Have you read this? Archive
An archive of featured books
July 20, 2016
Wilson’s Kagoshima : Tracing the Footsteps of a Plant Hunter
by Tomoko Furui
Ernest Henry Wilson, legendary Plant Hunter, arrived in Kagoshima, Japan just after the historic volcanic eruption in 1914. This new book by Tomoko Furui (Wilson’s Yakushima: Memories of the Past), traces Wilson’s steps throughout the island with narrative summaries, historic Wilson photographs, current landscape and specimen photographs, and lists of collected plants.
Landscape preservation of the forests of Kagoshima has enabled important portions of the unique natural landscape to endure to this day. However, influences (both natural and man-made) can impact adversely the trees of the island. Furui goes on to explain the importance of Wilson’s legacy, “Wilson came to speak frequently of concerns about the influence that environmental destruction has on human life. The term global warming was not born yet, but he had already discerned the crisis of the earth by the increase of carbon dioxide 100 years ago . . . that Wilson’s photographs and words have resurfaced at this turning point of 100 years is no accident. Reflecting on his work in these critical times requires this generation to heed his warning bell.”
Wilson’s Kagoshima is included in our New Books List for July 20, 2016.
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May 30, 2016
Trees in Towns and Cities: A History of British Urban Arboriculture
by Mark Johnston
This is the first book on the history of trees in Britain’s towns and cities and the people who have planted and cared for them. It is a highly readable and authoritative account of the trees in our urban landscapes from the Romans to the present day, including public parks, private gardens, streets, cemeteries and many other open spaces. It charts how our appreciation of urban trees and woodland has evolved into our modern understanding of the many environmental, economic and social benefits of our urban forests. A description is also given of the various threats to these trees over the centuries, such as pollution damage during the Industrial Revolution and the recent ravages of Dutch elm disease. Central and local government initiatives are examined together with the contribution of civic and amenity societies. However, this historical account is not just a catalogue of significant events but gives a deeper analysis by exploring fundamental issues such as who owned those treed landscapes, why they were created and who had access to them. The book concludes with the fascinating story of how trees have contributed to efforts to improve urban conditions through various ‘visions of urban green’ such as the model villages, garden cities, garden suburbs and the new towns.
Studies in garden and landscape history have often been preoccupied with those belonging to the rich and powerful. This book focuses particularly on working people and the extent to which they have been able to enjoy urban trees and greenspace. It will appeal to a general readership, especially those with an interest in garden history, heritage landscapes and the natural and built environment. Its meticulous referencing will also ensure it is much appreciated by students and academics pursuing further reading and research. It is written by an internationally renowned arboriculturist who combines a passion for trees with a sound understanding of British social and cultural history.
Trees in Towns and Cities is included in our New Books List for May 30, 2016.
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April 27, 2016
Wildflowers of New England
by Ted Elliman & New England Wildflower Society
Wildflowers of New England is for hikers, naturalists, gardeners, and anyone wishing to learn more about the region’s diverse wildflowers, or just wanting to know the answer to “What’s that plant?” Ted Elliman, a plant ecologist for the New England Wild Flower Society, describes and illustrates more than 1,000 species commonly found in all six New England states, including annuals, perennials, and biennials, both native and naturalized. This helpful field guide uses a logical and convenient identification key based on flower color, petal arrangement, and leaf characteristics. One thousand color photographs help to confirm that you’ve got the right plant. The introduction includes an explanation of plant parts and information on plant names.
Founded in 1900 as the Society for the Protection of Native Plants, the New England Wild Flower Society is the nation’s oldest plant conservation organization and a recognized leader in native plant conservation, horticulture, and education. The Society’s headquarters, Garden in the Woods, is a renowned native plant botanic garden in Framingham, Massachusetts, that attracts visitors from all over the world. From this base, 25 staff and more than 700 volunteers work throughout New England to monitor and protect rare and endangered plants, collect and preserve seeds to ensure biological diversity, detect and control invasive species, conduct research, and offer a range of educational programs.
New England Wild Flower Society are also the publishers of State of the plants : Challenges and opportunities for conserving New England’s native flora, and New England Wildflower Society’s flora novae angliae : a manual for the identification of native and naturalized vascular plants of New England. The library holds copies of both in addition to hundreds of titles focused on local flora and ecology.
Wildflowers of New England is included in our New Books List for April 27, 2016.
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March 21, 2016
by Lisa E. Pearson
Established in 1872 and designed in collaboration with landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the Arnold Arboretum is a National Historic Landmark. Founded as a partnership between the City of Boston and Harvard University, the Arnold Arboretum is a unique blend of a respected research institution and beloved public park in Boston’s Emerald Necklace. Occupying 281 acres, its living collection of trees, shrubs, and woody vines is recognized as one of the most comprehensive and best documented of its kind in the world. Its lilac collection is a springtime favorite of visitors, along with the magnificent rhododendrons, and in the fall, trees from maples to dawn redwoods provide a wonderful display of color. The living collection is supported by curatorial documentation, a herbarium, library and archival holdings, and a state-of-the-art research center. These facilities and holdings provide the basis for research and education of visitors, students, and scholars from around the world.
Lisa E. Pearson is a long-time resident of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, and librarian at the Arnold
Arboretum. Since 2013, she has been the head of the Horticultural Library and Archives where she curates a
collection of thousands of historical images of the Arboretum’s landscape, activities, and plant collections from the 19th century to the present. Lisa also writes for the journals Arnoldia, Silva, and The Botanical Artist.
Arnold Arboretum is part of the popular Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing. With more than 12,000 titles in print, Arcadia is the largest and most comprehensive publisher of local and regional content in the USA. By empowering local history and culture enthusiasts to write local stories for local audiences, they create exceptional books that enrich lives and bring readers closer to their community, their neighbors, and their past.
Arnold Arboretum is included in our New Books List for March 21, 2016.
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February 29, 2016
Deep-Rooted Wisdom: Skills and Stories from Generations of Gardeners
by Augustus Jenkins Farmer
Augustus Jenkins Farmer started gardening in the third grade in a corner of the family farm filled with rocks, scrap metal, and crinum and spider lilies. He was free to dig, transplant, and design in any way he wanted by making do with what he had. Thirty years later, he continues to garden this way in his own gardens in Columbia and Beech Island, South Carolina. His style of gardening is in stark contrast to the gardening industry’s steady stream of new products, new advertising, and new rules that create unneeded complexities that intimidate future gardeners and obscure the joy of gardening.
Deep-Rooted Wisdom is Farmer’s antidote to this corporate-driven model of gardening. In it he shares the traditional skills and techniques he has learned over the years from generations of gardeners, like gardening with pass-along plants, harnessing the natural power of worms and mushrooms, saving heirloom seeds, and making handmade garden structures out of available materials. Along the way, he introduces us to a cast of unforgettable characters, like Yvrose Valdez, a woman from Haiti who uses legumes in lieu of fertilizer, and Bennet Baxley, who has a 20-acre yard filled almost entirely with scavenged plants.
This is garden mentorship at its best and most honest that shows us all a way back to a more joyful, simple style of gardening.
Deep-Rooted Wisdom is included in our New Books List for February 29, 2016.
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January 25, 2016
Frederick Law Olmsted: Writings on Landscape, Culture, and Society
Edited by Charles E. Beveridge
Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) is most often remembered as America’s preeminent landscape architect—a profession he named, helped to define, and elevated into an art form in beloved parks and public spaces, among them New York’s Central Park, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Biltmore Estate, and Boston’s “Emerald Necklace.” But landscape design was just one outlet for Olmsted’s extraordinary creative energies over the course of a long and eventful life. As gentleman farmer, journalist, publisher, abolitionist, Civil War reformer, and conservationist, Olmsted’s readiness to serve the needs of his fellow citizens embodied the democratic ethos of “communitiveness” that was his lasting contribution to American thought.
Gathering over 100 items—letters, travel sketches, newspaper articles, essays, editorials, design proposals, official reports, and autobiographical reminiscences—this volume charts the emergence and development of Olmsted’s unique vision of restorative public green spaces as an antidote to the debilitating pressures of urbanization and modern life. It opens with a substantial selection of his early writings, including letters from China when he was an apprentice seaman, an account of his inspirational visit to the “People’s Park” at Birkenhead near Liverpool, and many of his perceptive dispatches from the American South on the eve of the Civil War. A number of pieces recount Olmsted’s service in the war, when, as executive secretary to the United States Sanitary Commission (a forerunner of the Red Cross), he organized relief supplies and hospital ships. Others trace his work as co-founder of the Union League Club and The Nation, as designer of the site of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and as a champion of the preservation of public lands at Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Niagara Falls.
The heart of the volume focuses on Olmsted’s magnificent design projects and his theory and practice of landscape architecture, as reflected in formal proposals and reports, letters to clients about sites both great and small, narratives of corruption and patronage in park management, histories of the profession and of landscape and garden aesthetics, notes to gardeners, and reflections on the value of parks and urban design. Included here are his original “Description of a Plan for the Improvement of the Central Park”; a meditation on “Trees in Streets and in Parks”; and a defense of the modest homestead as “the true wealth of our country.”
Along with Olmsted’s original writings the volume presents a 32-page portfolio of illustrations, including design sketches, park plans, contemporary photographs, and portraits and featuring the complete series of proposed views he submitted with the Olmsted & Vaux “Greensward” competition entry for New York’s Central Park. A detailed chronology and extensive notes give further information on the biographical and historical contexts of his work.
Charles E. Beveridge, editor, is America’s leading authority on the life and works of Frederick Law Olmsted. Since 1980 he has served as series editor of the multivolume Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, and in 2005 he published Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing the American Landscape.
Frederick Law Olmsted: Writings on Landscape, Culture, and Society is included in our New Books List for January 25, 2016.
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December 16, 2015
The New Sylva: A Discourse of Forest and Orchard Trees for the Twenty-First Century
by Gabriel Hemery & Sarah Simblet
In 1664, the British horticulturist and diarist John Evelyn (1620-1706) published Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest Trees, and the Propagation of Timber in His Magestie’s Dominions. This comprehensive study of the nation’s trees was the first book ever published by the Royal Society (London). It was also the world’s earliest forestry book. Evelyn’s elegant prose still has much to tell us today, but the world has changed dramatically since his day. Now authors Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet, taking inspiration from the original work, have masterfully created a contemporary resource–The New Sylva.
Silvologist Gabriel Hemery explains what trees really mean to us culturally, environmentally and economically–followed by forty-four detailed tree portrait sections that describe the history and the features of trees such as oak, elm, beech, willow, fir, pine, juniper, plane, apple and pear.
The pages of The New Sylva are brought to life with truly breathtaking artwork from artist and co-author Sarah Simblet, who captures the delicacy, strength and beauty of the trees through the seasons in 200 exquisite drawings.
With an interplay of black and red type on creamy paper, The New Sylva recalls all the charm of traditional bookmaking. And at a moment when it is vitally important for us to rediscover how to treasure our trees, the time for this visionary, beautiful book is now.
The New Sylva is reviewed by landscape historian Phyllis Anderson in Arnoldia 73(1), 2015 [pdf], and is included in our New Books List for December 16, 2015.
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November 30, 2015
Ireland’s Generous Nature
by Peter Wyse Jackson
Ireland’s Generous Nature is the first ever comprehensive account of the historical and present-day uses of wild plant species in Ireland. It records a wealth of traditional knowledge about plant use that has largely been lost or is quickly disappearing. More than 1500 wild plants are detailed in a systematic list (including both their Irish and English vernacular names). Many historical references have been included from a wide range of Irish literature.
This lively and scholarly book shows how plants have been used in virtually every aspect of human life: food, clothes, medicine, construction, drinks, veterinary medicine, human health, beauty, and even death. The book is richly illustrated with with photographs by the author as well as botanical paintings by artist Lydia Shackleton (1828-1914). Scientific and historical facts are intertwined with myth, superstition, and tales that offer an unrivaled account of the rich heritage of Irish plants.
