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review 2018-04-21 10:06
The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search the World's Rarest Species
The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species - Carlos Magdalena

This book is mostly what it says on the tin, anecdotes about Magdalena's travels seeking out the world's most endangered plants, and his subsequent conservation efforts to stave off their extinction.


It starts off a little rocky, as my first impression of Magdalena was more evangelical than messianic, and the mini-biography at the start sometimes ventured into very self-satisfied prose.  The biographical information was helpful, though probably could have been edited a bit.


Once chapter 2 begins though, all of that is quickly forgotten.  As someone who is deeply interested in conservation of both plants and animals (except roaches), I was enthralled as I read about efforts to save species plants on Mauritius and Rodrigues Islands, in Bolivia, and Australia (water lilies!).  As the daughter of an orchid grower who very often had to MacGyver solutions for tricky breeding problems, I genuinely enjoyed the parts where he had to think on his feet, or think outside the box to overcome perceived roadblocks to cultivation.


There's no denying his enthusiasm and his passion for his work; neither is there any denying the need for it, in a world where 2000 unknown plants can be identified in a given year, only to have many of them go extinct before they can even be named.  I learned a great deal reading this, and hesitated to put it down, always wanting to know where he was going next and what he'd find when he got there.

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review 2018-02-27 02:02
The Virago Book Of Women Gardeners
The Virago Book Of Women Gardeners - Deborah Kellaway

This started out as a 5 star read for me, but as with any anthology, some of the writing bogged me down, made my eyes glaze, and skimming was taking place.  Especially those excepts that ran more like garden inventories; I loved reading about new plants, but there are only so many latin botanical names one can read in a row before it all starts looking like Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...


Most of it was great though, if you're a gardener.  It's a collection of excerpts, essays, diary entries, even a little poetry here and there, written by women known for their mad gardening skills and wickedly green thumbs throughout history.  It's all non-fiction, and the book bursts with suggestions for plants; mostly oriented to the UK, with a little USA thrown in.  I did a LOT of googling while I read, and most of the plants that caught my eye are available in some form or another here in Australia, the country with draconian import laws, so despite the bias in the book, there should be something for every gardener here.


Also, the cover is gorgeous.

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review 2018-02-26 20:08
Container Gardening Complete by Jessica Walliser
Container Gardening Complete - Jessica Walliser

I love plants of all types. Fruits and veggies, flowers, and greenery are all my favorites. I was raised around plants and have them all over my house and yard now. I do know a lot about plants but I also feel you are never to old or to good to learn more, and I did learn more.


This book is packed full of information and tips on Container Gardening. It will teach you how to choose the right size and type of pot, how to get your drainage correct, and so much more. I loved everything about this book. 


I really loved the sections on mixed plants in the same pot. I love when puts are filled with different types of plants. but I usually end up putting in at least one pot that over grows or root system takes up to much room, or needs more water then the other plants in the pot and they do not do well. With this book I can now solve that problem. 


With Spring almost here I am excited to get started on my house, porch, and yard plants. 


I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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text 2018-02-10 09:36
Gettin' Figgy With It...



Our neighbour two doors down is a young divorced dad, more intent on reclaiming bachelordom than on what's growing in his garden (he rents the house), so when MT saw his massive fig tree loaded with huge fruit, he asked said neighbour if he'd mind our picking a few.  Not only did he not care, he told us to come over any time and pick all we want.  So we did.  Today was our first go, and we learned a lot for next time (wear hats, bring a ladder), but we ended up with 1.5kg of figs (just over 3 pounds), so I made jam!


Next haul, I'll take pictures of the fruit - they're huge!  And I'll be making fig paste.  ;)

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text 2018-02-01 05:58

I promise not to swamp the feed, but...we just went out to check on the Bettys and NOW we have proper action shots!



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