Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Stackpole Books (August 1, 1996)
Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #2,676,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #82 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Region > New England #5135 in Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Plants #61864 in Books > Science & Math > Nature & Ecology
Pick any subject, it seems, and odds are good that someone has compiled a volume of Thoreau quotes about it. But "Thoreau's Garden" is not a mere collection of his observations about plants (actually: 47 plants, 2 trees, and one insect). Author Peter Loewer has combined Henry's pithy journal entries with supporting details about each specimen. Included are descriptions of the leaves, flowers, fruit, and soil preferences. A follow-up essay for each one provides the history and biology of the plant, how it is pollinated, its possible medicinal uses, and gardening tips. Each entry is accompanied by a beautiful and detailed line drawing, which must have been done by the author, since no additional illustration credit appears. Here we can learn more about ferns and berries, goldenrods and grasses. Readers can even get a glimpse of the "disgusting ... yet very suggestive" fungus (Phallus impudicus) that Thoreau railed about in October 1856, pondering "Pray, what was Nature thinking of when she made this? She almost puts herself on a level with those who draw in privies." (pp. 156-158)Loewer used as his reference the index in the Dover two-volume reprint of Thoreau's journals, which is indeed a helpful starting point but is far from complete. If he had consulted Ray Angelo's meticulous "Botanical Index to the Journal of Henry David Thoreau," his task would have been much more daunting. Picking only 50 samples from a single-spaced list spanning 144 pages would be a challenge. And because Loewer at one time was affiliated with the Botanical Gardens of Asheville (NC), he can be forgiven for adding some Southern species and cultivars that Thoreau would never have seen.Similar in design and coverage to Laura C. Martin's "Wildflower Folklore" but with a Thoreauvian twist, this book is a nice selection for nature library shelves.
This author is awesome; his writing is informative and lyrical--a real treat to read. Each of his books offers something new.
I had been reading, and admiring, this book for two years when I found out that Mr. Loewer worked on the same Environmental Show as myself: we are all vols, so it is no wonder we have never met. This book is truely a showcase of Mr. Loewer's talents': THOREAU'S WRITINGS ARE ALWAYS THERE, BUT THE PLAY 2ND FIDDLE TO THE WONDER OF AMERICA'S NATURAL BEAUTY. Great effort: a must for any lover of native plants.
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