Ireland’s Generous Nature, a nominee for the 2015 CBHL Annual Literature Award, is included in our New Books List for November 30, 2015.
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October 28, 2015
Plants of China: A Companion to the Flora of China
Edited by De-Yuan Hong and Stephen Blackmore
The flora of China is astonishing in its diversity. With 32,500 species of vascular plants, over fifty per cent of which are endemic, it has more botanical variety than anywhere else in the world and provides unbroken connections to all its landscapes – from tropical to subtropical, temperate and boreal forests. This book tells the story of the plants of China: from the evolution of the flora through time to the survey of the bioclimatic zones, soundly based on chapters with information on climate, physical geography and soils. The history of botany and its study are also examined, with chapters dedicated to forestry, medicinal plants and ornamentals, with the changing flora, aliens, extinction and conservation also discussed. An essential read for years to come, The Plants of China shows that an understanding of the flora of China is crucial to interpreting plant evolution and fossil history elsewhere in the world.
Plants of China: A Companion to the Flora of China is included in our New Books List for October 28, 2015.
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September 16, 2015
Apples of North America: Exceptional Varieties for Gardeners, Growers, and Cooks
by Tom Burford
The apple is one of the most iconic fruits, traditionally picked on cool fall days and used in pies, crisps, and ciders. And there is a vast world of varieties that goes beyond the common grocery store offerings of Red Delicious and Granny Smith. With names like American Beauty, Carter’s Blue, and Fallawater, and flavors ranging from sweet to tart, this treasure trove of unique apples is ripe for discovery.
There is no better guide through this tasty world than Tom Burford, whose family has grown apples in the Blue Ridge Mountains since 1715. The book is brimming with beautiful portraits of heirloom and modern apples of merit, each accompanied by distinguishing characteristics and common uses. As the view broadens to the orchard, you will find information on planting, pruning, grafting, and more. The exploration of the apple culminates with an overview of the fruit’s transformative capabilities when pressed, fermented, cooked, or dried.
This wonderful reference will encourage you to seek out new flavors and to give the apple the respect it deserves. It may even inspire you to carve out the space for an orchard of your own.
Apples of North America, a nominee for the 2015 CBHL Annual Literature Award, is included in our New Books List for September 16, 2015.
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August 31, 2015
The Loudons and the Gardening Press: A Victorian Cultural Industry
by Sarah Dewis
Through close readings of individual serials and books and archival work on the publication history of the Gardener’s Magazine (1826-44) Sarah Dewis examines the significant contributions John and Jane Webb Loudon made to the gardening press and democratic discourse. Vilified during their lifetimes by some sections of the press, the Loudons were key players in the democratization of print media and the development of the printed image. Both offered women readers a cultural alternative to the predominantly literary and classical culture of the educated English elite. In addition, they were innovatory in emphasizing the value of scientific knowledge and the acquisition of taste as a means of eroding class difference.
As well as the Gardener’s Magazine, Dewis focuses on the lavish eight-volume Arboretum et Fruticetum Britannicum (1838), an encyclopaedia of trees and shrubs, and On the Laying Out, Planting, and Managing of Cemeteries (1843), arguing that John Loudon was a radical activist who reconfigured gardens in the public sphere as a landscape of enlightenment and as a means of social cohesion. Her book is important in placing the Loudons’ publications in the context of the history of the book, media history, garden history, urban social history, history of education, nineteenth-century radicalism and women’s journalism.
Sarah Dewis followed a career in design with the BBC. She completed her doctorate at Birkbeck, University of London and is an independent scholar. She works at the British Library.
The Loudons and the Gardening Press, a nominee for the 2015 CBHL Annual Literature Award, is included in our New Books List for August 31, 2015.
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July 20, 2015
Frederick Law Olmsted: Plans and Views of Public Parks
by Frederick Law Olmsted (Author), Charles E. Beveridge (Editor), Lauren Meier (Editor), Irene Mills (Editor)
Lavishly illustrated with over 470 images–129 of them in color–this book reveals Frederick Law Olmsted’s design concepts for more than seventy public park projects through a rich collection of sketches, studies, lithographs, paintings, historical photographs, and comprehensive descriptions. Bringing together Olmsted’s most significant parks, parkways, park systems, and scenic reservations, this gorgeous volume takes readers on a uniquely conceived tour of such notable landscapes as Central Park, Prospect Park, the Buffalo Park and Parkway System, Washington Park and Jackson Park in Chicago, Boston’s “Emerald Necklace,” and Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec. No such guide to Olmsted’s parks has ever been published.
Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) planned many parks and park systems across the United States, leaving an enduring legacy of designed public space that is enjoyed and defended today. His public parks, the design of which he was most proud, have had a lasting effect on urban America.
This gorgeous book will appeal to landscape professionals, park administrators, historians, architects, city planners, and students―and it is a perfect gift for Olmsted aficionados throughout North America.
Frederick Law Olmsted: Plans and Views of Public Parks is included in our New Books List for July 20, 2015.
Also join us at the Arboretum on Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 10am in the Conifer Collection for Planting the Seed for Our National Parks : The 150th Anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Yosemite Report.
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June 22, 2015
Classical Bonsai Art : a half century of bonsai study
by William N. Valavanis
Classical Bonsai Art : a half century of bonsai study is the distillation of the fifty year passion of William N. Valavanis which has been freely shared around the world. Some of the finest bonsai created in the United States can be appreciated in this book where the historical information, photographs and tips will help you with your own bonsai training. This book is organized to first introduce classical bonsai art and styles and is followed by describing the techniques for deciduous, narrow leaf evergreen, flowering and fruiting as well as shohin bonsai.
Throughout this book, over 675 photographs clearly show the work of a bonsai artist who has dedicated his life to the expansion, promotion, and refinement of bonsai. Specialized techniques are show and explained for developing and improving your own bonsai. Growing tips for producing healthy bonsai are shared, based on a half century of experience and research. Refinement techniques for deciduous, narrow leaf evergreen, flowering and fruiting bonsai are provided.
Classical Bonsai Art is included in our New Books List for June 22, 2015.
William N. Valavanis is also publisher and editor of the quarterly journal International Bonsai, held by Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library.
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May 18, 2015
The Curious Mister Catesby:
A “Truly Ingenious” Naturalist Explores New Worlds
edited by E. Charles Nelson and David J. Elliot.
In 1712, English naturalist Mark Catesby (1683–1749) crossed the Atlantic to Virginia. After a seven-year stay, he returned to England with paintings of plants and animals he had studied. They sufficiently impressed other naturalists that in 1722 several Fellows of the Royal Society sponsored his return to North America. There Catesby cataloged the flora and fauna of the Carolinas and the Bahamas by gathering seeds and specimens, compiling notes, and making watercolor sketches. Going home to England after five years, he began the twenty-year task of writing, etching, and publishing his monumental The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands.
Mark Catesby was a man of exceptional courage and determination combined with insatiable curiosity and multiple talents. Nevertheless no portrait of him is known. The international contributors to this volume review Catesby’s biography alongside the historical and scientific significance of his work. Ultimately, this lavishly illustrated volume advances knowledge of Catesby’s explorations, collections, artwork, and publications in order to reassess his importance within the pantheon of early naturalists.
The Curious Mister Catesby is included in our New Books List for May 18, 2015.
The Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library also holds Catesby’s 1754 edition of The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands: containing the figures of birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, insects, and plants: particulary the forest-trees, shrubs, and other plants, not hitherto described, or very incorrectly figured by authors.
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April 22, 2015
The Oldest Living Things in the World
by Rachel Sussman
The Oldest Living Things in the World is an epic journey through time and space. Over the past decade, artist Rachel Sussman has researched, worked with biologists, and traveled the world to photograph continuously living organisms that are 2,000 years old and older. Spanning from Antarctica to Greenland, the Mojave Desert to the Australian Outback, the result is a stunning and unique visual collection of ancient organisms unlike anything that has been created in the arts or sciences before, insightfully and accessibly narrated by Sussman along the way.
Her work is both timeless and timely, and spans disciplines, continents, and millennia. It is underscored by an innate environmentalism and driven by Sussman’s relentless curiosity. She begins at “year zero,” and looks back from there, photographing the past in the present. These ancient individuals live on every continent and range from Greenlandic lichens that grow only one centimeter a century, to unique desert shrubs in Africa and South America, a predatory fungus in Oregon, Caribbean brain coral, to an 80,000-year-old colony of aspen in Utah. Sussman journeyed to Antarctica to photograph 5,500-year-old moss; Australia for stromatolites, primeval organisms tied to the oxygenation of the planet and the beginnings of life on Earth; and to Tasmania to capture a 43,600-year-old self-propagating shrub that’s the last individual of its kind. Her portraits reveal the living history of our planet—and what we stand to lose in the future. These ancient survivors have weathered millennia in some of the world’s most extreme environments, yet climate change and human encroachment have put many of them in danger. Two of her subjects have already met with untimely deaths by human hands.
Alongside the photographs, Sussman relays fascinating–and sometimes harrowing–tales of her global adventures tracking down her subjects and shares insights from the scientists who research them. The oldest living things in the world are a record and celebration of the past, a call to action in the present, and a barometer of our future.
The Oldest Living Things in the World is included in our New Books List for April 22, 2015.
March 23, 2015
Penjing: The Chinese Art of Bonsai: A Pictorial Exploration of Its History, Aesthetics, Styles and Preservation
by Zhao Qingquan
Penjing is an exquisite Chinese traditional art. The two Chinese characters for “penjing” (“pot” and “landscape”) capture the essence of this art: sculpting microcosms of the beauty of the natural world from plants, rocks, soil and water, both as an artistic process and as horticultural cultivation. This art form originated in China and spread to Japan during antiquity, and then subsequently from Japan to the West in modern times, and throughout the world today.
Both penjing and bonsai are art forms that express the beauty of nature. In China, bonsai, as a part of penjing, is often called “tree penjing,” or “tree in a pot.” The Chinese divide penjing into three categories: tree penjing, landscape penjing, and water and land penjing.
This book showcases the Chinese art of penjing in all its aspects for the benefit of penjing aficionados and all other readers interested in Chinese culture. It covers the concept, history, categories, aesthetic features, techniques, display, appreciation, and maintenance of penjing. It is a feast for the eyes while providing a wealth of information for the academically inclined as well as the practically minded.
Penjing: The Chinese Art of Bonsai is included in our New Books List for March 23, 2015.
February 25, 2015
American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau
edited by Bill McKibben
As America and the world grapple with the consequences of global environmental change, writer and activist Bill McKibben offers this unprecedented, provocative, and timely anthology, gathering the best and most significant American environmental writing from the last two centuries.
Classics of the environmental imagination–the essays of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and John Burroughs; Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac; Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring–are set against the inspiring story of an emerging activist movement, as revealed by newly uncovered reports of pioneering campaigns for conservation, passages from landmark legal opinions and legislation, and searing protest speeches.
Here are some of America’s greatest and most impassioned writers, taking a turn toward nature and recognizing the fragility of our situation on earth and the urgency of the search for a sustainable way of life.
American Earth is included in our New Books List for Febuary 25, 2015.
January 28, 2015
Manual of Seed Saving: Harvesting, Storing, and Sowing Techniques for Vegetables, Herbs, and Fruits
by Andrea Heistinger
Growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs from seed has many benefits for both the gardener and the planet. Seed saving helps gardeners maintain important regional varieties that are well suited for specific conditions, encourages plant diversity, and helps promote plants with the best texture, flavor, and variety.
The Manual of Seed Saving is an authoritative guide from experts around the globe. Supported by research from the global conservation organizations Arche Noah and Pro Specie Rara, it features information on how to maximize seed quality and yield for more than 100 crop plants. It includes popular market plants like asparagus, carrots, corn, rhubarb, spinach, squash, and tomatoes. Plant profiles include critical information on pollination, isolation distances, cultivation, harvest, storage, and pests and diseases.
