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What are you reading? (Garden books & others)

17 years ago

Ambersky started this thread on the Discussions page but it's too good to lose! Jump to the end and share what you are reading. Garden books are, of course, of special interest, but I read a lot and always want to know about new, good books.

What are your favorite garden books?

And what are you reading now?


From the original thread:

Pleasure Reads for Gardners

Posted by ambersky 9b FL (My Page) on

Tue, May 23, 06 at 9:43

I enjoy books about gardens, that are just for pleasure. You know, not the ones that tell you how to plant and fertalize, but simply entertain.

So far, my favorites have been "The Botony of Desire," and one called something like "A Walk in My Garden, by a gentleman who designed gardens. He had given up his home and traveled from place to place, living for a few months, designing a garden, then moving on. I loaned that one out and never got it back, and now I can't find it.

Anyway, right now I'm reading Jamaica Kincaid's "My Garden (Book):," and it's really very good. Of course, anything by Kincaid is wonderful, but this one is especially perfect.

So, does anyone else have a recomendation in this small but lovely lit catagory?

Follow-Up Postings:


* Posted by cindeea 10 Ft Myers (My Page) on

Tue, May 23, 06 at 19:56

Amber, I have to check out some of these books. They sound like a wonderful past time and escape. I often eat at my desk over lunch hour and do crossword puzzles. Reading Gardenesque novels sounds fun!


* Posted by ambersky 9b FL (My Page) on

Tue, May 23, 06 at 20:17

Oh they are very satisfying, though I have to confess that instead of reading, "My Garden" had me out clipping and weeding and books are dangerous that way.

"The Botany of Desire," really can change the way you see plants, or it did me. He points out that plants stimulate and satisfy desires in other creatures, in order to spread themselves. Squirels desires for lunch, wasps desire for a mate, bees desire for pollen, human's desire for sweet.... He goes into detail on four plants that use 4 different human desires...Apple and our desire for sweetness, Tulip and our desire for beauty, Marajuana and our desire for intoxication, and potato and our desire for security. he shows how the evolution of those 4 plants is tied up in it's interaction with humans. It's very cool.

Kincaid's "My Garden" is much more intimate...a woman who happens to be both a fabulous writer and an addicted gardener tells about her garden obsesion. I am laughing with recognition all though it.


* Posted by lobelia 10a (My Page) on

Tue, May 23, 06 at 20:22

Sounds interesting! I never thought of finding a good book on those subjects & didn't know there was such a thing!


* Posted by msmarion 9bFLPalm City (My Page) on

Tue, May 23, 06 at 21:27

Thanks Amber. I'm going to the library right after work tomorrow and see if I can find them.


* Posted by solstice98 9b Orlando (My Page) on

Tue, May 23, 06 at 21:48

Thanks Amber. I read constantly and even listen to taped books in the car as I commute everyday (audible(dot)com is wonderful!), but I have not explored garden lit. Can't imagine how that escaped me!


* Posted by maggie 10 (My Page) on

Tue, May 23, 06 at 22:08

Are there any other gardeners out there who "grew up" reading Thalassa Crusoe? Thirty some (or more?) years ago, reading her books was what got me enthusiastic about nurturing a plant and watching it grow. Her books really do give you an appreciation of nature and old-fashioned Kincaid!


* Posted by buttterflyy z9b FL (My Page) on

Thu, May 25, 06 at 8:35

I didn't know about the books at the time, but there were little articles by her in magazines, and wasn't she on public tv for a time? I loved her!



* Posted by ambersky 9b FL (My Page) on

Thu, May 25, 06 at 9:49

Thanks Maggie, I'll do a library search for her.


* Posted by carmiewest South Florida (My Page) on

Thu, May 25, 06 at 10:04


Thank you for posting about these books. I am going to try to get them at the library.

One writer that got me interested in nurturing my garden and growing vegetables was Barbara Kingsolver. She writes non fiction and novels but they are full of descriptions of nature and animals. She grows most of the things her family eats. I specially liked her novel, Prodigal Summer.



* Posted by ambersky 9b FL (My Page) on

Thu, May 25, 06 at 10:08

The only thing I had read by Kingsolver was "The Poisonwood Bible," and that just blew me away. I'll look for "Prodigal Summer." Thanks!


* Posted by tropicalfreak z10b Hollywood (My Page) on

Thu, May 25, 06 at 10:30

i have a book about the gardens of key west and their stories.... lot's of photos...easy to get lost in...



* Posted by solstice98 9b Orlando (My Page) on

Wed, Jun 7, 06 at 20:24


I picked up The Botany of Desire and I'm loving it!

Johnny Appleseed was a possible pedophile?!?!? Who knew!!!!

Almost all apples were grown for cider, not for eating? Who knew!!!

I downloaded the book from audible(dot)com so I'm listening to it in the car - makes the trip to work each day something to look forward to.

If the apple chapter is this fascinating, I can hardly wait for tulips, cannabis and potatoes.

I also found Seeds of Change and am looking forward to that too.




* Posted by lyam z9 Tampa FL (My Page) on

Wed, Jun 7, 06 at 20:35

I am on the potato chapter in The Botany of Desire. It is a great book. I keep recommending it to everyone who will listen =) You can really tell the author loves the subject because he writes so well about it. You'll definitly enjoy the other chapters Kate.

After reading the chapter on apples I want to plant apple seeds, especially the wild type, and the same with the other chapters. I guess I could get away with planting tulips an potatoes, but I'll leave the Mary Jane to the pros =)

Thanks for starting this thread. I'm going to read the other suggested books too.


Witches HEHEHE

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