Thursday, May 31, 2012

Meeting New Old Friends

A good read on any day!

What a fascinating, informative, and entertaining read!  More than just a gardening book, Lynn Coulter's Gardening with Heirloom Seeds tells the stories of Mother Nature's crown jewels before hybridization.

Coulter re-introduces the reader to varieties of shrubs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables that have fed and inspired our culture for, in the case of turnips, thousands of years.  Never before have I realized that Love-in-Idleness, which Puck used to bewitch fairy queen Titania in Midsummer Night's Dream, was a pansy!  My grandfather loved (and grew) whippoorwill peas;  I had not thought about them in years until Coulter reminded me.

Lord, what fools these mortals be!
More than a nostalgic garden walk, Coulter reminds the reader of the purpose and value of these legacy varieties.  Many of them are already lost, and many are highly endangered, but for the tireless efforts of heirloom gardeners and seed-savers.

Beautifully bound on heavy glossy paper and abundantly illustrated with color photographs, this volume leaves room for notes in the margin!  It is not intended to be relegated to the coffee table and thumbed diffidently; it is meant to be a reference, a repository, and a respite for the weary gardener.
Moon and starts watermelon

It certainly will be for me!

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