The Manual of Seed Saving is an essential reference for all food producers including vegetable growers, market gardeners, and farmers, and is included in our New Books List for January 28, 2015.
December 22, 2014
Scientists and Scholars in the Field: Studies in the History of Fieldwork and Expeditions
edited by Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen, Michael Harbsmeier, and Christopher J. Ries
For centuries the practice of undertaking fieldwork and expeditions has been adopted as an essential part of research by scientists and scholars from diverse disciplines. As a method of collecting on-site data through observation, the practice is shared by disciplines ranging from biology and botany, through geology, geography, and archaeology to anthropology, linguistics, and folklore studies.
Presenting 17 essays by 17 scholars from almost as many disciplines of knowledge, this volume contains a rich tapestry of stories from–and about–‘the field’, from early modern times until the present day. Taking us around the globe, from Europe to Asia, from the Arctic to Africa and America, this book investigates the entanglement of scientific, political, social, cultural, and personal interests and agendas that have shaped, and still shape, our effort to explore, explain, and exploit the world.
Scientists and Scholars in the Field is included in our New Books List for December 22, 2014.
November 12, 2014
Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City
by Eric Toensmeier with contributions from Jonathan Bates
When Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in a run-down part of Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was barren ground and bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work designing what would become not just another urban farm, but a “permaculture paradise” replete with perennial broccoli, paw paws, bananas, and moringa—all told, more than two hundred low-maintenance edible plants in an innovative food forest on a small city lot. The garden—intended to function like a natural ecosystem with the plants themselves providing most of the garden’s needs for fertility, pest control, and weed suppression—also features an edible water garden, a year-round unheated greenhouse, tropical crops, urban poultry, and even silkworms.
In telling the story of Paradise Lot, Toensmeier explains the principles and practices of permaculture, the choice of exotic and unusual food plants, the techniques of design and cultivation, and, of course, the adventures, mistakes, and do-overs in the process. Packed full of detailed, useful information about designing a highly productive permaculture garden, Paradise Lot is also a funny and charming story of two single guys, both plant nerds, with a wild plan: to realize the garden of their dreams and meet women to share it with. Amazingly, on both counts, they succeed.
Paradise Lot is included in our New Books List for November 12, 2014.
October 15, 2014
Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the Classic Children’s Tales
by Marta McDowell
There aren’t many books more beloved than The Tale of Peter Rabbit and even fewer authors as iconic as Beatrix Potter. More than 150 million copies of her books have sold worldwide and interest in her work and life remains high. And her characters—Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle Duck, and all the rest—exist in a charmed world filled with flowers and gardens. Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life is the first book to explore the origins of Beatrix Potter’s love of gardening and plants and show how this passion came to be reflected in her work. The book begins with a gardener’s biography, highlighting the key moments and places throughout her life that helped define her, including her home Hill Top Farm in England’s Lake District. Next, the reader follows Beatrix Potter through a year in her garden, with a season-by-season overview of what is blooming that truly brings her gardens alive. The book culminates in a traveler’s guide, with information on how and where to visit Potter’s gardens today.
Richly illustrated and filled with quotations from her books, letters, and journals, it is essential reading for all who know and cherish Beatrix Potter’s classic tales.
Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life is included in our New Books List for October 15, 2014.
September 22, 2014
by Evelyn J. Hadden
The “hellstrip”—the space between a street and a public sidewalk, also known as a tree park, boulevard, meridian, and planting strip—is finally getting the attention it deserves! Gardeners everywhere are taking advantage of the space as an environmentally friendly way to add curb appeal to their homes, expand the size of their gardens, and conserve resources.
Hellstrip Gardening by Evelyn Hadden, the author of the acclaimed Beautiful No-Mow Yards, is the first book to show you exactly how to reclaim this oft-ignored space. This comprehensive guide covers how to determine the city and Home Owner’s Association rules governing the area, how to choose plants that thrive in tough situations, how to design pathways for accessibility, and much more. Gorgeous color photographs of hellstrip gardens across the country offer inspiration and visual guidance to anyone ready to tackle this final frontier.
Hellstrip Gardening is included in our New Books List for September 22, 2014.
August 18, 2014
Poof! Plant Profits in Peril
by Allison Frederick
The notion of owning patents, trademarks, and recognizable brands that generate sizable income from licensing agreements is very attractive to many business owners and horticulturalists. Unfortunately, the attractiveness often wanes once people learn what it actually takes takes to properly set up, protect, maintain and enforce those assets. The world of branding and intellectual property, both domestic and especially international, is overwhelmingly complicated for most, and requires guidance.
Poof! Plant Profits in Peril bridges this wide chasm by sharing nine, easy-to-read and easy-to-understand short stories that teach powerful lessons that anyone seeking intellectual property protection needs to know and embrace. Not knowing these lessons can severely maim, or even outright destroy, one’s hard-earned intellectual property portfolio. By safely and painlessly learning through OPM–Other People’s Mistakes–you can avoid some of the most common pitfalls of patenting, branding, and trademarks and prevent your potential gold mine from going Poof!
Allison Frederick has successfully managed clients’ domestic and international trademark, patent, and plant breeders’ rights for over a decade. She is owner of GReenhouse Intellectual Property Systems (GRIPS, LLC), which serves intellectual property management needs for clients all over the United States and abroad.
Poof! Plant Profits in Peril is included in our New Books List for August 18, 2014.
July 30, 2014
Plant Conservation : why it matters and how it works
by Timothy Walker
Plants’ ability to turn sunlight into energy makes them the basis for all life on Earth; without them, there is no life. And they are more than just a food source—they provide us with fuel, fibers, and pharmaceuticals. Global warming and the destruction of natural habitats are a serious threat to many plants, and there are worldwide efforts to mitigate this impending disaster. Plant Conservation tackles this essential topic head on.
Timothy Walker, director of the Oxford Botanical Garden—a leader in the field of plant conservation—plays a key role in this effort. He highlights what is happening now, from cataloging the world’s flora to conservation efforts like protecting plants from over-collecting. He also shows home gardeners how they can become involved, whether by growing their own food to decrease reliance on large agriculture or by making smart plant choices by growing natives and avoiding invasives. Plant Conservation treats a critical topic in an accessible and optimistic way. It is required reading for students, professionals, and anyone with a keen interest in the importance of plants.
Plant Conservation is included in our New Books List for July 30, 2014.
June 18, 2014
The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted: The Early Boston Years, 1882-1890 (Volume 8)
by Frederick Law Olmsted, edited by Ethan Carr, Amanda Gagel, and Michael Shapiro
Frederick Law Olmsted relocated from New York to the Boston area in the early 1880s. With the help of his stepson and partner, John Charles Olmsted, his professional office grew to become the first of its kind: a modern landscape architecture practice with park, subdivision, campus, residential, and other landscape design projects throughout the country.
During the period covered in this volume, Olmsted and his partners, apprentices, and staff designed the exceptional park system of Boston and Brookline—including the Back Bay Fens, Franklin Park, and the Muddy River Improvement. Olmsted also designed parks for New York City, Rochester, Buffalo, and Detroit and created his most significant campus plans for Stanford University and the Lawrenceville School. The grounds of the US Capitol were completed with the addition of the grand marble terraces that he designed as the transition to his surrounding landscape.
Many of Olmsted’s most important private commissions occurred in these years. He began his work at Biltmore, the vast estate of George Washington Vanderbilt, and designed Rough Point at Newport, Rhode Island, and several other estates for members of the Vanderbilt family. Olmsted wrote more frequently on the subject of landscape design during these years than in any comparable period. He would never provide a definitive treatise or textbook on landscape architecture, but the articles presented in this volume contain some of his most mature and powerful statements on the practice of landscape architecture.
The Early Boston Years, 1882-1890 is included in our New Books List for June 18, 2014. The library also holds previous volumes of this series.
May 12, 2014
Wilson’s Yakushima: Memories of the Past
by Tomoko Furui
From the author’s preface:
“On the island of Yakushima one thousand thirty meters above sea level, stands an enormous stump holding the memory of when it was a great tree. It takes a three-hour hike from the Arakawa trailhead to the stump, which is located along a trail that follows an old logging railroad to the ancient Jomon Cedar. If you look up from the opening within the spacious hollow of the stump, you can see the sky cut out in the shape of a heart, which makes it a very popular sightseeing spot.
Ernest Henry Wilson, a British botanist, introduced the existence of this great stump to the world, and hence the great stump is now known as the Wilson stump. However, documentation on the details of the story behind this discovery, at least in Japanese, is scarce.
Wilson landed in Yakushima one hundred years ago in 1914. What was his life like? What brought him to this isolated island in southern Japan? What were his impressions of the island?
These questions haunted me, and I started studying English references and writing a biography of Wilson for a local magazine two years ago. I found out that the photographs he had taken in Yakushima were preserved at the Archive of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.
In all, there are fifty-seven glass plate negatives of those photographs. They show gigantic trees in the deep forest, granite rocks covered with fresh moss, crystal water rushing down steep slopes, and scenes of quaint villages. They present the island as it was one hundred years ago.
One day as I was immersed in those photos, I noticed some people in the scenery. Looking more closely with a magnifying glass at the tiny figures beside a great tree, I found that they were local young men in kimono standing straight with serious faces. What were their thoughts when they stood in front of the camera that day?
A copy of that photo in hand, I inquired about them to old villagers living near the trailhead. Eventually, I obtained some information, and one by one the names of the three youths in Wilson’s photo were revealed. I came to learn that each of them treasured memories of the precious time they shared with Wilson. The entire process abounded in thrills and delights as the mysteries were unveiled one by one.
It cannot be a mere coincidence that  marks the twentieth anniversary of Yakushima’s designation as a World Natural Heritage Site, and [February 2014] the centennial of Wilson’s visit to the island. It is as if these men have been waiting for this timing to awaken from their long slumber to convey an important message.
I would be overjoyed if this book would serve as an opportunity for readers to consider the significance of the message that Wilson left us in Yakushima.”
Wilson’s Yakushima is included in our New Books List for May 12, 2014.
April 30, 2014
Lilacs for the Garden
by Jennifer Bennett
In this book, Jennifer Bennett traces the journey of a plant that will “grow well anywhere, in any soil,” from its origins in Asia through Europe and the United Kingdom to North America some 250 years ago.
Lilacs for the Garden is a compendium of essential information for all who cherish this most resonant of garden companions. Whether you seek detail on plant requirements, mulching, grafting, fertilizing, multiplication, bloom time, fragrance, abiotic and biotic stresses, renovating neglected lilacs or a list of recommended species and where to find them, this guide is an invaluable resource. Vibrant color photography also compels the reader to appreciate the abundant diversity of lilac varieties.
Also we invite you to come visit The Arnold Arboretum on Lilac Sunday, May 11, 2014. Activities and tours run from 10am to 3pm.
Lilacs for the Garden is included in our New Books List for April 30, 2014.
March 31, 2014
The Science of Describing : Natural History in Renaissance Europe
by Brian W. Ogilvie
Out of the diverse traditions of medical humanism, classical philology, and natural philosophy, Renaissance naturalists created a new science devoted to discovering and describing plants and animals. Drawing on published natural histories, manuscript correspondence, garden plans, travelogues, watercolors, and drawings, The Science of Describing reconstructs the evolution of this discipline of description through four generations of naturalists.
In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, naturalists focused on understanding ancient and medieval descriptions of the natural world, but by the mid-sixteenth century naturalists turned toward distinguishing and cataloging new plant and animal species. To do so, they developed new techniques of observing and recording, created botanical gardens and herbaria, and exchanged correspondence and specimens within an international community. By the early seventeenth century, naturalists began the daunting task of sorting through the wealth of information they had accumulated, putting a new emphasis on taxonomy and classification.
