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This Timber Press Field Guide has a sturdy, rain-resistant cover designed for field use. The Miller Library copy is an important reference source and not available to check out, but you can use it to compare with your field notes. The major difference between two books is the quality of the photographs. The advent of digital photography and the special expertise that new co-author LaBar brings have produced stunning results.

Each description includes range maps within Washington and Oregon , habitat, host plants, and when the species is "on the wing. Pyle also writes poetry, and his pleasure in the subtleties of language is evident in the anecdotal section under each species. He describes unusual sightings, gives hints for distinguishing between similar species, and relishes quirks of nomenclature. If you are city bound this summer, he even identifies those species that thrive despite intense urban environments.

While the title may conjure up images of gardeners marching rake-to-rake for their causes, this instead is a very solid and comprehensive gardening book that keeps closely in mind the bigger ecosystem surrounding any private garden. Divided into three broad sections, the book asks you to assess what you have, then make changes that are sustainable for your garden and healthful for you , and finally — for all your actions — think outside the property line. The author is very good at presenting new approaches to regular garden chores.

While these may seem mundane, they fit very well into the overarching structure and message of the book. A handy summary checklist at the end of each chapter helps you track this bigger picture.


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Many of the examples are from his own four-acre garden on the edge of Bremerton, well-captured by the photography of David Perry. The selection of recommended plants includes native and non-natives as Albers emphasizes that in developed sites, many of the conditions that help natives thrive have been destroyed. Other recommendations include many food-producing plants, everything from annual vegetables to fruit trees. He also advises engineering your lawn — if you must have one — to be either a green space with low demands on resources, or a self-sustaining meadow.

I recommend you read his book and make your own decisions. Paige Embry is an engaging and humorous writer exploring the topic of bees. And not just any bees. We have native bees that are far better pollinators, do equal work with fewer numbers, fly in nastier weather, and often use better technique. An example of the latter is buzz pollination, or shaking the pollen from the flower.

This is not a field guide. While the author lives in Seattle, her scope for natives includes most of North America. There are some excellent, close-up photographs, but their purpose is to supplement the text, not help with ID. Instead, this is an investigative study of many apian topics and to recognize that bees are diverse and have the power to fascinate people, even when we mislabel or misunderstand them.

For example, she studies the production of lowbush blueberries in Maine and neighboring New Brunswick, an interwoven history of wild plants, wild bees, managed plants, managed bees, and the impact of various attempts at pest management. Throughout all the stories, there are questions asking what is possible. Can native bees provide better solutions for our pollinating needs? Can we provide better solutions for the needs of native bees? The author provides some answers to these questions, but I think her underlying goal is that we join her on a journey to a better understanding and appreciation of the diversity of bees, especially native bees.

This is an effort to understand and protect a barely surviving old ecosystem, mostly destroyed by centuries of human activities. This small subject, about 38 square kilometers, or just a bit bigger than Mercer Island, includes the fast-flowing River Spey and Loch Garten, which at 47 hectares is about half the size of Green Lake.

While small, Abernethy includes "the largest of the remaining fragments of the pine forest that once extended across Highland Scotland" and is "incredibly rare in Britain and therefore precious for nature conservation and science. To achieve these ends, much maintenance is required and they relish this work. Both Marietta and Ernie grew up loving nature. Both had college degrees in biology and worked together in their own landscape management company for much of their careers, but when it came to their own garden, they made plenty of horticultural mistakes, especially in the early years. While this at first seems like a book for the gardening elite, I encourage beginners to give it a read.

As they spent more and more time in their own garden, the authors eventually curtailed some of the maintenance business to start their own nursery. This latter continues today as a wholesale business exclusively selling hellebores. A chapter highlights the beauties they have developed, especially the Winter Jewels series, with stunning photographs. This book also includes a very helpful chapter on their maintenance practices, and maps of the garden inside both covers, in case you get lost during the written tour. Their plant palette is very broad, including many natives but also challenging-to-grow plants from around the world.

Many of these are grown from seed — often there is no other way to obtain these plants. Would that we humans could be as comradely as is the diverse plant world here represented.

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Linda Chalker-Scott has written several books found in the Miller Library — all intended to help the home gardener make more savvy choices and dispel many gardening myths that do not stand up to the rigor of scientific review. Now she brings the same messages to a new format.

These cover the whole range of gardening culture and techniques — almost everything except an A-Z encyclopedia of recommended plants. The emphasis is on woody plants and includes considerable detail on growth processes and the ecology of your garden. A book accompanies the set. It follows the same lessons plans and even includes some questions or projects for you as the student.

However, I think the visual presentation is richer as Chalker-Scott is a skilled teacher and presenter, and she capably incorporates graphics and video examples to augment her well-researched viewpoints. Leo Hitchcock, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on For Pacific Northwest botanists of all levels, the one-volume book informally known as "Hitchcock" has been standard equipment since its publication in Leo Hitchcock and Arthur Cronquist, was intended as a field version of the five-volume flora Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest, written by the same authors with two additional botanists and two illustrators from Changes in taxonomy, especially from molecular studies, plus newly described taxa and the establishment of non-native species which this flora includes have created a long overdue need for an update.

Like the first edition, this book attempts to be comprehensive in its presentation of species, subspecies, and varieties throughout Washington, most of Oregon and Idaho, the western part of Montana, and southern British Columbia. The first edition introduced the new at the time idea of embedding the species descriptions and illustrations within the taxonomic keys. This proved to be a good decision. It has remained a best-seller for University of Washington Press for the last four decades. At pages the first edition had , it is perhaps a bit hefty for field work, but this is a must for your work desk.

