is much discussion of species beyond 'the usual suspects' which appear in books on plants aimed at the general reader. A fantastic range of visual material.and#8221;
"A gloriously illustrated celebration of the history, utility, diversity, and sheer wonder of the botanical world that powers our planet."
This overview of the botanical world takes the usefulness of plants to humans as its starting point. Key plantsandmdash;10 or so in each categoryandmdash;are divided into medicines, materials, foods and flavours, with brief and elegant essays devoted to topics such as olives, asparagus, hops, aloe, flax, bamboo and wheat.
andquot;Will keep gardeners and cooks fully engaged through the dark of winter.andquot;
andldquo;Remarkable Plants That Shape Our World is a quietly lavish book that gathers together the history of human use of a wide array of plants world-wide. The book is divided into sections, treating plants used as major food crops, spices, drugs, building materials, cash crops, ornamentals, sacred plants and, in a fun final flourish, curiosities. . . . A candy box for the curious.andquot;
andquot;This very handsome book provides interesting, particularly historical, information about plants of use and interest to a wide readership.
andquot;Itandrsquo;s readable, interestingand full of colorful factsandmdash;botanical, medical, historical, culinaryandmdash;that keep the reader turning the pages. The writing is in a loose, scholarly style that feels open and accessible to a general readership. This is the kind of book you want to read and then give to your friends and family to read.andquot;
Since Latin became the standard language for plant naming in the eighteenth century, it has been intrinsically linked with botany. And while mastery of the classical language may not be a prerequisite for tending perennials, all gardeners stand to benefit from learning a bit of Latin and its conventions in the field. Without it, they might buy a Hellebores foetidus
and be unprepared for its fetid smell, or a Potentilla reptans
with the expectation that it will stand straight as a sentinel rather than creep along the ground.
An essential addition to the gardenerandrsquo;s library, this colorful, fully illustrated book details the history of naming plants, provides an overview of Latin naming conventions, and offers guidelines for pronunciation. Readers will learn to identify Latin terms that indicate the provenance of a given plant and provide clues to its color, shape, fragrance, taste, behavior, functions, and more.and#160;Full of expert instruction and practical guidance, Latin for Gardeners will allow novices and green thumbs alike to better appreciate the seemingly esoteric names behind the plants they work with, and to expertly converse with fellow enthusiasts.and#160;Soon they will realize that having a basic understanding of Latin before trips to the nursery or botanic garden is like possessing some knowledge of French before traveling to Paris; it enriches the whole experience.
The rise of the slow food movement and the return to home gardens mean cooks are donning gardening gloves as often as oven mitts. Modern cooking is heading back to its roots, with home cooks embracing local ingredients and down-to-earth recipes. With more and more of us discovering the delight of preparing and eating freshly harvested food, Vegetables for the Gourmet Gardener
is the indispensable guide to what to grow, cook, and eat.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; A feast for the eyes and the table, this user-friendly resource traverses the realms of both the garden and the kitchen, addressing the cultivation, storage, and preparation of nearly seventy useful vegetables. Practical growing tips, fascinating histories, nutritional information, and classic recipes appear alongside botanical illustrations drawn from the Royal Horticultural Societyand#8217;s cherished collection. With both familiar varieties and novel options, Vegetables for the Gourmet Gardener will inspire you to create a world of new shapes, colors, and tastes.
Imagine a typical morning--munching on a bowl of cereal, sipping coffee, dressing for the day, riding to work. Every moment of this common routine draws on the power of plants, and the centuries of development that brought wheat, coffee beans, cotton, and rubber--among many others--into our daily lives.
Remarkable Plants celebrates the wonder and utility of the green kingdom, taking a detailed look at how plants have shaped our world. It focuses on eighty key species and richly explores their history, highlighting their importance and bringing to light surprising stories. Organized thematically into eight sections, the book starts with and#147;Transformersand#8221; (including rice, beans, olives) and moves through sections such as and#147;Heal and Harmand#8221; (poppy, aloe, strychnos) and and#147;Revered and Adoredand#8221; (lotus, frankincense, rose). Each species is introduced with its common and scientific names and followed by an exploration of its cultural, historical, botanical, and symbolic associations. Hundreds of botanical illustrations show full plants as well as highlight distinctive leaves, blooms, and fruits.
Rooted in one of the worldand#8217;s most important and renowned temples of greenery, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Remarkable Plants is a symbiotic balance of science and art that will open readersand#8217; eyes to the deep influence of the natural world on our modern one.
About the Author
Geoff Hodge is a gardening and horticultural writer living in Peterborough, UK, and the former gardening editor for Gardening News. His most recent books include The RHS Allotment Handbook, RHS Propagation Techniques, and RHS Pruning and Training.and#160;