Illustrated with woodcuts, engravings, and photographs, The Science of Describing is the first broad interpretation of Renaissance natural history in more than a generation and will appeal widely to an interdisciplinary audience.
The Science of Describing is included in our New Books List for March 31, 2014.
February 28, 2014
The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks
by Amy Stewart
Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet? In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol over the centuries.
Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs–but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history.
This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology–with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners–will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.
Amy Stewart is the award-winning author of six books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including four New York Times bestsellers: The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential. She has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other newspapers and magazines, and has appeared frequently on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, and–just once–on TLC’s Cake Boss. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Horticulture Society’s Book Award, and a California Horticultural Society Writer’s Award. She has also given talks right here at The Arnold Arboretum, most recently on July 24, 2013 to discuss The Drunken Botanist. Highlights included a sampling of locally-crafted beverages.
In addition to her website, we encourage you to visit Amy Stewart’s author page on Amazon, and The Drunken Botanist online.
She has also embarked on an extensive speaking tour of the United States this year, so don’t miss out!
The Drunken Botanist is included in our New Books List for February 28, 2014.
January 17, 2014
The City Natural: Garden and Forest Magazine and the Rise of American Environmentalism
by Shen Hou
Charles Sprague Sargent edited the weekly magazine Garden and Forest from 1888 to 1897. In that brief span, the publication brought to light many of the issues that would influence the future of American environmentalism. In The City Natural, Shen Hou presents the first “biography” of this important but largely overlooked vehicle for individuals with the common goal of preserving nature in American civilization.
As Hou’s study reveals, Garden and Forest was instrumental in redefining the fields of botany and horticulture, while also helping to shape the fledgling professions of landscape architecture and forestry. The publication actively called for reform in government policy, urban design, and future planning for the preservation and inclusion of nature in cities. It also attempted to shape public opinion on these issues through a democratic ideal that every citizen had the right (and need) to access nature. These notions would anticipate the conservation and “city beautiful” movements that followed in the early twentieth century.
Hou explains the social and environmental conditions that led to the rise of reform efforts, organizations, and publications such as Garden and Forest. She reveals the intellectual core and vision of the magazine as a proponent of the city natural movement that sought to relate nature and civilization through the arts and sciences. Garden and Forest was a staunch advocate of urban living made better through careful planning and design. As Hou shows, the publication also promoted forest management and preservation, not only as a natural resource but as an economic one. She also profiles the editors and contributors who set the magazine’s tone and follows their efforts to expand America’s environmental expertise.
Through the pages of Garden and Forest, the early period of environmentalism was especially fruitful and optimistic; many individuals joined forces for the benefit of humankind and helped lay the foundation for a coherent national movement. Shen Hou’s study gives Garden and Forest its due and adds an important new chapter to the early history of American environmentalism.
The City Natural is also available as an e-book, and the entire, 10-volume run of Garden and Forest is available online courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) .
You can also read more in Arnoldia, the Magazine of the Arnold Arboretum:
- Garden and Forest (1888-1897): Part One. 2000. Arnoldia 60:2. [pdf]
- Garden and Forest (1888-1897): Part Two. 2000. Arnoldia 60:3. [pdf]
The City Natural is included in our New Books List for January 17, 2014.
December 9, 2013
George Washington’s Eye: Landscape, Architecture, and Design at Mount Vernon
by Joseph Manca
On the banks of the Potomac River, Mount Vernon stands, with its iconic portico boasting breathtaking views and with a landscape to rival the great gardens of Europe, as a monument to George Washington’s artistic and creative efforts. More than one million people visit Mount Vernon each year—drawn to the stature and beauty of Washington’s family estate.
Art historian Joseph Manca systematically examines Mount Vernon—its stylistic, moral, and historical dimensions—offering a complete picture of this national treasure and the man behind its enduring design. Manca brings to light a Washington deeply influenced by his wide travels in colonial America, with a broader architectural knowledge than previously suspected, and with a philosophy that informed his aesthetic sensibility.
Washington believed that design choices and personal character mesh to form an ethic of virtue and fulfillment and that art is inextricably linked with moral and social concerns. Manca examines how these ideas shaped the material culture of Mount Vernon.
Based on careful study of Washington’s personal diaries and correspondence and on the lively accounts of visitors to his estate, this richly illustrated book introduces a George Washington unfamiliar to many readers—an avid art collector, amateur architect, and leading landscape designer of his time.
George Washington’s Eye is included in our New Books List for December 9, 2013.
November 4, 2013
Explorers and Scientists in China’s Borderlands, 1880-1950
edited by Denise M. Glover, Stevan Harrell, Charles F. McKhann, Margaret Byrne Swain
The scientists and explorers profiled in this engaging study of pioneering Euro-American exploration of late imperial and Republican China range from botanists to ethnographers to missionaries. Although a diverse lot, all believed in objective, progressive, and universally valid science; a close association between scientific and humanistic knowledge; a lack of conflict between science and faith; and the union of the natural world and the world of “nature people.” Explorers and Scientists in China’s Borderlands examines their cultural and personal assumptions while emphasizing their remarkable lives, and considers their contributions to a body of knowledge that has important contemporary significance.
Essays are devoted to D. C. Graham, Joseph Rock, Reginald Farrer and George Forrest, Ernest Henry Wilson, Paul Vial, Johan Gunnar Andersson and Ding Wenjiang, and Friedrich Weiss and Hedwig Weiss-Sonnenburg. Richly illustrated with historic photographs, this collection reveals the extraordinary lives and times of these remarkable people.
Explorers and Scientists in China’s Borderlands, 1880-1950 includes material from the Archive and Image Collections of the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library, and is included in our New Books List for November 4, 2013.
September 16, 2013
Picturing the Book of Nature: Image, Text, and Argument in Sixteenth-Century Human Anatomy and Medical Botany
by Sachiko Kusukawa
Because of their spectacular, naturalistic pictures of plants and the human body, Leonhart Fuchs’s De historia stirpium and Andreas Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica are landmark publications in the history of the printed book. But as Picturing the Book of Nature makes clear, they do more than bear witness to the development of book publishing during the Renaissance and to the prominence attained by the fields of medical botany and anatomy in European medicine. Sachiko Kusukawa (Trinity College) examines these texts, as well as Conrad Gessner’s unpublished Historia plantarum, and demonstrates how their illustrations were integral to the emergence of a visual argument for the scientific study of nature.
To set the stage, Kusukawa begins with a survey of the technical, financial, artistic, and political conditions that governed the production of printed books during the Renaissance. It was during the first half of the sixteenth century that learned authors began using images in their research and writing, but because the technology was so new, there was a great deal of variety of thought—and often disagreement—about exactly what images could do: how they should be used, what degree of authority should be attributed to them, which graphic elements were bearers of that authority, and the truths that images could and did encode. Kusukawa investigates the works of Fuchs, Gessner, and Vesalius in light of these debates, scrutinizing the scientists’ treatment of illustrations and tracing their motivation for including them in their works. What results is a fascinating and original study of the visual dimension of scientific knowledge in the sixteenth century.
Picturing the Book of Nature has been nominated for the 2013 The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) Annual Literature Award, Technical Interest Category, and is included in our New Books List for September 16, 2013.
August 19, 2013
Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935.
Photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnston
by Sam Watters
Published in collaboration with the Library of Congress, this volume presents for the first time 250 colored photographs of urban and suburban gardens taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston—photographer of presidents, celebrity authors, tastemakers, and estates of the County House Era.
At the opening of the twentieth century, as artist and progressive, Johnston was front and center in the movement to beautify America. Gilded Age industrialism had brought at new prosperity to life coast to coast, but at the price of once pristine forests, rivers, and blue skies, wrecked by continental railroad building and factory pollution in growing cities.
As guardians of home and community, wealthy women rallied clubs and societies to green America through design and horticulture. To show all gardeners, rich and poor, what a garden should be, they turned to Frances Benjamin Johnston.
Johnston’s colored lantern slides have not been seen since the 1940s. They picture New York town house yards, Long Island villas, California hillside terraces, and plantations of the South identified by the author over years of research and travel.
Johnston produced each slide for illustrated lectures she presented to gardening women. Today, these hand-painted miniatures on glass still resonate with her crusading message: garden the nation back to America the beautiful, one elm, one rose, one fountain, and one boxwood terrace at a time.
Gardens for a Beautiful America is the 2013 winner of the The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) Literature Award, General Interest Category, and is included in our New Books List for August 19, 2013.
July 1, 2013
Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer: A Landscape Critic in the Gilded Age
by Judith K. Major
Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer (1851–1934) was one of the premier figures in landscape writing and design at the turn of the twentieth century, a moment when the amateur pursuit of gardening and the increasingly professionalized landscape design field were beginning to diverge. This intellectual biography—the first in-depth study of the versatile critic and author—reveals Van Rensselaer’s vital role in this moment in the history of landscape architecture.
Van Rensselaer was one of the new breed of American art and architecture critics, closely examining the nature of her profession and bringing a disciplined scholarship to the craft. She considered herself a professional, leading the effort among women in the Gilded Age to claim the titles of artist, architect, critic, historian, and journalist. Thanks to the resources of her wealthy mercantile family, she had been given a sophisticated European education almost unheard of for a woman of her time. Her close relationship with Frederick Law Olmsted influenced her ideas on landscape gardening, and her interest in botany and geology shaped the ideas upon which her philosophy and art criticism were based. She also studied the works of Charles Darwin, Alexander von Humboldt, Henry David Thoreau, and many other nineteenth-century scientists and nature writers, which influenced her general belief in the relationship between science and the imagination.
Her cosmopolitan education and elevated social status gave her, much like her contemporary Edith Wharton, access to the homes and gardens of the upper classes. This allowed her to mingle with authors, artists, and affluent patrons of the arts and enabled her to write with familiarity about architecture and landscape design. Identifying over 330 previously unattributed editorials and unsigned articles authored by Van Rensselaer in the influential journal Garden and Forest—for which she was the sole female editorial voice—Judith Major (Professor of Landscape Architecture at Kansas State University) offers insight into her ideas about the importance of botanical nomenclature, the similarities between landscape gardening and idealist painting, design in nature, and many other significant topics. Major’s critical examination of Van Rensselaer’s life and writings—which also includes selections from her correspondence—details not only her influential role in the creation of landscape architecture as a discipline but also her contribution to a broader public understanding of the arts in America.
Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer is included in our New Books List for July 1, 2013.
June 3, 2013
Conifers Around the World
by Zsolt Debreczy and Istvan Racz; edited by Kathy Musial
Until now, there has never been a single publication, with a standardized format, that has captured photographs of the world’s temperate conifers in their natural habitats. Zsolt Debreczy and Istvan Racz traveled the world over four decades to document temperate woody plants for a planned Dendrological Atlas. Their 2-volume Conifers Around the World will appeal to a wide range of readers, from scholars to armchair travelers.
The conifers are presented by geographical region, offering an account of their natural distribution. Starting in Europe (including North Africa, Anatolia, and Macaronesia), the reader is invited to discover the conifers of Asia, the Americas (explored from west to east and then south), and finally Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.
These two hardcover volumes offer the reader over 3700 color photographs in 1089 pages, including:
- An in-depth, richly illustrated introduction to conifer conservation, classification, morphology, climate, and distribution
- A chapter on the seven conifer families and 56 genera discussed in the book, including 1,300 detail drawings and six pages of illustrations depicting pollen cones from each genus
- 175 habitat photographs showing the most representative and picturesque conifer habitats on six continents
- 474 distribution maps showing the natural range of each taxon
- A bark gallery with 646 color photographs; the species plates (541 species, subspecies, and varieties covered) are arranged geographically into 11 regions, each plate with several detail photos that highlight the most characteristic features of the taxon and one image showing each in its natural habitat. A brief text accompanying each plate provides essential descriptive and historical information.