The Miller Library has a lending copy of the new edition, and keeps non-circulating copies of both editions and the earlier volumes of Vascular Plants. Be sure to take a look at this new standard for our regional botany! The Rodale name has long been associated with organic gardening, and books from Rodale Press make up a significant part of the Miller Library's section on this subject.

The company's magazine Organic Gardening, under that name and similar titles, was a mainstay of garden periodicals from the midth century until it ceased publication in What is the bigger story behind this name? In part, this is a biography of J. Rodale and his son, Robert Rodale It also is an analysis of the mid- to later 20th century movement, in many ways sparked by this family effort, for self-improvement through healthy life choices, including gardening practices and diet.

Reading this history, I particularly enjoyed a study of the etymology of the word "organic. As the play on words in the title would suggest, the family's story is not completely altruistic. There was a market for their products and they were eager to meet and promote customers' demands. However, this grew out of zeal for sharing their personal beliefs. Rodale's] estimation, soils, plants, animals, and people all had a proper diet. Those proper diets were disrupted in the age of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and the health of people, plants, animals, and soils was breaking down as a result.

The author also analyzes the role the Rodales played in the broader environmental movement of the s and s. For all who are researching or working in fields that were affected — or even created — by the changes in societal attitudes towards our collective stewardship of the environment at that time, this is an important history to know. Peterson Peterson, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Fascinated by all the small life forms you find in your garden?

Perhaps not, but it is still valuable for gardeners to know about them. This excellent new field guide provides incredible color photos of over 1, species native to our region. The scope is the phylum Arthropoda, so this includes all the true insects bees, beetles, butterflies, flies, etc. Peterson recognizes the importance of plants to the insect world and visa-versa. Did you know that moths are a significant food source for grizzly bears in the Rocky Mountains fattening up for their winter hibernation?

Many visitors think the Pacific Northwest has limited insect life. As before, he combines just the right touch of personal, local experience — he lives on an unidentified island in the Pacific Northwest — with wide-ranging research. For this book, he traveled to Sri Lanka to investigate a bee-like wasp, and to southern Africa, one of the ecosystems where honey bees are native.

That much is known. This is still a mostly unanswered question, but Hanson seeks out some of most recent research and insightful researchers to explore the possibilities. Why there and then? During the course, Hanson became smitten with an alkali bee Nomia sp. This is not a small-scale operation. There are an estimated million nesting female alkali bees scattered over acres. There are other local connections, too. The author profiles Brian Griffin of Bellingham, well-known amongst gardeners and fruit-growers for his commercializing and promotion of keeping orchard mason bees.

Hanson also made his own discovery, finding a cliff on a neighboring island to his own that is home to , digger bees — the largest know population of such bees — amongst a complex community of several other types of bees, wasps, flies, and beetles. McNulty is an excellent essayist and the subject is a mostly unspoiled, large-scale ecosystem, from seashore to mountaintops, the latter easily seen on a clear day from Seattle. This is not an identification book or field guide. There are photographs, but they mostly set the mood of the book by being clustered up front.

Instead, this a reading book, intended to be savored cover-to-cover, to gain an understanding of the flora and the fauna in broad settings: the mountains, the forests, and the coast. The author concludes with the human history of the region, especially pre-European, and the much more recent struggle to establish and maintain the integrity of the national park and its ecosystems. This newest edition is the same as the previous in large part, but includes the story of the removal of dams on the Elwha River.

It also updates efforts to restore the animal life as found prior to the influence by European and eastern North American settlers, with the reintroduction of fishers and the removal of non-native mountain goats. The Olympic Peninsula is sometimes described as a refugia, a place where plant and animal species survived while disappearing from nearby locations.

This is in part because of the wide range of topographical niches, caused by extreme changes both in elevation and rainfall over short distances. Species could adapt by moving to nearby, suitable habitats. Earlier history is part of this story, too. Leo Hitchcock and Arthur C. Cronquist , Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Hitchcock was a long-time professor of botany at the University of Washington. He was also a gardener, and many references remain in the 2nd edition regarding the ornamental qualities and garden adaptability of the subjects.

Like the first edition, this book attempts to be comprehensive in its presentation of species, subspecies, and varieties throughout Washington, much of Oregon and Idaho, the western part of Montana, and southern British Columbia. It has remained a best-seller for the University of Washington Press for the last four decades. At pages the first edition had , it is perhaps a bit hefty for field work, but this is a must for your home garden library.

The aforementioned use of abbreviations keeps it from becoming even bigger, and this is a bit of a challenge for reading at first. But after a while, this shorthand becomes familiar.


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  • Brady, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on This venerable publication — the first edition was in — can be read in depth, but at over 1, pages more likely will be used as a reference book for learning about a particular interest or to solve a specific problem. Throughout, it is very readable, and will be of value to those at almost all levels of soils knowledge.

    While this new edition is restricted to use in the Miller Library, the still authoritative fourteenth edition from is available to check out. But this list is placed at the end with good reason. It is not the place to start! Instead, the authors thoughtfully take you through the many considerations that go into a rain garden. First of all, why do we need them in our supposedly rainy climate? How do the various areas of our region differ in their rainfall and geological factors? What do our various cities, counties, and other government entities think about or allow with rain gardens?

    Once you have a handle on these questions, you need to look at your own property. What permits do I need?

    Are there incentive programs in my area for rain gardens? How do I want to incorporate this new major project into my outdoor living space, so that it only positively affects my home and the properties of my neighbors? Finally, what do I actually need to buy from the hardware store and nursery to build and plant a rain garden? These are many questions, but this book takes you through them systematically and in great detail. Many instructive photographs and building diagrams will help, too. I soon found myself getting intrigued by the process. Building a rain garden is not a simple process to complete over a free weekend, but if you are serious about it, this book will be an excellent resource.

