"If we cannot name and recognize plants, how can we value them and realize how essential they are to our environment and our well-being as humans?" --from the Introduction
In 2012 a committee of experts chose the ten plants that most changed Minnesota from nearly five hundred citizen nominations, hosted by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The idea that plants, as few as ten, could shape a state and how it developed economically, culturally, and historically, is at the core of the Ten Plants that Changed Minnesota project, which also includes a companion website and a popular freshman seminar at the University of Minnesota. With careful review by more than thirty experts and scientists and with research drawn from newspaper and journal reports, historical photos, diaries, and interviews, Mary Hockenberry Meyer and Susan Davis Price highlight the importance of the selected plants and their impact--both positive and negative--in the development and future of our state. The plants are the apple, alfalfa, the American elm, corn, lawn or turfgrass, purple loosestrife, soybeans, wheat, wild rice, and white pine.
Is that a weed? This question, asked by anyone who has ever gardened or mowed a lawn, does not have an easy answer. After all, a weed, as suburban mother and professional weed scientist Nancy Gift reminds readers, is simply a plant out of place. In A Weed by Any Other Name, Gift offers a personal, unapologetic defense of clovers, dandelions, plantains, and more, chronicling her experience with these enemy plants season by season.Rather than falling prey to pressures to achieve the perfect lawn and garden, Gift elucidates the many reasons to embrace an unconventional, weedy yard. She celebrates the spots of wildness that crop up in various corners of suburbia, redeeming many a plant's reputation by expounding on its positive qualities. She includes recipes for dandelion wine and garlic mustard pesto as well as sketches that show the natural beauty of flowers such as the morning glory, classified by the USDA as an invasive and noxious weed. Although she is an advocate of weeds, Gift admits that some plants do require eradication-she happily digs out multiflora rose and resorts to chemical warfare on poison ivy. But she also demonstrates that weeds often carry a message for us about the land and our treatment of it, if we are willing to listen.
From cultivating plants that are on the international endangered list or already extinct in the wild, to avoiding invasive species, gardeners can play a vital role in conservation. A groundbreaking reference for both plant enthusiasts and gardeners, Plant is a new-generation encyclopedia designed to provide environmental and horticultural information for anyone concerned about the planet's biodiversity.
Botanica Magnifica features 250 stunning photographs representing--in the words of an ARTnews critic--rare or exotic plants and flowers "in large scale and exquisite detail, emerging from the shadows in a manner evocative of Old Master paintings."
The original edition of Botanica Magnifica, consisting of five lavishly hand-bound volumes, was limited to just ten copies, the first of which was recently donated to the Smithsonian Institution. The extra-large "double-elephant" format of that edition was chosen in homage to the famous double-elephant folio of The Birds of America, and indeed, Botanica Magnifica is one of the few works of natural history ever to rival Audubon's magnum opus in its scope and artistry. In praise of the double-elephant folio of Botanica Magnifica, the Smithsonian's Chairman of Botany attested, "Everyone who has seen the photographs...has been tremendously impressed with the power, scale, and depth of the work."
Now Singer's remarkable images are available to the public for the first time in this hardcover with slipcase, baby-elephant folio of Botanica Magnifica. This volume is organized into five alphabetically arranged sections, each introduced by a gatefold page that displays one extraordinary plant at a luxurious size. Each pictured plant is accompanied by a clear and accessible description of its botany, geography, folklore, history, and conservation.
Botanica Magnifica is one of the most impressive volumes of natural history ever published.
"The greatest pleasure of naturalists (understated by certain utilitarians) is to discover new species, to point to new islands on the map of nature, and to populate continents that seem to be deserts" -- Richard Spruce, 1851
This splendid book traces the journeys of more than 80 pioneering botanists who explored the unknown world and collected thousands of unusual plants. Many were celebrated at home in Europe and England. Others were working in obscurity to fulfill their own desires and obsessions.
But every one of these explorers made important finds, collecting and preserving unique and valuable plants and often establishing them in cultivation back in their home lands.
Each spread in the book describes the journey and the naturalist, with a map tracing the routes taken, on the left. Facing is the actual plant collected, complete with notes, seeds, pollen, and identifying documents, often in the botanist's own hand.
The stories are packed with detail, describing the theories of the day, the difficulty of raising money, and traversing jungles and forests. But each is colored by the excitement of discovering orchids, trees, teas, flowering roses and acanthus, ferns, strange bulbs, and mountain flowers.
The design is accompanied by 80 maps, 150 photographs, drawings and engravings. All work to reproduce the spirit of the quest and the discovery of plants.
A major figure in the development of garden design, Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) did not set out to make gardening her career. In her late teens she had enrolled as a student at the Kensington School of Art, a bold step for a young lady in mid Victorian times. Her deteriorating eyesight compelled her to abandon almost entirely her favourite occupations of painting and embroidery. She had always loved flowers, and friendship with gardening neighbours had encouraged her interest. A meeting with the young architect, Edwin Lutyens, led to his designing a house for her at Munstead Wood near Godalming in Surrey, and to a fruitful partnership in which Miss Jekyll planned the gardens of houses built by Lutyens. Her great contribution to horticulture was that she translated gardening into terms of painting in her use of colour and of light and shade. She brought to garden design an artist's good taste, a knowledge of rural tradition and a respect for craftsmanship, especially the architect's craft, which so marks her work with Lutyens.
About the author
Betty Massingham, a horticultural researcher and journalist, was the author of a full-length biography of Gertude Jekyll.
Botanical names can be baffling to even the most experienced gardener. But a plant's botanical name is more than just a handy label--it can tell a plant's country of origin, the shape of its leaves, the color of its petals, and much more.
The A to Z of Plant Names clears the confusion and allows every gardener to name plants with confidence. This comprehensive yet handy guide features the botanic names of the plants that gardeners really grow. Additional information includes suggested pronunciation, the common name, the derivation of the scientific name, the number of species currently accepted, the type of plant and the distribution.
The A to Z of Plant Names helps demystify names, provides readers with the intriguing background information to naming conventions, and empowers gardeners everywhere to feel confident about naming plants.
" A] witty and beguiling meditation on weeds and their wily ways....You will never look at a weed, or flourish a garden fork, in the same way again."
--Richard Holmes, author of The Age of Wonder
"In this fascinating, richly detailed book, Richard Mabey gives weeds their full due."
--Carl Zimmer, author of Evolution
Richard Mabey, Great Britain's Britain's "greatest living nature writer" (London Times), has written a stirring and passionate defense of nature's most unloved plants. Weeds is a fascinating, eye-opening, and vastly entertaining appreciation of the natural world's unappreciated wildflowers that will appeal to fans of David Attenborough, Robert Sullivan's Rats, Amy Stewart's Wicked Plants, and to armchair gardeners, horticulturists, green-thumbs, all those who stop to smell the flowers.
Now you can identify wild berries and fruits
Learn what's edible and what to avoid with this easy-to-use field guide. The nearly 200 species in this revised and updated book are organized by color, then by form, so when you see something in the field, you'll know just where to look to learn more about it. Full-page photos and insets show each plant's key identification points, while detailed descriptions give you the information you need to know. Interesting tidbits about the plants' many uses, range maps, a ripening calendar, and more make this an indispensable guide for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan foragers. Teresa Marrone has been gathering and preparing wild edibles for more than 20 years. Let her share that experience with you.