The Appendix in the second volume includes images and concise descriptions of 28 additional taxa, followed by a glossary, and extensive list of references, lists of the covered conifers by scientific and common names, and a quick finder index.
Many of Racz and Debreczy’s photographs of plants at the Arnold Arboretum and elsewhere are also available to view in our Reading Room.
Conifers Around the World is the 2013 winner of the The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) Literature Award, Technical Interest Category, and is included in our New Books List for June 3, 2013.
April 29, 2013
The Paper Road: Archive and Experience in the Botanical Exploration of
West China and Tibet
by Erik Mueggler
The Paper Road interweaves the stories of two early twentieth-century botanists to explore the collaborative relationships each formed with Yunnan villagers in gathering botanical specimens from the borderlands between China, Tibet, and Burma.
Erik Mueggler introduces Scottish botanist George Forrest, who employed Naxi adventurers in his fieldwork from 1906 until his death in 1932. We also meet Joseph Francis Charles Rock, who, in 1924, undertook a dangerous expedition to Gansu and Tibet with the sons and nephews of Forrest’s workers.
Mueggler describes how the Naxi workers and their Western employers rendered the earth into specimens, notes, maps, diaries, letters, books, photographs, and ritual manuscripts. Drawing on an ancient metaphor of the earth as a book, Mueggler provides a sustained meditation on what can be copied, translated, and revised and what can be folded back into the earth.
This book contains material from The Archive Collection of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.
The Paper Road is included in our New Books List for April 29, 2013.
April 1, 2013
Knowing Nature: Art and Science in Philadelphia, 1740-1840
edited by Amy R. W. Meyers with the assistance of Lisa L. Ford
Philadelphia developed the most active scientific community in early America, fostering an influential group of naturalist-artists, including William Bartram, Charles Willson Peale, Alexander Wilson, and John James Audubon, whose work has been addressed by many monographic studies. However, as the groundbreaking essays in Knowing Nature demonstrate, the examination of nature stimulated not only forms of artistic production traditionally associated with scientific practice of the day, but also influenced processes not ordinarily linked to science. The often surprisingly intimate connections between and among these creative activities and the objects they engendered are explored, challenging the hierarchy that is generally assumed to have been at play in the study of nature, from the natural sciences through the fine and decorative arts, and, ultimately, popular and material culture.
You can read more about Knowing Nature in this book review written in Arnoldia by
Peter Del Tredici, Senior Research Scientist at the Arnold Arboretum.
Knowing Nature is included in our New Books List for April 1, 2013.
March 11, 2013
The Highlands: Critical Resources, Treasured Landscapes
edited by Richard G. Lathrop Jr.
Think of the Highlands as the “backyard” and “backstop” of the Philadelphia–New York–Hartford metroplex. A backyard that spans over three million acres across Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut, the Highlands serves as recreational open space for the metroplex’s burgeoning human population. As backstop, Highlands’ watersheds provide a ready source of high-quality drinking water for over fifteen million people.
The Highlands is the first book to examine the natural and cultural landscape of this four-state region, showing how it’s distinctive and why its conservation is vital. Each chapter is written by a leading researcher and specialist in a particular field, introducing readers to another aspect of the Highlands: its geological foundations, its aquifers and watersheds, its forest ecology, and its past iron industry.
In the 1800s, the Highlands were mined, cut over, and then largely abandoned. Given time, the forests regenerated, the land healed, and the waters cleared. Increasingly, however, the Highlands are under assault again—polluted runoff contaminating lakes and streams, invasive species choking out the local flora and fauna, exurban sprawl blighting the rural landscape, and climate change threatening the integrity of its ecosystems.
The Highlands makes a compelling case for land use planning and resource management strategies that could help ensure a sustainable future for the region, strategies that could in turn be applied to other landscapes threatened by urbanization across the country.
The Highlands is included in our New Books List for March 11, 2013.
February 4, 2013
Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast
by Michael Wojtech
Many people know how to identify trees by their leaves, but what about when those leaves have fallen or are out of reach? With detailed information and illustrations covering each phase of a tree’s lifecycle, this indispensable guidebook explains how to identify trees by their bark alone.
Chapters on the structure and ecology of tree bark, descriptions of bark appearance, an easy-to-use identification key, and supplemental information on non-bark characteristics—all enhanced by more than 450 photographs, illustrations, and maps—will show you how to distinguish the textures, shapes, and colors of bark to recognize various tree species, and also understand why these traits evolved.
Whether you’re a professional naturalist or a parent leading a family hike, Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast is your essential guide to the region’s native and naturalized tree species.
Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast is included in our New Books List for February 4, 2013.
December 10, 2012
edited by Anna Jorgensen and Richard Keenan
Urban Wildscapes is one of the first edited collections of writings about urban “wilderness” landscapes. Evolved rather than designed or planned, these derelict, abandoned, and marginal spaces are frequently overgrown with vegetation and are remnants of a wide range of human activities. They include former industrial sites, landfills, allotments, cemeteries, woods, infrastructural corridors, vacant lots, and a whole array of urban wastelands at a variety of different scales. Frequently maligned in the media, these landscapes have recently been re-evaluated and this collection assembles these fresh perspectives in one volume.
Combining theory with illustrated examples and case studies, the book demonstrates that urban wildscapes have far greater significance, meaning, and utility than is commonly thought. It also suggests that an appreciation of their particular qualities can inform a far more sustainable approach to the planning, design, and management of the wider urban landscape.
The wildscapes under investigation in this book are found in diverse locations throughout the UK, Europe, China, and the US. They vary in scale from small sites to entire cities or regions, and from discrete locations to the imaginary wildscapes of children’s literature. Many themes are addressed including the natural history of wildscapes, their significance as a location for playful activity, and the wildscape as “commons.” It also explores the implications for landscape architectural practice, ranging from planting interventions in wildscapes to the design of the urban public realm on wildscape principles.
Urban Wildscapes is included in our New Books List for December 10, 2012.
November 12, 2012
Old Southern Apples, Revised & Expanded: A Comprehensive History and Description of Varieties for Collectors, Growers, and Fruit Enthusiasts
by Creighton Lee Calhoun, Jr.
A book that became an instant classic when it first appeared in 1995, Old Southern Apples is an indispensable reference for fruit lovers, particularly for those living in the southern United States. Out of print for several years, this newly revised and expanded edition features descriptions of some 1,800 apple varieties that either originated in the South or were widely grown there before 1928.
Author Lee Calhoun is one of the foremost figures in apple conservation in America. This masterwork reflects his knowledge and more than thirty years of personal experience in growing hundreds of classic apples, including both legendary varieties (like Nickajack and Magnum Bonum) and little-known ones (like Buff and Cullasaga). Representing our common orchard heritage, many of these apples today are at risk of disappearing from our national table.
Illustrated with more than 170 color images of classic apples from the National Agricultural Library‘s collection of watercolor paintings, Old Southern Apples is a fascinating and beautiful reference guide and gift book. In addition to A-to-Z descriptions of apple varieties, both extant and extinct, Calhoun provides a brief history of apple culture in the South, and includes practical information on growing apples and their traditional uses.
Old Southern Apples, nominated for the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) 2012 Annual Literature Award, is included in our New Books List for November 13, 2012.
October 22, 2012
In the Footsteps of Augustine Henry and His Chinese Plant Collectors
by Seamus O’Brien
Augustine Henry (1857-1930) is one of the most famous of the pioneering plant hunters to have traveled to China during the latter part of the nineteenth century, and he played a key role in establishing the basis for our present knowledge of the flora of China. His account of the destruction of great tracts of China’s forests prompted later plant hunters like Ernest Henry Wilson, George Forrest, Frank Kingdon Ward, and William Purdom to venture to China in the name of plant exploration and introduction.
In the Footsteps of Augustine Henry tells the fascinating story of his life and work, and documents expeditions undertaken by a dedicated team of botanists and horticulturists in the 1990s to revisit Henry’s routes, many of which were in danger of being flooded with the installation of the Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze River.
Henry had a long-standing association with the Arnold Arboretum. He met and instructed Ernest Henry Wilson during collecting trips in China, and maintained correspondence with Wilson, Charles Sprague Sargent, and Alfred Rehder over the years.
In the Footsteps of Augustine Henry, nominated for the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL)
2012 Annual Literature Award, is included in our New Books List for October 22, 2012.
October 1, 2012
Naturally Curious: A Photographic Field Guide and Month-by-Month Journey Through the Fields, Woods, and Marshes of New England
by Mary Holland
Are you ready to explore a milkweed patch alongside a monarch butterfly? For a barred owl’s late-winter call to take on new meaning? For the life cycle of the eastern newt to suddenly seem complex, beautiful, and intricately bound to mysterious underwater landscapes and damp forest floors?
Naturally Curious promises to transform readers’ perceptions of a walk in the woods, field, or wetland. With boundless enthusiasm and a lifetime of natural history knowledge at her disposal, Holland escorts you through the New England seasons, month by month: in all kinds of weather, along roadsides and riverbanks, above burrows, and beneath treetop nesting sites.
Beginning with March and its early “awakening” of life after a long cold winter, and ending in February as survival becomes the focus of plant and animal life, Mary Holland provides hundreds of fascinating “Nature Notes.” Her bite-sized, factual nuggets detail a species’ actions in a particular month—whether courting, breeding, singing, burrowing, migrating, or catching food. In addition, you’ll find pertinent lists of the amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects and arachnids, and plants and fungi you might expect to see or hear as the weeks go by.
Each month culminates in essays that allow Holland to get up-close-and personal with New England plants and animals and some of their more intriguing typicalities and peculiarities, illustrating their ecology and impact on the region. Throughout, the many exciting and varied “worlds” of the Northeast resonate through full-color photographs. From the minute (the migration of the tiny snow flea on a warm winter day) to the massive (the wallowing practices of the bull moose in rut), this book explores the region and its inhabitants in fascinating new ways.
Naturally Curious is included in our New Books List for October 1, 2012.
September 19, 2012
What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses
by Daniel Chamovitz
How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? Can it actually feel an insect’s tiny, spindly legs? And how do cherry blossoms know when to bloom? Can they actually remember the weather?
For centuries we have collectively marveled at plant diversity and form–from Charles Darwin’s early fascination with stems to Seymour Krelborn’s distorted doting in Little Shop of Horrors. But now, in What a Plant Knows, the renowned biologist Daniel Chamovitz presents an intriguing and scrupulous look at how plants themselves experience the world–from the colors they see to the schedules they keep. Highlighting the latest research in genetics and more, he takes us into the inner lives of plants and draws parallels with the human senses to reveal that we have much more in common with sunflowers and oak trees than we may realize. Chamovitz shows how plants know up from down, how they know when a neighbor has been infested by a group of hungry beetles, and whether they appreciate the Led Zeppelin you’ve been playing for them or if they’re more partial to the melodic riffs of Bach. Covering touch, sound, smell, sight, and even memory, Chamovitz encourages us all to consider whether plants might even be aware of their surroundings.
What a Plant Knows is included in our New Books List for September 19, 2012.
August 13, 2012
Hardy Heathers from the Northern Hemisphere: Calluna – Daboecia – Erica
by E. Charles Nelson
The latest publication from the Botanical Magazine Monograph Series, Hardy Heathers from the Northern Hemisphere is a fully illustrated guide of all the heather species that grow naturally north of the equator. The book covers in detail the distribution, classification, and conservation of three genera—Calluna, Daboecia, and Erica—supplemented by a history of heathers in cultivation and a select list of the best cultivars. Extensively illustrated with stunning botanical art by Christabel King, this will be an indispensable reference for heather enthusiasts and gardeners, as well as botanists, ecologists, and conservationists with interests in heaths and heathlands.