    With fronds like these, who needs anemones? This old horticultural quip inspired the title Fronds and Anemones, a book of essays by William Allan Plummer. In his preface he warns, "I am an incorrigible punster, for which I make no apology. Fun aside, these collected essays reveal the author as a keen and skilled observer of the native birds and wildflowers around his home in upstate New York.

    He also reflects on his discoveries as an avid gardener, with a particular interest in ferns. This latter interest led him to join the Hardy Fern Foundation. In the summer of , this organization, along with the British Pteridological Society, sponsored a "Best of the West Fern Excursion" to explore both the gardening and natural attractions found in Washington State.

    The emphasis, of course, was on those sites rich in ferns. The resulting essays, which form a significant part of this book, make an outstanding travelogue to some of the best gardens of the region. These include public gardens such as the Elisabeth C. Those issues are available in the Miller Library, but I recommend reading Plummer's writings in the context of his other fine work found in this book.

    Link to this review permalink Hey Kids! Editor's note: An emergent curriculum builds on the interests of students, developing as they learn. Rather than being entirely set in advance, emergent curricula grow naturally from the chosen environment indoor or outdoor , the curiosity of children, and the instructor's knowledge and experience. A good walk stimulates both mind and body and provides the invigorating theme and energizing structure of Hey Kids!

    Walking is free, easy, and can be done almost anywhere. Redleaf includes appendices to help teachers organize the excursions. At the early childhood level, Rhoda Redleaf's approach is emergent curriculum, with an emphasis on human relationships and language development while exploring common everyday experiences that are engaging and meaningful to children.

    You, the adults in their world, provide the bridges from the unknown to the known," writes Redleaf. The book is full of ideas to explore and to build on, involving flexibility and creativity on the part of the adults as well as an openness to seeing where the learning takes the children. Both adults and children take initiative and make decisions. Children's thinking and learning are documented with suggested activities related to the walks. Hey Kids! Out the Door, Let's Explore is a valuable resource for teachers with both preschool and primary school children.

    Plant Conservation Science and Practice: The Role of Botanic Gardens is an in-depth study of botanic gardens, arboreta, seed banks, and similar institutions and the responsibility they have in the conservation of plants on a global scale. Editors Stephen Blackmore and Sara Oldfield have included the input of an impressive list of botanists, primarily at botanic gardens, to observe what is being done, and to consider improvements, especially through international cooperation. Education and demonstration is an important function of public gardens in the promotion of in situ conservation.

    The know-how that researchers and staff of these gardens have developed in ecology, horticulture, and systematics also contribute to these efforts. Ex situ conservation is supported by plant collections — many plants exist only in cultivated settings — and by seed banks, that both preserve and make seeds available for research. This research includes searching for solutions to food and fuel security. Demonstrating that these solutions do not come at the loss of biodiversity is another important message that botanic gardens teach.

    In conclusion, the editors look to botanic gardens to continue their public outreach and education, but they expect more. They admonish these institutions to use their special expertise to "take their place as key agents for undoing much of the damage we have inflicted on our planet. Molly Hashimoto has exhibited her artwork at the Miller Library for many years. Library patrons and staff alike have delighted in her original works, along with sketchbooks, prints, cards, calendars, and other depictions of regional landscapes and animal life.

    This is in part the story of how she came to embrace watercolor painting en plein air in the open air after seeing the field sketchbooks of Thomas Moran from the late 19th century. His work was instrumental in the creation of the first national park at Yellowstone. I felt that I, too, had to create work in the field, to keep sketchbooks and journals to record my own experiences in the outdoors.

    This book is also an excellent introduction to this style of painting and you quickly learn that Molly is not only an accomplished artist, but also an excellent teacher. This book, like my classes, urges you to just pick up a paintbrush and get started! To be scrupulously honest, over twenty years ago, I drank the blue poppy Kool-Aid.

    I was intoxicated, and have pursued this holy grail of plants ever since. This review therefore is biased. I am under the spell of this legendary plant of superb color and known transitory nature. It thrills and then is, in most cases, gone forever. Well, until the next quest and trial. So the chance to revel in pages devoted to the blue poppy is pure joy.

    What does this volume reveal? Christopher Grey-Wilson is well known for his past works on Meconopsis. This is a trove of information from expert researchers, growers and enthusiasts of the genus. It is a connoisseur's handbook and a very detailed guide for the aspiring Meconopsis grower. The photos are enticingly beautiful. They are morphologically detailed, illuminating the subtle species differences, aiding in identification, which helps define suitable habitats and growing requirements.

    For the novice, the photos show the variety of colors beyond the outstanding sapphire blues of Meconopsis 'Lingholm' or M. It's a revelation to see the fancy jewel-tone colors of pinks, purples, double yellows and the aptly named white Meconopsis superba. Go straight to page to see the Meconopsis 'Kilbryde Castle White,' which will shatter your image of poppies, with its white petals streaked with fine blue brush strokes reminiscent of an Andrew Wyeth painting. This book has so much: genetics, exact cultivation techniques in very handy boxed bullet points , suggested siting, legends and lore of the early poppy hunters to excite your thirst, and excellent descriptions of great gardens and nurseries worldwide where poppy cultivation flourishes…places one might visit.

    Oh dear. On his faculty website, he describes his research as focused on the "ecology, design, and management of herbaceous vegetation. In his new book, Sowing Beauty , he emphasizes the practical application of this research, especially for developing naturalistic meadows in public spaces. He is a strong advocate of sowing carefully designed seed mixes, using established plants only as supplements or embellishments.

    I recommend this book to all who are designing restoration sites, especially larger sites where sowing seeds is advantageous to manage costs. Hitchmough has considerable understanding and practice with the creation of new herbaceous plantings, including restoration of native grass communities in Western Australia.

