--- Anne K Moore
July 4, 2009 ---
Photos by Anne K Moore ---
only do I have a passion for gardening just like Ken Druse, I also have a
passion for garden books. Writers who
are hands in the dirt gardeners are the best reads.
One of those garden writers that gardeners dig is
Ken Druse. He is one of the premier
garden photographer/writer’s in the nation.
He is an organic gardener, a designer, a lecturer
and naturalist. He is also a trained artist and avid gardener. His books are beautiful.
These titles from my own library illustrate his gardening
fevers: The Natural Shade Garden; The
Collector’s Garden; The Natural Habitat Garden; The
Passion for Gardening; probably the premier book of all time for
illustrated propagation of plants, (and a Garden Writer’s Book Award Winner) Making
His newest book, Planthropology, is just
as beautiful and interesting as the rest. Never heard of Planthropology? That’s because Ken made up the word to fit
In this newest book
his art background co-mingles with his love of plants and gardens. This is where gardens and history meet. He takes us down through the
gardening-related ages in art and story, explaining the significance of an
included flower or just describing the familiar background scenes in works of
art from long ago.
tidbit in Planthropology, among many, is the section about plant
hunters. Down through the centuries,
these plant explorers have risked their lives to find new plants and bring them
to our gardens.
In 1770, one of the
best-known plant-finding excursions sailed into an Australia cove. The bay where they anchored gave a safe
harbor to the ship Endeavour,
captained by James Cook. The ship carried
the renowned plant explorer, Joseph Banks, and his small group of plant
explorers. Sydney Australia’s harbor is
still known today as Botany Bay because of the 110 new genera and 1,200 new
species collected there by Banks and his cohorts.
Find out which
plant hunter was burned at the stake, which was eaten by cannibals, and which
lived to tell tales of the plant hunting experience.
Ken describes how
terrariums came into being, and soon decorated Victorian parlors, renamed as
Wardian Cases. Dr. Nathanial Ward was
the first to discover this method of growing finicky plants. He was actually growing a moth chrysalis in a
jar, but Voila! Plants grew, too.
I can definitely
recommend this book or any other hardback
by Ken Druse. Each is beautiful enough
to rank as a coffee table book, but too good to just display for show. I am a fan.
Visit his gardening
website, http://www.kendruse.typepad.com/ and subscribe to his podcast, “Real Dirt”. Ken will help keep you up to date on what is
happening in the gardening world.
Avaialbe at Amazon: