Tonics and Barks

As he does most Sundays, this morning OH trundled off to buy the papers.  He returned some time later with crisps, beer and this book (oh and the papers).  That is what I call fine shopping.

I am sure I am not alone in owning a significant number of gardening books, some might say too significant.   In recent years I have slowed down my purchases, veering towards the more specialised, the ancient and the pretty.  This RHS tome, written by Deni Brown and first published in 1995, is one book that had up to this point alluded me.  An initial, excited and therefore non-focused and random, flick through the pages shows it to be a comprehensive and wide-ranging encyclopedia.  From abelmoschus to ziziphus, history, geography, design and uses, much is covered.  Of course names may have changed in the last twenty-three years, reclassification is the nature of botany, but this doesn’t bother me, these things are easily checked.

The quotation on the title page struck me as something as relevant today as it was in mid-19th century America.  Something we should remember, something we should keep close.

17 thoughts on “Tonics and Barks

  1. Do you remember the ‘Much Better Than That’ man on the Fast Show? His wife said ‘Did you get the eggs?’ and he replied ‘Even better than that, I got a Victorian toilet roll holder, some brass bicycle clips and a small bottle of squid ink!’ And each week was more surreal. I hope the OH said ‘Much better that!’ as he produced your wonderful book. It’s amazing what you can find on a Sunday in your neck of the woods. The RHS books are wonderfully comprehensive.

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  2. Although I made a promise to myself NOT to buy any more books, it seems that gardening books still leap into my arms. I don’t have this one, but I was recently flicking through Jekka McVicar’s herb book to see what designs she suggests.

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  3. Unlike older cities of the East, a few of the Western cities have parks that are just reasonably maintained wildlands. It is partly because the cities developed faster than the parks were. It is also because so many of our cities are surrounded by areas that can not be completely developed. Franklin Canyon Park above Beverly Hills (in the Los Angeles Region) happens to be my favorite park there precisely because it showcases the native flora that lived in the Santa Monica Mountains before the region was so thickly developed.

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      1. Well, the fires are all either extinguished or controlled now. The smoke is gone, although the rivers are supposedly now polluted. (It is a ‘natural’ pollution that the ecosystem will recover from. I mean, the worst smoke is relatively trivial in regard to the creeks that flow through San Jose.) California is actually a pretty safe place. Disasters such as fires affect so many people primarily because there are so many of us here now, and we all tend to get in each other’s way. When my neighborhood burned in the mid 1950s, a few homes and farms were burned and a few people were killed (only because some of the logging roads did not go all the way through). Such a fire here now would be more devastating than what happened in Paradise, and burn hundreds of very expensive homes.


  4. Dr. A is beginning to be the resident reader of all things, and so he has done this morning. He needs to improve his delivery, but I get the general idea. Thank you so much for the very nice card from Cornwall. It is lovely to be remembered from so far away. We are getting ready for the annual family gathering around the over-loading Thanksgiving table. I am thankful for so many thing, including friends like you.

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  5. How lovely, that is a great present. My gardening book acquisitions are now so substantial that I have to carry a list of what I have. Otherwise I buy a lovely tome at a National Trust second hand book shop, get home and find another copy staring out at me from the bookshelves. It has happened.

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