    Much of this hefty tome is a handbook to the many steps required in the design, installation, and future maintenance of any new planting. He includes several case studies. While many of his installations include non-invasive, exotic species, he also provides charts using natives from various regions of the world that are effective in restoration projects.

    For projects that fall under public scrutiny, Hitchmough considers "how human beings interpret and value" naturalistic plantings, concluding that "human responses are generally very complex, but there are patterns. Christenhusz et al. Tancin on Christenhusz, Michael F.

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    Fay, and Mark W. Chase is the first book to explore systematically every vascular plant family in the world. The plants are organized in a modern phylogenetic order, in which more than families are described and illustrated. Following an introduction that sets out the various aspects that are covered in the treatments, the entries follow an encyclopedic format with information about distribution, phylogeny and evolution, numbers of genera and species, uses, largest genome, and etymology.

    Illustrations are color photographs showing key features of selected representatives. Small global distribution maps are included. The end matter includes a glossary, further reading, general references and index. This ambitious book seems like an important reference work that will set the tone for further works to follow. Best of all is having an author who worked in the Washington Park Arboretum for many years! The same pair collaborated on a book, with Robson taking the lead on that publication. This new book begins with a short but very meaty introduction chapter covering the basics.

    For example, in June we learned how to turn an area of your lawn into a garden bed, perfect timing so it will be ready for fall planting. I appreciate that each month begins with a section on planning. What do you want from your garden? What is working well? What needs changing? These activities sections include planting and all aspects of caring for common garden plants ranging from annuals to trees. Lawns and houseplants are considered, too. You are also encouraged to get out to nurseries and plant festivals, and to see our native plants where and when they are at their peak.

    Enjoying your own and other gardens is important, too. This is a time for picnics in the shade and leisurely strolls at local parks and gardens. Nita-Jo Rountree move to the Bellevue, Washington 15 years ago after many years as a Master Gardener and the owner of a landscape design and installation company in Atlanta. She has chosen an impressive list of roses in all classes, all bred for health, or that have proved their durability in our region without a lot of fussing. I have a passing knowledge of rose varieties, mostly from a brief period of heavy immersion in gardening with roses many years ago.

    At the same time, I learned a lot about the frequent spraying and other chemical rites of rose growing, as this was the expectation in almost every rose books of the time. Rountree is emphatic in her most important advice. Many books and articles about roses give generic advice for growing roses in a wide range of climates.

    They are of little specific help for growing roses in the Pacific Northwest. Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz are crusaders for garden foliage. Flowers come later. The authors have created a long list of vignettes of plant combinations. Some are simple, two or three plants, while others are very complex and may include ornaments.

    The setting can be in a large garden bed, or a simple pot. Flowers are allowed, but they must compliment the foliage and be chosen for embellishment. They are not the stars of the show. The plans all have crazy names. Why these designs work is carefully explained, along with general culture tips. Best is how the design will change with time. Attention is also drawn to potential problems, such as the invasiveness of the above-mentioned feather grass. I find field guides fascinating and always enjoy reading new ones. There are enough photos and text descriptions to help you recognize the most common plants, animals, bugs, and even the rocks of our mountains.

    While field guides with detailed keys or multiple photographs for each species might be better for fine-tuning your plant identification, this is handy if your specimen is occupied by some winged creature — just flip to another part of the book to identify it, too. Interspersed are anecdotes and observations of the more noteworthy genera that make this a delightful book to read from cover to cover.

    However, it is new to me and I found it quite interesting. Unlike some other all-in-one field guides, plants are not short-changed and — if you include mosses, fungi, and lichens — comprise half of the book. The essays on the trees, shrubs, and wildflowers are delightful. For example, the glacier Erythronium grandiflorum and avalanche E. How would it be to spend a whole year observing a forest, the changing seasons and all the beings — plants and animals — that lived there.

    She lived on the edge of the Harvard Forest, a 3, acre managed research forest in Petersham, Massachusetts, over 60 miles west of the main Harvard campus. To focus her attention, she concentrates on one tree, a northern red oak Quercus rubra , of early middle age for this species. She examines this tree in every conceivable way, and with the help of experts from many professional and avocational perspectives. She also considers the humans that interact with the tree and the forest, including the cultural history of the area, and its impact on the natural history.

    Throughout there is an ongoing consideration of climate and other changes in the forest. Both from the long view over millennia, and the more recent changes, such as the increase of the hemlock woolly adelgid Adelges tsugae , and near demise of such forest stalwarts as the American elm Ulmus americana and the American chestnut Castanea dentata. Some of this is told from the supposed perspective of her beloved hundred-plus-year-old red oak. Mapes stayed in New England during the winter of , one of the coldest and snowiest on record. However, if your goals are not quite so ambitious, there is still a lot of advice here for creating a cutting patch in your own garden and using the bounty for filling vases and many other purposes.

    Primary author Erin Benzakein speaks from a lot of experience. Her farm began as a big patch of sweet peas, grown in memory of her beloved, gardening great-grandmother. Friends requested cut flowers. The tears and emotional memories evoked in one recipient was an epiphany for Benzakein. Witnessing the profound impact that a simple bouquet could have on a person, I knew I had discovered something worth pursuing. And not just flowers. She encourages growing at least as many plants for their leaves, seed pods, colorful branches, and other features as supporting cast — or stars in their own right — for your arrangements.

    She also encourages the use of grasses, shrubs, trees, and even vegetables in your cutting plans; a spray of tomatoes — in various stages of ripeness — has considerable ornamental value. To this end, there is an introduction to all the equipment familiar to a florist. Many of these are useful to the home arranger for various projects involving both fresh and dried flowers. The most striking photo and there are many in the book is of the author wearing a spring crown of ranunculus, viburnum, muscari, and campanula! The popularity of birding in our region sparked the release of two new birding books with nearly identical titles by major regional publishers.