Hardy Heathers from the Northern Hemisphere is included in our New Books List for August 13, 2012.
July 2, 2012
The Native Landscape Reader
edited by Robert E. Grese
This volume gathers together writings on nature-based landscape design and conservation by some of the country’s most significant practitioners, horticulturalists, botanists, and conservationists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Written with a strong conservation ethic, these essays often originally appeared in obscure, short-lived publications and are difficult to locate today, comprising a rich but hidden literature.
Grese collected the pieces for this volume over many years of pioneering research into the work of Jens Jensen, O. C. Simonds, and other early landscape architects who advocated for native plants and conservation. Purposely avoiding literature that is widely available, Grese also shares his experience of discovery. His introduction provides perspective on the context of these writings and the principles they espouse, and his conclusion illuminates their continued relevance with the emerging emphasis on sustainable design. This collection will appeal to general readers interested in the issues of sustainability, horticulture and gardening, and landscape design and preservation, as well as to historians, practitioners, and specialists.
The Native Landscape Reader is included in our New Books List for July 2, 2012.
June 4, 2012
The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth
by Anita Silvey
Driven by an all-consuming passion, plant hunters such as Frank Meyer, Joseph Rock, and Ernest Henry Wilson traveled the world, facing challenges at every turn: tropical illnesses, extreme terrain, and dangerous animals. Even the plants could be lethal! But these intrepid eighteenth- and nineteenth-century explorers were determined to find and collect new and unusual specimens despite the costs, and then endeavored to transport the plants—and themselves—home alive. Creating an important legacy in science, medicine, and agriculture, the plant hunters still inspire the scientific and environmental work of contemporary plant enthusiasts.
Working from primary sources—journals, letters, and material from Arnold Arboretum’s Archive Collection—Anita Silvey introduces readers of all ages to these daring adventurers and scientists. She takes readers into the heart of their expeditions to then-uncharted places such as the Amazon basin, China, and India. As she brings a colorful cast of characters to life, she shows what motivated these Indiana Jones–like heroes. In The Plant Hunters, science, history, and adventure weave together to tell a largely forgotten—yet fascinating—story.
The Plant Hunters is included in our New Books List for June 4, 2012.
May 16, 2012
Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests
by Joan Maloof
A natural history primer packed with travel ideas, this tour of 26 old-growth forests—-one in each state east of the Mississippi River and all open to the public—-aims to dispel the misconception that these forests are located only on the west coast. With intelligence and lyricism, the book highlights the adventure in getting to each forest and what visitors will find when they arrive. From giant hemlock groves in Pennsylvania to a lonely stand of pines in Wisconsin, each journey provides face-to-face experiences with forests containing majestic trees and a rich diversity of life. As an impassioned plea to preserve and support the few untouched stretches of forest that remain, the discussion touches upon the perseverance of these locations despite modern development, as well as the vital link between old-growth forests and humanity’s own survival.
Among the Ancients is included in our New Books List for May 16, 2012.
April 30, 2012
A Landscape History of New England
edited by Blake Harrison and Richard W. Judd, with an afterword by John Elder
A Landscape History of New England takes a view of New England’s landscapes that goes beyond picture postcard-ready vistas of white-steepled churches, open pastures, and tree-covered mountains. Its chapters describe, for example, the Native American presence in the Maine Woods; offer a history of agriculture told through stone walls, woodlands, and farm buildings; report on the fragile ecology of tourist-friendly Cape Cod beaches; and reveal the ethnic stereotypes informing Colonial Revivalism. Taken together, they offer a wide-ranging history of New England’s diverse landscapes, stretching across two centuries. The book shows that all New England landscapes are the products of human agency as well as nature. The authors trace the roles that work, recreation, historic preservation, conservation, and environmentalism have played in shaping the region, and they highlight the diversity of historical actors who have transformed both its meaning and its physical form.
Drawing on a wide range of disciplines—including history, geography, environmental studies, literature, art history, and historic preservation—the book provides fresh perspectives on New England’s many landscapes: forests, mountains, farms, coasts, industrial areas, villages, towns, and cities. Generously illustrated, with many archival photographs, A Landscape History of New England offers readers a solid historical foundation for understanding the great variety of places that make up New England.
A Landscape History of New England is included in our New Books List for April 30, 2012.
April 9, 2012
Writings on Public Parks, Parkways, and Park Systems
The Frederick Law Olmsted Papers Project, Supplementary Series Volume 1
by Frederick Law Olmsted, edited by Charles E. Beveridge and Carolyn F. Hoffman
This volume contains Olmsted’s most significant articles, lectures, and reports concerning public parks and recreation grounds. It contains several general discussions of the subject, including Public Parks and the Enlargement of Towns (1870) and A Consideration of the Justifying Value of a Public Park (1881). Also included are his remarkable reports on individual parks and park systems that combine general observations with specific proposals, including reports on New York’s Central Park, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, Mount Royal in Montreal, Belle Isle in Detroit, Franklin Park in Boston, the Niagara Reservation, and a park system for Buffalo.
Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library holds each volume of the series published thus far. Volumes 8 and 9 will be available in 2012 and 2015, respectively.
Writings on Public Parks, Parkways, and Park Systems is included in our list,
The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted and other works, April 9, 2012.
March 19, 2012
The Nature of New Hampshire: Natural Communities of the Granite State
by Dan Sperduto and Ben Kimball
This illuminating and instructive book explores New Hampshire’s stunning mosaic of natural communities. In photos, drawings, and accessible text, The Nature of New Hampshire takes you on a tour of landscapes as varied as alpine meadows, tidal marshes, riverbanks, forests, ponds, dunes, and cliffs. Readers will gain a new understanding and appreciation for the state’s exceptional natural heritage. Natural communities are recurring associations of plants and animals found in particular physical environments. They are dynamic habitats characterized by the presence and interactions of native species. Based on more than twenty years of ecological research, the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau developed the classification of the nearly 200 natural community types presented in this essential guide. The communities are organized into eight categories: alpine and sub-alpine, rocky ground, forests, peatlands, swamps, marshes, river channels and floodplains, and seacoast.
The Nature of New Hampshire is included in our New Books List for March 19, 2012.
March 5, 2012
An Illustrated Guide to Pruning
by Edward Gilman
This third edition is a must-have for anyone interested in the pruning and maintenance of trees. Filled with new illustrations, photographs, and examples, this completely updated guide is designed to help readers understand and implement the appropriate pruning practices that are vital to developing sustainable structure in the first 25 years of a tree’s life.
Coverage includes a variety of information about the challenges associated with pruning including disease prevention, root pruning, mature tree pruning, and restoration following storms.
An Illustrated Guide to Pruning is included in our New Books List for March 5, 2012.
February 15, 2012
Creating Small Habitats For Wildlife In Your Garden
by Josie Briggs
Everyone can enjoy the delights of a garden which attracts wildlife. With today’s concerns about pollution and habitat loss, ever more gardeners are using organic methods of cultivation, eschewing chemicals and actively encouraging wildflowers and creatures to colonize their gardens. In a well-planned garden there is room for people and wildlife.
Josie Briggs shows how to successfully create and maintain garden habitats, covering woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, and rocklands in depth.
Creating Small Habitats For Wildlife In Your Garden is included in our New Books List for February 15, 2012.
February 1, 2012
Greening the City: Urban Landscapes in the Twentieth Century
edited by Dorothee Brantz and Sonja Dümpelmann
The modern city is not only pavement and concrete. Parks, gardens, and trees and other plants are an integral part of the urban environment. Often the focal points of social movements and political interests, green spaces represent far more than simply an effort to balance the man-made with the natural. A city’s history with—and approach to—its parks and gardens reveals much about its workings and the forces acting upon it. Our green spaces offer a unique and valuable window on the history of city life.
The essays in Greening the City span over a century of urban history, moving from fin-de-siècle Sofia to green efforts in urban Seattle. The authors present a wide array of cases that speak to global concerns through the local and specific, with topics that include green space planning in Barcelona and Mexico City, the distinction between public and private nature in Los Angeles, the ecological diversity of West Berlin, and the historical and cultural significance of hybrid spaces designed for sports. The essays collected here may spur us think differently about how we study cities, as well as how we live in them.
Greening the City is included in our New Books List for February 1, 2012.
January 3, 2012
Invasive Species of Southern New England
by Alexey Zinovjev and Irina Kadis
In southern New England, as in much of the United States, the arrival of invasive species has dramatically changed many of our ecosystems. And as new species make their way into our region, the threat of further ecological and economic damage is increasing. Invasives can kill valuable trees and crowd out native vegetation that wildlife depend on.
Early detection is the most effective and least costly way to deal with invasive species. When they are caught early, invasive species can usually be controlled. If you spend time outside, whether gardening, hunting, fishing, exploring your own land or enjoying public land, you can be a key player in early detection of and rapid response to invasive species.
By educating yourself on invasive species and keeping an eye out for them when you’re working on your property, walking in a local park, or hiking in the forest, you can make a major contribution to our environment’s health.
This guidebook is co-authored by Arnold Arboretum staff member Irina Kadis. She and co-author Alexey Zinovjev are recipients of the 2011 Education Award from the New England Wild Flower Society for their work with the Friends of Myles Standish State Forest, providing seedlings of native plants, leading numerous education programs, and also for their website, Salicicola.
Invasive Species of Southern New England is included in our New Books List for January 3, 2012.
December 12, 2011
by Mary Ann Scott and Margaret Stevens
Experience a master class in botanical illustration through one woman’s development from enthusiastic amateur painter to accomplished botanical artist. While studying for a distance learning diploma from the Society of Botanical Arts, Mary Ann Scott began an extraordinary correspondence with Margaret Stevens, the society’s president, who offered advice and critique.
Including firsthand accounts of the joys and challenges Mary Ann faced as she progressed through the course, Botanical Sketchbook is sure to inspire artists of all skill levels. It is beautifully illustrated and packed with practical advice on all aspects of botanical painting in watercolor.
Botanical Sketchbook is included in our New Books List for December 12, 2011.
November 28, 2011
Oaks in the Urban Landscape: Selection, Care and Preservation
by Laurence R. Costello, Bruce W. Hagen, and Katherine S. Jones
Oaks are highly valued in urban areas for their aesthetic, environmental, economic and cultural benefits. However, significant impacts to the health and structural stability of oaks have resulted from urban encroachment. Changes in environment, incompatible cultural practices, and pest problems can all lead to the early demise of our stately oaks.
Using this book you’ll learn how to effectively manage and protect oaks in urban areas existing oaks as well as the planting of new oaks. Three key areas are addressed: selection, care, and preservation. You ll learn how cultural practices, pest management, risk management, preservation during development, and genetic diversity can all play a role in preserving urban oaks.
Arborists, urban foresters, landscape architects, planners and designers, golf course superintendents, academics, and Master Gardeners alike will find this to be an invaluable reference guide.
Working together we can help assure that oaks will be a robust and integral component of the urban landscape for years to come.
Oaks in the Urban Landscape is included on our New Books List for November 28, 2011.
November 14, 2011
All Creatures: Naturalists, Collectors, and Biodiversity, 1850-1950
by Robert E. Kohler
We humans share Earth with 1.4 million known species and millions more species that are still unrecorded. Yet we know surprisingly little about the practical work that produced the vast inventory we have to date of our fellow creatures. How were these multitudinous creatures collected, recorded, and named? When, and by whom?
Here a distinguished historian of science tells the story of the modern discovery of biodiversity. Robert Kohler argues that the work begun by Linnaeus culminated around 1900, when collecting and inventory were organized on a grand scale in natural history surveys. Supported by governments, museums, and universities, biologists launched hundreds of collecting expeditions to every corner of the world. Kohler conveys to readers the experience and feel of expeditionary travel: the customs and rhythms of collectors’ daily work, and its special pleasures and pains.
