Planthropology

Planthropology

The Myths, Mysteries, and Miracles of My Garden Favorites

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
Ken Druse, one of today’s most acclaimed and popular garden writers, takes us on a ceaselessly fascinating stroll through the life of the garden, from the botanical marvels displayed by virtually any plant to the exploits of the plant explorers who once—and still do—race across the globe like Indiana Jones in search of rare and exotic specimens, to the need to conserve the threatened diversity of the natural world. Ripe with facts, punctured myths, serious investigation, and practical gardening wisdom, this is a gloriously illustrated and enlightening celebration of the plants that delight and sustain us. For Ken Druse, the garden provides both a refuge from the world and an irresistible invitation to explore the wonders of nature.

In planthropology, Druse celebrates the secret stories of plants and explains their im-portance within daily life, now and since ancient times. A pleasingly random and ever delightful garden stroll of a book, it uncovers scientific facts, dispels myths, exposes controversies, tells some rollicking good anecdotes, and, along the way, casually dispenses an abundance of practical gardening wisdom.

Using many of his own favorite plants as examples, Druse reveals little-known facts about both rare and common beauties. For instance, if you like winding down on a terrace or patio after work, Druse suggests planting petunias. Why? Because they are evening fragrant—their pollinators only come out at night. Perhaps you may not have noticed the beautiful spiraling patterns on sunflower heads; Druse explains that all plants feature such spirals, and that they correspond exactly to mathematical principles that have captivated great thinkers (and artists) throughout history.

With the authority and assurance of someone who demonstrates both deep passion and uncommon ex-pertise, Druse takes us chapter by chapter through the history, biology, economics, and cultural significance of plants. We meet bumblebees who literally shake pollen free from flowers with sonic vibrations. (Druse can’t recommend petting the fuzzy little apian teddy bears as they sleep in a sheltering blossom, but he has tried it!) Here too are the adventures of the plant explorers who sailed and trekked across the world in search of new and exotic specimens, and whose exploits were far more harrowing than you might imagine. Some plants even factored into the instigation of war. But Druse then gives us a handy primer on the language of flowers (a single gardenia says, “I love you in secret,” and acacia blossoms say, “Let us be friends”). He considers the influence of plants on the history of fine and decorative arts, the way we garden now with stalwart, low-maintenance plants, and the ever more critical need for conservation.

Planthropology is a wondrous ac-knowledgment, from one plant lover to his fellow devotees, of the limitless pleasure and deep wisdom to be found in the garden.

Baker & Taylor
An award-winning garden writer and author of The Natural Shade Garden brings together a collection of plant lore, anecdotes, histories, trivia, cultural significance, and full-color photographs as he reveals little-known facts about the plants in his garden. 20,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Clarkson Potter/Publishers, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400097838
Branch Call Number: 635 Dru
Characteristics: 288 p. : col. ill. ; 30 cm

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Sep 22, 2009

Wonderful pictures. Interesting stories. Would be a good coffee table book for numerous perusals - especially when the snow covers the ground outside and one is dreaming of summer. Unfortunately many of the plants pictured would not grow in our Edmonton climate.

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