    If you are serious about identifying the birds in your garden or on your local travels, you clearly need both books! The photography is one of the outstanding features of both, and the photos capture a very wide range of species, often with multiple images to show variation in sexes, juveniles, breeding plumage, and other color forms.

    Throughout there is help with identification between near look-alikes, and the authors address behaviors, bird songs, specifics on where to find rarer birds, and conservation status. The Timber Press book includes helpful and practical introductions to most species. This began in childhood. Although this path would have likely led to a more profitable career, Lanham realized his heart had a different goal, and is now a Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University.

    This was not an easy choice, and Lanham laments that very few other men of color have pursued the same career path. It also is sometimes a dangerous choice; black men found with binoculars in a rural setting may risk their lives. Thomas Liptan introduces his new book, Sustainable Stormwater Management , by recounting an aha!

    This book is an easy-to-read summation of the lessons the author has learned over his career, and is recommended for anyone considering stormwater management projects, large or small. He is both upbeat in encouraging innovation and pragmatic in the need to have results that are functional, economically sound, long-lasting, and look good. Most engaging are the many case studies and the practicalities of choosing plants and structural materials. Liptan has worked in Portland for many years and uses this city for many of his examples. Given our similar climate, rainfall, and interest in sustainable development, this is an excellent book for projects in the Seattle area, too.

    Confused by plant families? Having trouble keeping track of recent changes based on DNA and other molecular research? RHS Genealogy for Gardeners can help with these questions. This is an excellent book for field botanists, or anyone interested in understanding the relationships between plants in any setting. Bayton has his PhD in taxonomy, while Maughan has an extensive background in writing, editing, and publishing both botanical and horticultural works. The combination means this book has scientific accuracy and is very readable for those with all levels of botanical knowledge.

    Family descriptions include basic characteristics, the genetic history, best-known genera, and the important uses of the members, including as ornamentals and for food crops or other plant-based products. The best we currently have to rely on are our own observational skills. I read a lot of gardening books — one of the joys of my profession! Somehow, the British author Val Bourne had escaped my attention until now, but I will watch eagerly for her future writings. Her new book, The Living Jigsaw , is a delight. I had a hard time putting it down. Reading this book is like looking at your garden with a close-up lens.

    As suggested by the title, Bourne is very interested in the inner workings of and the interplay between plants, insects, and other animals, especially as they influence the health and robustness of her garden. Her pesticide free garden — she is opposed to even so-called 'natural insecticides' — thrives with careful planning and management. Many of her gardening principles were tested when she moved from an established garden that was dry and stony, to a new, unmanaged garden with fertile soil and underground springs.

    She had to make new choices of plants and plant combinations — some old favorites didn't succeed in the new conditions. Of course, the animals in her garden are UK natives. Try as I might, nothing I do in my garden will encourage hedgehogs. However, Bourne's garden practices are very applicable to the Pacific Northwest, and her annotated listing of "Top Plants for an Eco-Friendly Garden" has many worthwhile selections for our gardens.

    Brown, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Published in , it surveyed the best practices for pruning used on the numerous and wide-ranging woody plants of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew near London. Brown died in Tony Kirkham, the current head of the arboretum, gardens, and horticultural services at Kew, updated his work with a second edition in This new book is most obviously different by its inclusion of the excellent photographs by Andrea Jones. These not only illustrate pruning challenges and techniques for addressing them, they act as a guide to the collections at Kew, showing a wide selection of woody ornamentals suitable for any temperate garden or arboretum.

    While trees predominate, there is a good selection of shrubs and vines, too. Each entry describes the growth habit and the reasons for pruning, which is some cases is "little pruning needed. If you are attending outdoor Shakespeare plays this summer and enjoy plants, this book is for you! For example, cockle, a flowering weed found in wheat fields, is metaphorically used to describe corruption. The foreword is by Helen Mirren, who has taken on many Shakespeare roles, including switching up the male character Prospero in The Tempest. Mirren notes her love of gardening began during her time with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.

    This book is pure pleasure: you can thumb through and find a quotation about your favorite plant or learn something new in Botanicals Defined: Syllabic Sketches at the back of the book. I learned that beans seem to suffer from a low reputation in Shakespeare, and are often used as horse feed or food only fit for the poor. On our wish list, this dictionary is not currently available in local libraries. I recently read and returned a new book to the Elisabeth C. As I told Laura Blumhagen, this is one of the most important books I have ever read.

    In just pages, it contains a rich world that eloquently presents the complexity of our gardening landscapes and practices. Reading the book feels as if you are speaking with its author, and as if he were a lifelong friend. Part history, part memoir, part genealogy, this book conveys a deep sense of its author and of place.

    It is so absorbing that I bought a copy for my own collection, anticipating sharing and re-reading it. The author begins with the exposition of a new garden ethic: moving beyond a preoccupation with beautiful trees and flowers to gardening as if other species and other ecosystems mattered. And, of course, they do, as we are coming to realize rather late in the age of global warming. Our gardens matter, and how we tend them matters. Vogt points out that the new garden ethic goes beyond just planting natives to include the preservation of spaces for birds and insects. His third chapter explains why we believe what we believe about gardening and landscape.

    The fourth chapter includes a brief but informative overview of historic landscape design and public gardens and parks, offering examples of places that he considers exemplars of a new garden ethic. The book ends with the challenge and plea to learn new languages, for example, from insects and birds, and to change our gardening practices to move beyond beauty to the support of an entire world, inhabited by many other species.