A novel twist in this story is that survey collecting was rooted not just in science but also in new customs of outdoor recreation, such as hiking, camping, and sport hunting. These popular pursuits engendered a wide scientific interest in animals and plants and inspired wealthy nature-goers to pay for expeditions. The modern discovery of biodiversity became a reality when scientists’ desire to know intersected with the culture of outdoor vacationing. General readers as well as scholars will find this book fascinating.
All Creatures: Naturalists, Collectors, and Biodiversity is included on our New Books List for November 14, 2011.
October 31, 2011
The Book of Nature: the Natural Heritage according to UNESCO
This book presents unique sites from around the world, the last remnants of paradise on earth for plants and animals. These fantastic geological formations and extraordinary landscapes are all now under the protection of the global community.
Over 200 Natural Heritage sites are detailed with large-format color photographs, ranging from the fjords of Norway and the beech forests of the Carpathians in Europe, through the magnificent national parks of North America, conservation areas in the Andes, and the rainforests of the Amazon, to the wildlife reserves of East Africa and the last refuges of Siberian tigers, Indian rhinoceroses, and orangutans in Asia. Additional features pages are dedicated to particularly endangered species.
The Book of Nature: the Natural Heritage according to UNESCO is included on our New Books List for October 31, 2011.
October 17, 2011
Ancestral Realms of the Naxi: Quentin Roosevelt’s China
edited by Christine Mathieu and Cindy Ho
The Naxi people are an ethnic minority of Yunnan Province, in southwestern China. Their culture has developed at a crossroad of the civilizations of China, Tibet, and South and Central Asia to produce a rich mythology and religious culture called Dongba. A folk religion with ancient roots in animism and shamanism, Dongba is a syncretic practice with elements of Chinese and Tibetan traditions and especially the Bon religion. Its corpus comprises about one thousand ceremonies and subceremonies, contained in extraordinary manuscripts written in the world’s only pictographic script. The Donga priests are also artisans, and artists. While their art and artifacts show a connection to Tibet, China, and India, the Dongba religion is endowed with a unique aesthetic freedom and a vigorous and distinctive art and iconography.
This book offers a comprehensive introduction to Naxi art and culture through rare artifacts, many collected from Quentin Roosevelt (the grandson of U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt) on his travels to China in 1939 at the age of nineteen, and Joseph Rock, who lived among the Naxi from 1922 to 1949. The objects include funeral scrolls, ceremonial banners, paintings, and crowns and ritual implements such as trumpets, bells, and swords, as well as pictographic manuscripts. The book provides essays on Dongba art, religion, ritual language and scripts, Naxi history and society, and biographical pieces on Quentin Roosevelt and Joseph Rock.
Ancestral Realms of the Naxi is included on our New Books List for October 17, 2011.
October 3, 2011
From Another Kingdom: The Amazing World of Fungi
edited by Lynne Boddy and Max Coleman
Fungi have a long history of association with death, decay, and dark malevolent forces. They also cause serious economic loss through diseases of plant crops in particular. They can easily be cast as the “monster.” Contrary to this negative image, fungi are at the heart of crucial “life-support” processes. For example, decomposition releases nutrients for reuse; fungi really are the ultimate recyclers.
Written for the non-specialist, and making full use of the extraordinary diversity and beauty of fungi through stunning images, this book provides a fascinating introduction to a group of organisms whose growing habits keep them largely out of sight, overlooked and forgotten. The reality is that there is much for which fungi should be thanked.
From Another Kingdom: The Amazing World of Fungi is included on our New Books List for October 3, 2011.
September 19, 2011
Boston’s Gardens and Green Spaces
by Meg Muckenhoupt
As summer draws to a close, September is one of the best months to explore Boston’s parks and gardens. Boston’s Gardens and Green Spaces provides readers with a new way to explore the contemporary and long-revered public spaces of the Boston area. Organized into thematic categories, readers have at their fingertips all the city has to offer. Complete with chapters on community gardens, venerable botanic gardens, and grand estates, as well as gardens devoted to art, healing, and children, Meg Muckenhoupt has given every resident and visitor to Greater Boston a reason to get outdoors.
Boston’s Gardens and Green Spaces is included on our New Books List for September 19, 2011.
September 5, 2011
The Best Plants to Attract and Keep Wildlife in Your Garden: Making a Backyard Home for Animals, Birds & Insects is an easy-to-follow guide to 70 of the most common backyard species of birds, animals, and insects with tips on how to identify and attract them to your garden, and how to keep them there.
The book also presents essential facts about the habitats, feeding preferences, life cyles and behavior of each type of garden wildlife, with expert advice on how you can supplement their natural diet.
The Best Plants to Attract and Keep Wildlife in your Garden is included on our New Books List for September 5, 2011.
August 22, 2011
Rescuing Wetlands Close to Home: Ten Stories of New England Landowners celebrates the role of private property owners in preserving natural landscapes and how their efforts connect people to the land and to each other. Told through spectacular pictures, interviews, and editorial insight, Rescuing Wetlands engages readers with profiles of landowners passionate about wetlands conservation and restoration.
Stories range in size, complexity, and geography-from one woman’s effort to restore a salt marsh behind her house on Rhode Island’s Narrangansett Bay to a retired executive’s purchase and preservation of land along the river in New Hampshire where he fished as a child.
The book also features portraits of the landowners and their landscapes by Courtney Bent, an award-winning photographer who also teaches photography and produces documentary films.
Rescuing Wetlands Close to Home is included on our New Books List for August 22, 2011.
August 8, 2011
Cellular Materials in Nature and Medicine
by Lorna J. Gibson, Michael F. Ashby, and Brendan A. Harley
The book highlights the fascinating structures and unique mechanics of natural and biomedical cellular materials.
It begins by reviewing the mechanical properties of nature’s building blocks—structural proteins, polysaccharides, and minerals—and explains the mechanics of cellular materials. Images convey the structural similarities of different materials, and color property charts provide mechanical data.
Images convey the structural similarities of different materials, and color property charts provide mechanical data.
Cellular Materials in Nature and Medicine is included on our New Books List for August 8, 2011.
July 25, 2011
Bark: An Intimate Look at the World’s Trees
by Cédric Pollet
Originally published in France as Écorces: voyage dans l’intimité des arbres du monde. It is the culmination of a 10-year photographic odyssey to find the world’s most beautiful and remarkable examples of tree bark. From the silver birch to the Namibian grape, each bark image is a work of art in itself.
Each example is accompanied by a photograph of the tree in its natural environment, along with information about its origins and uses.
Cédric Pollet combines his scientific background and his passion for plants to create a highly informative text, which complements the beauty of his photographs.
Bark: An Intimate Look at the World’s Trees is included on our New Books List for July 25, 2011.
July 11, 2011
Eden on the Charles
by Michael Rawson
This book explores how Bostonians channeled country lakes through miles of pipeline to provide clean water; dredged the ocean to deepen the harbor; filled tidal flats and covered the peninsula with houses, shops, and factories; and created a metropolitan system of parks and greenways, facilitating the conversion of fields into suburbs.
A 2011 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in History, this book provides a new environmental perspective on the creation of America’s first cities.
Rawson explores the impact Boston’s innovations and interactions with the environment have had on American urban life as we know it. The book includes numerous maps, historical artwork, and photographs.
Eden on the Charles is included on our New Books List for July 11, 2011.
June 27, 2011
The Tree in Photographs
by Françoise Reynaud
This book spans the history of photography from the mid-nineteenth to early-twenty-first century to address the image of the tree in its many connotations—as graphic form, symbolic icon, and role model for the beauty of nature. Published as a companion to the exhibition of In Focus: The Tree, at the J. Paul Getty Museum, The Tree in Photographs includes 81 plates, all selected from the Getty’s collection of photographs. The exhibit celebrates the tree as a symbol of life that reveals various artistic responses to the perennial subject.
The Arnold Arboretum’s own collections of tree photographs can be found by searching VIA or viewing one of the library’s online photo exhibits.
The Tree in Photographs is included on our New Books List for June 27th, 2011.
June 13, 2011
Children’s Book Collection
The library of the Arnold Arboretum is excited to share its new collection of children’s books! Chosen with help from the Visitor Education staff, the growing collection of books highlight the best in children’s books about plants and animals.
Published by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, The Tree Book for Kids and their Grown Ups by Gina Ingoglia features color illustrations of trees from all over the United States. The book also includes information on how trees grow, how they are structured, and how leaves change color. All text in the book has been reviewed by the scientists and educators at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
The Tree Book for Kids and their Grown Ups as well as other highlights from the library’s new children’s book collection are included on our New Books List for June 13, 2011.
May 30, 2011
2011 CBHL Award Winners and Nominees
Since 2000, the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries has given an award each year for significant works in botanical or horticultural literature. This year, the Arnold Arboretum’s Sheila Connor was a member of the panel that chose the two books honored at this year’s annual meeting.
The award in the technical division has gone to Keywords in American Landscape Design by Therese O’Malley. Keywords is an illustrated, historical dictionary of landscape design vocabulary used in North America from the 17th to the mid-19th centuries, and defines one hundred terms and concepts used in garden planning and landscape architecture.
The general interest category winner is An Oak Spring Herbaria by Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi. This illustrated book on herbals is the fourth volume in a series of catalogues that describes rare books, manuscripts, and other works of art conserved at the Oak Spring Garden Library, Upperville, Virginia. An Oak Spring Herbaria includes sixty-three works from the library’s collections.
These two award winners and many of the other nominees are included in our list of 2011 CBHL Award Winners and Nominees.
April 25, 2011
The Wetlands Handbook
edited by Edward Maltby and Tom Barker
Forty-two chapters by international experts from a wide range of disciplines make The Wetlands Handbook the essential tool for those seeking comprehensive understanding of the subject. A departure from more traditional treatises, this text examines freshwater wetland ecosystem science from the fundamentals to issues of management and policy.
Introductory chapters address the scope and significance of wetlands globally for communities, culture, and biodiversity. Subsequent sections deal with processes underpinning wetland functioning, how wetlands work, their uses and values for humans and nature, their sensitivity to external impacts, and how they may be restored. The text is illustrated by numerous examples, emphasizing functional and holistic approaches to wetland management, including case studies on the wise use and rehabilitation of wetlands in farmed, urban, industrial and other damaged environments, highlighting the long-term benefits of multiple use. The Wetlands Handbook will provide an invaluable reference for researchers, managers, policy-makers and students of wetland sciences.
The Wetlands Handbook is included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, April 25, 2011.
April 11, 2011
Arboretum Borealis: A Lifeline of the Planet
by Diana Beresford-Kroeger
Nothing on earth compares to the Boreal forest to maintain life on this planet. The vast primeval forest stretches across the northern regions of the world, from northern Canada and Alaska to northern Europe, Russia, China, and Japan. Boreal species can be found in cooler temperate climates everywhere, including Michigan and other cool areas of the United States, and some outliers are even found in the tropics. The circumpolar runoff from the Boreal enriches the seas with nutrients in the spring. The evergreens of the Boreal act as a passive ground coolant. And the needles of the evergreens and the trichomal hairs of the deciduous trees comb the air free of harmful minute particulate pollution.
Arboretum Borealis does for the northern forests of the world what Arboretum America did for the forests of North America. Diana Beresford-Kroeger further describes how each Boreal tree group relates to its natural environment and how these specific trees can be used to promote health or to counteract the effects of pollution and global warming.
Arboretum Borealis reveals the fascinating history of these trees in Native American culture, including their medicinal uses. Finally, Beresford-Kroeger offers practical design ideas and tips—where to plant these trees, what season they look best in, and what native plants complement them.
Arboretum Borealis is included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, April 11, 2011.
