I wish there had been photos, in fact that's my main gripe about this book. I wanted to see photos of the plants and garden spaces she was describing! It was fun book to dip in and out of though, reading a little whenever the mood struck. It is the story of Mary and her husband Gary making a garden in the desert, Scottsdale, AZ, to be exact. This is not a new book, it was published in 2012.
Here's a favorite bit: "Once I got over the disappointment, I realized that I had learned a lot even in failure. It became crystal clear that what makes a garden zing is the fruition of a single, personal dream; it might take in the ideas of others, but rejects their prejudices, personal dislikes, and unruly ideas. A garden, in short, feels most successful when it is the expression of the ideas, attitudes, and interests of whoever built it. That may be why so many public gardens are wonderful collections of plants but too often lack soul and verve, and why so many beautiful professionally designed private gardens are predictable and dull, chock full as they often are with overused popular concepts. I am convinced that all of us are instinctively drawn to any garden—whether we realize it or not—that has at its root someone’s vision, where the backbone is personal and a gardener’s interests, enthusiasm, and attention is evident."
I read A Place All Our Own after I wrote Fearless Gardening, but I felt like I heard my own thoughts and words ("the best gardens reflect the taste of the gardener") repeated in what Mary Irish wrote.
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The second book I want to share with you is Grow: A Family Guide to Plants and How to Grow Them by Riz Reyes and Sara Boccaccini Meadows. This book is without photographs too, but it doesn't need them thanks to the beautiful illustrations of Sara Boccaccini Meadows.
The author of Grow, my friend Riz Reyes, writes text for this book that is engaging and educational. It's written for a young audience but is in no way "dumbed down", in fact most adult gardeners will learn a thing or three reading this book.
Riz begins by writing: "Each chapter of this book celebrates the heroic efforts of a few "plant heros" that have sustained our communities and shaped many cultures around the world. From the wild species to the domesticated selections, each plant and its relatives offer us unique ways of better understanding various fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and the vital roles they play."
The page spread on pineapple...
Aren't the illustrations fantastic?
There's lots of info on plants families can grow and eat (mint, lettuce, tomatoes, apple, carrots...). If you have little people in your life this is an excellent book for introducing them to the amazing world of plants and will get them thinking about how plants are related.
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All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.