    I first read this book with some skepticism. Is it just a well-produced guide to medicines based on folklore? Several facts changed my opinion. The authors are at two prestigious organizations that worked together for fifteen years on this project. This collaboration and the depth of scholarship convinced me of the academic merit of this work. This is not a small field guide. Large in physical dimensions and over pages, it is a major reference work describing both the living plants and the harvested and prepared parts used in medicine.

    The cross-referencing, especially between Chinese and Western traditions, is extensive. I recommend it to anyone working with or interested in traditional Chinese medicine. These experts help clients to solve garden challenges successfully with experience, education, and knowledge of horticulture.

    Orchards create special dimensions to a sense of place. Growing fruit trees and nut trees is both art and science, and heightens our contact with and appreciation of the interrelated ways of nature. The book highlights the benefits for people and the environment, as well as the local economy and community. It is inspiring to both plant and food enthusiasts.

    I was fortunate to grow up on an old orchard homestead in upstate New York, and I have vivid memories of picking Northern Spy apples and packing them into rugged burlap bags in the chilly late fall weather. Climbing the trees to reach the highest branches was an exercise in possibility, capability, vulnerability, and achievement. Warm apple pies and hot mulled cider comforted us all winter long — the ultimate reward.

    So the odyssey is familiar. Naomi Slade divides An Orchard Odyssey into two parts. The first part is called The Orchard in the Landscape. Chapter one covers orchard history, From Wilderness to Cultivation. Chapter two, An Orchard Tapestry, describes traditional and chance approaches to design. The Conservation and Biodiversity chapter details an ecological community.

    The Orchards in the Community chapter is made up of growing, sharing, and foraging, discussing the environment, the local economy, and fruit heritage in the neighborhood.

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    The second part is called An Orchard of Your Own. It includes the following chapters: Creative Orchard Design; Fruit Trees for Every Space; Tree Planting and Care; and Enjoying the Harvest, with a recipe for Rumtopf , a traditional German delight consisting of fruit preserved with rum and sugar to serve during the winter holidays. There are many ways to gain hands-on experience with orchards. The Western Cascade Fruit Society and affiliated chapters throughout Western Washington have as their objective "to bring together new and experienced fruit growers who will promote the science, cultivation and pleasure of growing fruit-bearing trees, vines, and plants in the home landscape.

    Another example is Piper's Orchard within Carkeek Park, which was restored in as a community project. Washington State University offers diagnostic resources for fruit tree pests and diseases through their Hortsense website and Master Gardener outreach in every county. The Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation offers a list of recommended varieties for the region. Washington State is, of course, a leader in orchard production. By planning, planting, and preserving orchards, a community invests in the future to counter environmental threats.

    What could be a better way to spend time? I always look forward to new books intended for Pacific Northwest gardeners. Campion did most of the excellent photography. Keeping this in mind, I returned to the introductory chapters on climate, soils, and garden culture with a better understanding. As expected, Seattle is part of the Puget Sound sub-region, but Portland and its immediate suburbs have a sub-region of their very own, totally surrounded by the Willamette Valley sub-region. While I was at first surprised by this, after reading the distinguishing factors, I decided these divisions make a lot of sense, and will help gardeners make better plant selections.

    The plant encyclopedia is especially good for woody plants. While most species are represented by a single cultivar, these are excellent selections. It is no secret that Barbara Blossom Ashmun is an avid gardener. This Portland garden designer and writer did not grow up as a gardener, but instead found her calling well into adulthood. A divorce and the desire to leave the world of a social worker helped this process. This may be why she writes with the conviction of a convert. And never allow partners, spouses, friends, or curmudgeons discourage you from experimenting with new plants.

    Give them a Mona Lisa smile and change the subject. The author has a knack for writing for both the experienced and novice gardener. She understands plant lust very well, but she also found an antidote to that in the Kleingarten movement in Germany. Over the short period of time it took to cut down the failing tree, her yard went from shady to sunny.

    It was a shock. However, this gardener, now in her seventies, had the necessary resilience to create a new patio in the space the sweet gum had occupied, with more space for — yes! Adelman, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Carol Adelman and her husband own a peony nursery in Salem, Oregon. While it is easy to thumb quickly through these images, you will miss a lot of information in the notes, including comments on the foliage quality or awards that designate the selection as good for landscapes.

    This latter point is important, as in their introduction, the authors ask some important questions of the reader. What is the purpose of your peonies? Do you want a big but short burst of bloom, perhaps to coincide with a special event? Or do you hope to stretch the bloom period out as long as possible, realizing that at best, this will be just over a month? Answering these questions will help you decide the role of peonies in your overall landscape. They are green through the summer and into the fall, often with attractive foliage. What companions will you match with them? I appreciated that the authors also discuss the early spring, emerging foliage, which can be quite stunning.

    The structure of each is similar to the original with chapters to identify the symptoms and causes of the problems, and separate chapters laying out organic solutions or preferred cultural practices. We are grateful for the many marijuana breeders and growers who have labored for years in the shadows. Who will survive? The butterfly or the weed? Even better, this is not fiction! I read the pages of his book as quickly as any whodunit. The characters include the baby caterpillar monarchs, trying to survive their first encounter with their only source of food, the leaves of milkweed.

    Many do not. The milkweed plant has many ways to protect itself including its own gooey latex-like sap, or by coaxing monarch predators to do the job. There is good reason for this — the plant gains nothing from its interaction as the adult butterflies are not helpful pollinators. In contrast, the larval and adult butterflies gain a toxicity that protects them from significant predation by birds. But this toxicity is not effective against other insects or various parasites. The plant seems to know this. The battle of coevolution moves on.