March 28, 2011
Frederick Law Olmsted: Essential Texts
by Frederick Law Olmsted
Often called the father of landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted was responsible for the design of Central Park and Prospect Park in New York City; Mount Royal Park in Montreal; the Belle Isle Park in Detroit; the Grand Necklace of Parks in Milwaukee; the Cherokee Park and entire parks system in Louisville, Kentucky; and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, to name a few of his most famous projects. His landscape works are enjoyed in 25 states and 3 Canadian provinces. Most of these parks were created during and immediately after the Civil War. This title presents the opportunity to witness the evolution of Olmsted’s design and social philosophies during a time of upheaval in American history.
Sixteen selections, dating from the 1850s to the 1890s, reveal Frederick Law Olmsted’s youthful interests as well as his mature thinking on cities, small residential sites, the history and theory of urban parks, and landscape architecture in general.
Frederick Law Olmsted: Essential Texts is included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, March 28, 2011.
March 14, 2011
by Dennis Schrader with photography by Stephen Green-Armytage
Leaves are everywhere, appearing in an astonishing variety of shapes, colors and textures. They are the unappreciated gifts of nature, worthy of far more extensive study by all.
Through words and images, Extraordinary Leaves provides an insightful tour of one of nature’s miracles. Topics include color, pattern, texture and shape. Among the specific plants covered are coleus, kale, caladium and ferns.
Extraordinary Leavesis included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, March 14, 2011.
February 28, 2011
Hidcote: The Making of a Garden (Revised Edition)
by Ethne Clarke
A new and enlarged edition of the standard reference on an internationally revered English garden and its designer. Known internationally as the epitome of the classic English country garden, it is perhaps less well known that Hidcote’s creator was an enigmatic American. Lawrence Johnston, an expatriate and one of the so-called “Henry James Americans,” a pedigreed member of old New York, left no diaries or significant correspondence. What he did leave, however, is a garden that continues to inspire horticulturists, gardening enthusiasts, and everyone who appreciates the beauty of nature.
First published in 1989, the book was the first biography of Johnston; for this revised and enlarged edition Clarke, the author of 15 books on landscape history and gardening, has collected much new, original material that illuminates the creation of the garden and presents Johnston’s life in the context of the period that set the seal on England’s preeminence in garden design and plantsmanship.
Hidcote: The Making of a Garden is included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, February 28, 2011.
February 15, 2011
The Heritage of Trees: History, Culture and Symbolism
by Fred Hageneder
A wide-ranging study of the symbolism and cultural meaning of the tree through history, from the Cosmic Tree of antiquity to modern European, American and Asian customs and beliefs. In the companion volume, The Spirit of Trees, Fred Hageneder captivated readers with a passionate and informed account of the natural life and ecology of trees. The Heritage of Trees evokes forest customs, images and meanings of the forest from the Stone Age to modern times.
The Heritage of Trees: History, Culture and Symbolismis included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, February 15, 2011.
January 28, 2011
William Bartram, The Search for Nature’s Design: Selected Art, Letters, and Unpublished Writings
edited by Thomas Hallock and Nancy E. Hoffman
An important figure in early American science and letters, William Bartram (1739-1823) has been known almost exclusively for his classic book, Travels. William Bartram, The Search for Nature’s Design presents new material in the form of art, letters, and unpublished manuscripts. These documents expand our knowledge of Bartram as an explorer, naturalist, artist, writer, and citizen of the early Republic.
William Bartram, The Search for Nature’s Design is included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, January 28, 2011.
January 10, 2011
Raffles’ Ark Redrawn: Natural History Drawings from the Collection of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles
by Henry Noltie
Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles (1781–1826) is best known today as the founder of Singapore, though he was also a passionate scholar of all aspects of the Malay world. He amassed a superb collection of drawings and manuscripts during his nearly twenty years in Southeast Asia in the service of the East India Company.
Raffles’ Ark Redrawn is a lushly illustrated catalog of the 120 natural history drawings that comprise the Raffles Family Collection, acquired by the British Library in 2007.
The story of these colorful drawings of plants, birds, and mammals is a dramatic one. Chinese and French artists from the island of Sumatra composed the bulk of them during one ten-week period in 1824, in order to replace over 2,000 similar drawings, priceless Malay manuscripts, animal specimens, and living animals (including a tiger specially tamed for the voyage) that perished in a shipboard fire. Accompanied by 130 full-color illustrations, this volume captures an array of historical flora and fauna superbly reproduced for lovers of exotic plants and gardens.
Raffles’ Ark Redrawn is included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, January 10, 2011.
Gymnosperms of the United States & Canada
by Elray S. Nixon, illustrated by Bruce Lyndon Cunningham
What is a gymnosperm?
The word gymnosperm literally means “naked seed” (gymno=naked, sperm=seed). Gymnosperms have their seeds exposed unlike flowering plants, the angiosperms, which have their seeds enclosed in an ovary (i.e., fruit). The word angiosperm derives its meaning from angio=vessel, sperm=seed.
Pine trees are the most often cited example of a gymnosperm. But what about the other gymnosperms? How do we know when we see one? Do all gymnosperms have cones? These questions and many others are answered in Gymnosperms of the United States & Canada. Abundant illustrations, easy-to-follow keys, and clear descriptive text make this guide a great resource when learning about the gymnosperms in your area.
Gymnosperms of the United States & Canada is included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, December 2010.
Up the Garden Path: Thelwell’s Guide to Gardening
by Norman Thelwell
When the family of Corliss Knapp Engle generously donated her extensive book collection to the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library, this gem appeared alongside the scholarly tomes and excellent reference works.
We chose to highlight Up the Garden Path because while the other titles reflected Corliss’ vast gardening and plant knowledge, this little book speaks to her delightful wit, which we most sincerely miss.
Up the Garden Path was included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, November 2010.
Trees and Forests – A Colour Guide
by Bryan G. Bowes
Trees are one of the dominant features of our existence on earth and play a fundamental role in the environment. This book aims to give the reader an overview and understanding of trees. Subject areas covered include ecology and conservation, tree anatomy and evolution, pathology, silviculture, propagation and surgery. The different chapters cover trees from various world habitats, from northern boreal and montane coniferous forests to tropical and subtropical rainforests. The book is fully illustrated throughout with the highest quality colour photos. It will be useful to professionals and students in plant science, plant biology, ecology, conservation and to those working in forestry and arboriculture.
Trees and Forests – A Colour Guide was included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, October 2010.
Botanic Gardens: Modern Day Arks
by Sara Oldfield
All life depends on plants but they are often taken for granted in our everyday lives. It is easy to ignore the fact that we are facing a crisis, with scientists estimating that one third of all flowering plant species are threatened with extinction. Botanic Gardens: Modern Day Arks considers the essential conservation role of botanic gardens. Chapters feature gardens from around the world, including the UK, US, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Uganda, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil and China, revealing how a global network is striving to save our botanical heritage. Comments and photographs from the botanists involved lend an important personal angle to the text and reveal the important but little-known work that goes on behind the scenes of these beautiful gardens.
Botanic Gardens: Modern Day Arks was included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, August 2010.
The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition
by William Robinson
First published in 1870, The Wild Garden envisioned an authentically naturalistic approach to gardening that is more vital today than ever before. William Robinson advocated for the use of hardy, locally adapted native and exotic plants arranged according to local growing conditions. The Wild Garden was ground-breaking and hugely influential in its day, and is stunningly relevant to 21st century gardeners and landscape stewards seeking to adopt sustainable design and management practices. In addition to the complete original text and illustrations from the fifth edition of 1895, this expanded edition includes new chapters and 125 color photographs by award-winning photographer and landscape consultant Rick Darke. His new material places wild gardening in modern context, underscoring Robinson’s importance in the evolution of ecological design and illustrating an inspiring diversity of contemporary wild gardens.
The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition was included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, August 2010.
Unbounded Practice: Women and Landscape Architecture in the Early Twentieth Century
by Thaïsa Way
With the establishment of landscape architecture as a profession in the late 19th century, women have influenced the discipline through their expertise as gardeners, designers, horticulturalists, and fine artists. Their impact is widely seen and felt today in landscapes all across the world. It is surprising, then, that the history of women in landscape design has received relatively little attention. Thaïsa Way corrects this oversight. Describing design practice in landscape architecture during the first half of the twentieth century, the book serves as a narrative of women such as Beatrix Jones Farrand–Arnold Arboretum consulting landscape gardener from 1946 to 1950–and of the practice as it became a profession.
Unbounded Practice was included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, July 2010.
The Great Trees of Dorset by Andrew Pollard and Emma Brawn, with photographs by Colin Varndell
A celebration of one of Dorset’s greatest glories. With names like Billy Wilkins, the Posy Tree and Judge Wyndham’s Oak, Dorset’s ancient trees are amongst its most precious living treasures. At least two pre-date Christianity, one is the widest oak in the country. The Martyrs’ Tree has been named one of Britain’s ‘top ten’ trees. Today Dorset’s veteran trees support a rich and often internationally rare wildlife, and are at last being recognised as living icons of national importance.
The Great Trees of Dorset was included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, June 2010.
Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide
by Peter Del Tredici
Peter Del Tredici‘s lushly illustrated field guide to wild urban plants of the northeastern United States is the first of its kind. While it covers the area bounded by Montreal, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Detroit, it is broadly applicable to temperate urban environments across North America. The book covers 222 species that flourish without human assistance or approval. Rather than vilifying such plants as weeds, Del Tredici stresses that it is important to notice, recognize, and appreciate their contribution to the quality of urban life.
Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide was included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, May 2010.
New Trees: Recent Introductions to Cultivation
by John Grimshaw and Ross Bayton
“A wealth of new trees are now thriving in the United Kingdom thanks to our changing climate. The transformation in the treescapes of the United Kingdom, Europe and North America over the very short period of the past 30 years is highlighted . . . an essential reference work for all serious gardeners and anyone interested in trees or the origins of garden plants.”
–Kew Publishing and the International Dendrology Society
New Trees was included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, April 2010.
by Yin-Chun Shen
“This book contains a detailed introduction to the ancient records of Chinese camellia culture and history, an introduction to the history of the development of western camellias, and an introduction to the traditional camellias found in Europe, America, Australia, and New Zealand. This book not only brings new knowledge to the horticultural world but also promotes the collaboration of East and West in the form of cultural exchange.”
–from the introduction by Barbara Coates Tuffli, President of the American Camellia Society.
Camellias was generously donated by the author along with his titles on azaleas and Chinese bonsai. It was included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, March 2010.
Roses: A Care Manual
by Amanda Beales
While it may be true “A rose is a rose is a rose,” roses come in all sorts of colors, perfumes, shapes, and sizes, for every taste and nearly every possible situation. In fact, choosing which variety to plant is almost as intimidating as growing these fragrant but temperamental beauties. The easily accessible information here takes the guesswork out of selecting, planting, tending, and propagating roses. Nearly 200 varieties are classified by their predominant characteristics–modern climbers, hybrid musks–and then analyzed with respect to their appearance, habits, and suitability to your own garden. Techniques needed to keep a rose in good shape and suggestions for specific garden conditions will aid the inveterate rose grower yet ensure that even the newcomer can grow roses with confidence, while the hundreds of sumptuous color photographs guarantee this book a prized place in the library of rose lovers everywhere.
Roses: A Care Manual was included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, February 2010.
Wilson’s China: A Century On
by Mark Flanagan and Tony Kirkham
Features photography from The Ernest Henry Wilson Archive at Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library.
Ernest Henry Wilson was the foremost plant collector of his generation, responsible for introducing over 1,000 species to our gardens in the West. The authors of this book reveal Wilson’s adventures through excerpts from his own writings as well as describing their own experiences tracing his journeys in the wilds of China today.
Through Harvard’s Open Collections Program, many manuscript items from The Ernest Henry Wilson Papers have been digitized. These instructions explain how to see all of Wilson’s photographs that have been digitized and are available on VIA, Harvard’s catalog of images.
Wilson’s China: A Century On was included in our list of New Books Available in the Library, January 2010.