BookLog 2011.05.29 — Botany For Gardeners: Third Edition — Introduction to California Plant Life, Revised Edition
Been a bit since I’ve posted anything here, luckily I can’t imagine I’d have “regulars” so I’m not in any way, shape, or form, worried about it. I’d imagine the only readers of this blog are those brought in by the occasional Google result. As my career/educational goals have moved from the technical to the botanical, so to has my preference in casual reading moved to more botanical horizons. Botany For Gardeners: Third Edition By Brian Capon As a long time home gardener pursuing higher education in Botany (or as its often re-titled, Plant Sciences) I found this while poking around for introductory works that would extend on that which I’d learned in my first biology course, and provide some framework for more centrally botanical classwork. After having read just the first few chapters I did find some information which assisted in this path, but the text is clearly written for the gardener who craves to dig a little deeper into the botanical processes they observe every day. The book sets itself the task of explaining why plants grow towards light, how plant roots work, some basics on plant reproduction (an incredibly broad topic in itself), and explanations for the sometimes counter-intuitive effects of pruning. Though this text only concerns itself with the basic science, that’s exactly what the home gardener would like to know. This is definitely a good entry into a basic understanding of the botanical life sciences, though not quite delving as deep as I personally would like. For any Gardener who finds himself unable to answer basic “why does it do that?” questions it will definitely provide you with the tools to answer them. Introduction to California Plant Life, Revised Edition By Robert Ornduff Revision ByPhyllis Faber & Todd Keeler Wolf While looking for a good text on the vegetation of my Native state of California I found this, and the original edition, to be widely reguarded as the seminal works on the subject. I found the book to be a great overview of the wide diversity found in the state, and more an overview of the regional variation in species, and less a gee wiz text on specific plants. In no way would this text wow, excite, or even interest someone with no interest in native plants. This is a book by a California native plant lover for students of California’s unique flora, and not really for anyone else. Ok, so the text could find use among those who’s interests coincide with knowing the flora of the state, such as bird watchers and hikers, but its not really organized as a field guide, rather its organized such that it can easily be used as a reference after a single read through. I have already found myself referencing information about some of the floral communities I don’t know quite as well as I should. Overall its an easy read, and a great work on the topic that has weathered well, and only required the most basic revisions to stay current.