    Agrawal is a scientist who interweaves his personal life and research. He discovered the caterpillar of an unknown species, brought it into his living room, watched it pupate, and then emerge from its chrysalis as a butterfly. This was a serendipitous lesson in mimicry as it was a viceroy butterfly, with similar coloration to a monarch and thereby gaining some of its protection, even though it lacks toxicity for birds. Helphand, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on The Masters of Modern Landscape Design is a series of biographies featuring landscape architects prominent in the mid to late 20th century in North America.

    Lawrence Halprin was a west coast landscape architect who lived productively into his 90s. Freeway Park was the first capping of an interstate freeway, a model replicated widely since that time. This biography recounts the initial praise for the project opened in , the expansion by Halprin associate Angela Danadjieva, the subsequent decline of the park into disuse, and revitalizing revisions to the plantings of the last decade.

    Before his death, Halprin contributed to this last effort, which leaves the structure of the park in place. Massive waterfalls are a Halprin signature. He designed these in the s and linked them by an eight-block pedestrian mall. He demonstrated this at the dedication of the Forecourt Fountain in Vietnam War protests at nearby Portland State University created tension between the students and police gathered for the event. Welch, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Nominated for an AHS award, the authors Greg Grant and William Welch take turns sharing their stories, their favorite plants mostly roses , and their favorite people.

    Their heroes are a dedicated group promoting old roses, many of the plants surviving with no care in cemeteries or abandoned home sites throughout Texas. While this is a very different climate from ours, every gardener will appreciate the tenacity of plants that are good-doers and the humans that cherish them. One quirk of this book is the nomenclature. Rose variety names in single quotation marks are cultivars, the same as with most plants.

    Other varieties have double quotation marks, meaning these are study names. These substitute for real names that have been lost in time. There is a lot of good horticultural advice and garden design in this book, but best are the stories. It also survived being under salt water for two weeks after Hurricane Katrina. A suckering rose in Scottsville, Texas has possibly survived since The magenta flowers are sometimes flushed with blue edges.

    These roses are resilient. Humans did that to them. In addition to being beautiful in a simplistic way, roses were initially wiry and mean as snakes. This made them perfect Texans, of course. Fraser and Sally Armstrong Leone eds. Who is the author? Their collective publications span the first half of the 19th century, produced in both France and the United States, and first in French and later in English.

    The full bibliographic story is in the preface of this new book. Mertz Library has perhaps the most complete collection of the at least 16 different editions by Michaux and Nuttall. Mertz Library staff have produced this new book, using faithful reproductions of the plates. The horticulture staff for NYBG add notes with current updates of nomenclature, ranges, and horticultural uses.

    Enough words. They don't think too much about what they want to say and do. They just act. There's also the self-knowledge and the ability to challenge each other. When Tash gets close to dropping out, Kylene tells her exactly what she thinks. Tash knows her weakness for Nutella 'Nutella I love you' and struggles to keep it under control. But in the end she does.

    It featured 13 Irish former priests who looked to be in their 70s, speaking candidly about their training and ideals as young men and also their own humanity and experience of celibacy. They called their lunch club after Pope Paul VI's suggestion that those who left the priesthood were betraying the Church.

    However I didn't think they harboured any particular bitterness towards the pope or the Church. They were just telling it as it was. The Church offered them a way out of the oppressive social and economic circumstances of Ireland at the time, as an alternative to emigration. As one of them put it, 'a way of dodging growing up and dodging Ireland'. It's what they wanted at the time, and what they got. So were they suggesting that they never grew up?

    At least not until after they left the priesthood. They referred to celibacy as a gift. As a priest, you either had the gift or you didn't. In other words, celibacy worked for some but not others. If it didn't, things went awry. Loneliness became a big problem'. Put simply, that is what happens if you're part of an institution that allows you to dodge growing up.

    Instead of the usual 'growing up' preoccupations that define the lives of most young people - working out relationships and sexuality - these trainee priests would be focused on listening to and obeying '12, bells over [up to] 12 years' of formation. Of course the elephant in the room was sexual abuse, which I suspect they will discuss in more depth in Part 2. But in a way it was better they left that alone because it allowed the documentary to describe more dispassionately the culture of the Church that made the ground fertile for sexual abuse.

    It reminded me of the term 'thick description', which was developed by the anthropologist Clifford Geertz in his influential work The Interpretation of Cultures. His idea was that the setting or context for particular behaviour is more meaningful than the acts of behaviour themselves. Participant observation - such as the accounts of these ex-priests - is the key to evaluating a culture.

    This, he argued, was what anthropologists doing field research needed to pay close attention to. I think that it is also crucial in achieving justice for church sexual assault victims. It provides a clear answer to the question of whether the blame lies with a 'bad' culture or 'rogue' priests. The implication is that if it can be established that a bad culture that produced rogue priests, the more appropriate course of action is redress from the institution that embodies the bad culture i.

    Too often media accounts let the Church off the hook by demonising the abusers. They focus on the experience of the victims at the hands of the abusers without painting a picture of the particular way of life that was the precondition for the abuse. He had been editor since the first issue in , with one of the founders Barbara Epstein as co-editor until her death in I fear a giant media company such as Conde Nast will buy the title to exploit its legendary status.

    Its editorial decisions would then be determined by commercial considerations rather than the passions of an obsessed longtime editor. Silvers' passions have defined the NYRB, and often a publication's story can be just as interesting as its content. Australian Book Review would qualify if it was called the Melbourne Review of Books, but it's not and therefore it doesn't.

