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Weeds In My Garden: Observations On Some Misunderstood Plants

What is a weed? Definitions abound, some more clever than true. For the author, weeds are plants that grow uninvited in places disturbed by people or their animals. But although weeds may invade our fields and gardens, most are not aggressive away from disturbed areas. Some have notable virtues, whether medicinal, culinary, or even ornamental. Not intended to be a manual of weed identification --- although the descriptions, drawings, and photographs will help readers name many of their newfound friends --- or weed eradication, this book is for anyone interested in weeds as plants. A veritable natural history of weeds, it will encourage readers to look anew at these previously unwelcome guests.

Hardcover: 260 pages

Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated (April 1, 2003)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0881925624

ISBN-13: 978-0881925623

Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 5.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #2,941,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #62 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Weed & Pest Control #673 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Essays #3000 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Flowers

Ultimately I found this book to be frustrating. The premise sounded great: plant professor talks about the weeds he's known over the many years with university garden fields. "Weeds" is an interesting class of vegetation that is finally getting some much-needed attention, from folklore to foraging. I would however rather recommend such books as Weeds of the Northeast (Comstock books), the unfortunately out of print The Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac Book: A Short Natural History and Cautionary Account, and The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants. The first is useful for field identification; the second is not only educational but kind of fun to read as well; and the third is a readable and well illustrated ID guide and quasi-cookbook, although I haven't used it as much yet as the others, but it came highly recommended from some foragers I respect.This book however is more a compilation of rambles, where Professor Heiser does give specific botanical details but otherwise an inconsistent (and frustratingly incomplete) take on each plant. You can feel, through the text, a sense of entitlement to cover the material however he likes, because of his age and position -- there is not enough of a sense of remembering his audience.

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