I have a book to recommend to nature lovers and bibliophiles. (I’m finding they often are one in the same, like me!) It’s called Seeds and literally crossed my desk yesterday, when one friend handed a copy to give to another friend, and that friend forgot to take it home. (Yes, I will tell her I have the book, but I did happen to plow through most of it last night.) It’s wonderful! The writing is fantastic, both funny and informative, and the premise appeals to my love of trees and great literature. The author basically travels to the homes and gardens of famous writers–especially those who featured notable trees in their work–on a cockamamie (his word) mission to collect seeds from the famous trees, and plant them for posterity. So cool!
He starts at the home of L. Frank Baum to check out the Wizard of Oz Memorial Oak Grove in upstate New York where the writer played as a boy–supposedly the inspiration for those creepy trees that threw apples at Dorothy in the movie. Almost as scary as those monkeys. The author visits them all–Robert Frost, Rachel Carson, Henry Miller, Pearl S. Buck, William Faulkner, Willa Cather, Helen Keller, on and on. Whether it’s all just an excuse to travel the country to visit the homes of these legends or check out some cool trees, who cares!
Horan even tries to find the tree in Monroeville, Alabama, where Boo Radley hid the carved soap figures for Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. (No spoilers from me as to whether he found it.) I confess to skipping around in the book (I do that a lot lately), but everywhere I landed I loved what a I read. It was basically a literary road trip for treehuggers.
I have the feeling that hardcore horticulturists will long for more about the actual trees, but I was sated on all fronts. Can you imagine this guy’s yard in 20 years?
Click the book image below if you want to order it from Amazon.
I have another wonderful book to tell you about, which I just heard about today. Stay tuned!