    Aside from the 'Review of Books' in their titles, what they have in common is that, in their own way, each of them is an upstart. The NYRB was founded when a printers' strike shut down seven New York City newspapers, to take advantage of a gap in the market for book reviews. Similarly the LRB was started when publication of the Times Literary Supplement was suspended during the year-long management lock-out at The Times in The NRB's 'upstart' founding was a little different, more in the nature of fandom. Or perhaps 'taking the piss'. I'm never sure. It was the hobby of a couple of Newtown locals from the world of publishing and editing, one of whom is married to the 'Godfather of Australian crime fiction' Peter Corris, who write's the NRB's 'Godfather' column.

    The editing of the NRB is very professional, and like its more wordy and worthy namesakes, it does takes itself seriously, though in a different way. It has a tight discipline and invariably does what it says it does. That is 'to provide intelligent reviews of books people will want to read'. It covers a range of subject areas that is eclectic but excludes poetry and children's books.

    The stylistic counterpoint to the reviews is the 'Godfather' column, and it does an excellent job in filling out the NRB's 'eclectic' brief. It's always a good read. This week's is on hair. Corris, with his hairline intact, pontificates on the comb-over and other options available to balding men. As a hobbyist online publication that cuts a professional cloth, NRB is part of a local tradition that includes the film review site Urban Cinefile. The editors Louise Keller and Andrew Urban decided to call it a day last month after 20 years and weekly editions.

    I always found their reviews every bit as compelling as those of David and Margaret. But sadly the media acolades that marked the ending of their review partnership did not, as far as I can tell, extend beyond the Manly Daily. I probably wouldn't have made a special effort to see an Andy Warhol exhibition because I have always dismissed him as superficial.

    Indeed this collection was focused on his career in the advertising industry. A quote that I read the other day would seem to reinforce my attitude: 'I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They're so beautiful. Everything's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic. Yet this exhibition revealed to me that I can be very superficial in my evaluation of other people's apparent superficiality.

    Warhol was in fact much more grounded as a person than I'd realised. There are the obvious contradictions. He was at home in the drug addled world of New York in the s and s but at the same time a 'devout Catholic' of the Eastern Rite who is said to have attended Mass almost daily and volunteered at a shelter for the homeless.

    But what I found more interesting was the aspect of his personal - and professional - relationship with his mother Julia, who is described as 'the passion of his life'. One of the panels in the exhibition tells the story: 'Warhol needed some text for an assignment in a hurry and asked his mother to pen it for him in her own baroque and rather quirky handwriting.

    The two would together observe their Eastern European traditions. Julia made traditional folk art and also decorated Easter eggs and embroideries for the church, while Andy would often incorporate the religious motifs and the gold of church decoration into his art. Then we have the Warhol of the s and s that we're much more familiar with. But now I can look at that Warhol through the lens of his relationship with his mother and appreciate his depth as a person and cultural icon. A day after seeing the film Moonlight , I went to iview to watch the first episode of Bullied with Ian Thorpe, which first aired on Tuesday evening.

    I knew the ABC program's treatment of school bullying would be worlds apart from that of Moonlight 's meditative approach, and I wasn't wrong. Moments after I pressed play, I wanted to press stop. The drums in the soundtrack set up the tension that marked the program. It was about the thrill of the chase. Nailing the bullies.

    Using hidden cameras to hunt down and intimidate the bullies, rather than fostering understanding by opening everybody's eyes to the bigger picture, as Moonlight did. There were a lot of positive values articulated by the sincere Thorpe and authoritative expert Professor Marilyn Campbell.

    But the main game was action of giving the bullies a bit of their own medicine, as if two wrongs do make a right. You violate my right to respect and I'll violate your right to privacy. There was no suggestion of the ambiguous nature of school bullying, where bullies and bullied alike are victims of a system that is made up of chains of manipulation and coercion. In Moonlight we saw the main character Chiron bullied by his best friend Kevin because Kevin was forced into it by those further up the chain.

    In turn, those higher up would have been bullied by others - drug dealers perhaps. I don't think you'd ever find a bully who wasn't being himself or herself being bullied or intimidated by some more powerful person or life circumstance. About a decade ago, I ran into one of my school bullies and he apologised to me. I mentioned this to a friend who was in the same class. He said: 'What?

    You bullied him as much as he bullied you'. My friend was right. I was mostly the victim of bullying, but would not hesitate to take it upon myself to bully others if they were weaker than me and the opportunity presented itself. Do I feel the need to apologise or to admit my guilt?

    Do I think the dynamics of the system that fostered my bullying need to be studied and acted upon? Most certainly. My point is that targeting bullies - by hidden cameras or other means - only makes bullies out of those attempting to halt the bullying. Thorpe was the gentle giant superhero on a mission to stamp on the bullies with his secret weapon the hidden camera. I would suggest that some set of circumstances would have manipulated him into taking part in this show business game that really wasn't him.

    In doing so, he was himself a bully, a bit like Kevin in Moonlight. He was working as a proxy for the dark sources of real power, whatever they were. The program's mistake was that it had Thorpe nailing the bullies, rather than the culture that produced them. Yesterday I got to see the movie Moonlight , and found that it gripped me from the beginning and was as easy to like as I was expecting. It's the Oscar winning American film about growing up black and gay with an unstable crack addict mother.

    It keeps these issues under the radar.

    Way of the Peaceful Warrior, a book/chapter review by Coda

    But while its 'treatment' of them may be implicit, it is more powerful as a result. More front and centre is the mood of melancholy, which is beautifully presented and defines just about everything in the film, which is poetic rather than naturalistic. One New York Times reader commented that the film failed to engage her because its narrative was 'obtuse'. That's the point. It's a meditation not a documentary, even though it is partly based on the life of the co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney. In the final act, the main character Chiron - now a drug dealer in Atlanta - comes to meet his boyhood friend Kevin - who now runs a restaurant in Miami, where they grew up.