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A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants

A GARDEN OF MARVELS: HOW WE DISCOVERED THAT FLOWERS HAVE SEX, LEAVES EAT AIR, AND OTHER SECRETS OF PLANTS

by: Kassinger, Ruth
Format: Hardcover

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Description

Product Description In the tradition of The Botany of Desire and Wicked Plants, a witty and engaging history of the first botanists interwoven with stories of today’s extraordinary plants found in the garden and the lab. In Paradise Under Glass, Ruth Kassinger recounted with grace and humor her journey from brown thumb to green, sharing lessons she learned from building a home conservatory in the wake of a devastating personal crisis. In A Garden of Marvels, she extends the story. Frustrated by plants that fail to thrive, she sets out to understand the basics of botany in order to become a better gardener. She retraces the progress of the first botanists who banished myths and misunderstandings and discovered that flowers have sex, leaves eat air, roots choose their food, and hormones make morning glories climb fence posts. She also visits modern gardens, farms, and labs to discover the science behind extraordinary plants like one-ton pumpkins, a truly black petunia, a biofuel grass that grows twelve feet tall, and the world's only photosynthesizing animal. Transferring her insights to her own garden, she nurtures a "cocktail" tree that bears five kinds of fruit, cures a Buddha's Hand plant with beneficial fungi, and gets a tree to text her when it's thirsty. Intertwining personal anecdote, accessible science, and untold history, the ever-engaging author takes us on an eye-opening journey into her garden—and yours. From Booklist Whether debunking the myth of the “vegetable lamb” borametz plant or cooing over the rippling lettuce-like appearance of the green sea slug, Kassinger proves that it truly is a jungle out there. A self-taught, infectiously enthusiastic home gardener, Kassinger nevertheless realized that a more formal understanding of botany would be necessary if she were to prevent turning her horticultural hits into misses. But who said such a pursuit had to be boring? There were all manner of great stories hidden in the cabbage patch, from the daredevil biographies of botanists of yore to the mysterious manifestations of plant sex. An intrepid journalist and indefatigable plants woman, Kassinger ferrets out the most entertaining and educational aspects of plant science with a researcher’s fervor and a collector’s zeal. From instructions on how to grow a giant pumpkin and then convert it into a regatta-worthy sailing vessel (along with discovering why someone would even want to), Kassinger has a knack for uncovering horticulture’s quirky side. --Carol Haggas Review “A sumptuously written history of greenhouse horticulture.” ( Entertainment Weekly) “Ms. Kassinger’s writing is chatty and intimate, but she has clearly done her library research.” (International Herald Tribune on Paradise Under Glass) “The book [PARADISE UNDER GLASS] vividly chronicles her [Kassinger’s] initiation into the world of indoor gardening as well as the fascinating and unlikely histories of greenhouses and the flamboyant gardens they have housed…Kassinger’s lush writing and exotic stories will delight the armchair gardener and historian.” ( Publishers Weekly) “[M]y favorite gardening book of the year...But be warned... you might feel a need to start acquiring houseplants, or even a greenhouse.” ( Boston Globe) “Ms. Kassinger’s writing is chatty and intimate, but she has clearly done her library research.” (New York Times Book Review on PARADISE UNDER GLASS) “[A] pleasant ramble through the world of plants . . . Kassinger weaves a huge amount of information into what still feels like a personal memoir, and by the end of this effortless afternoon stroll with her, readers will be startled to realize how much they have learned.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) on A GARDEN OF MARVELS) “A self-taught, infectiously enthusiastic home gardener… intrepid journalist and indefatigable plants woman, Kassinger ferrets out the most entertaining and educational aspects of plant science with a researcher’s fervor and a collector’s zeal… Kass

Details

Product Code: 9780062048998
ISBN: 0062048996
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 2014-02-25
Number of Pages: 416 pages
Languages: english
Edition: Illustrated
Dimension: 5.71 x 1.5 x 7.99 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds