A Good Garden Reference Book
The Gardener's Atlas, a portable, paperback atlas, is a fascinating reference for almost anything that grows in your garden.
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The Gardener's Atlas, by John Grimshaw (Firefly Books)
This portable, paperback atlas is a fascinating reference for almost anything that grows in your garden. It provides tales of intrigue and adventure behind plants you might merely think of as pretty — and gives great conversation fodder the next time you host a garden party.
The scentless carnation, for instance, originally had a strong clove-like smell in the wild — the original inhabitants of Spain would dunk it in wine to add flavor.
The scientific name for daisy is derived from the Latin for war, because it was used to staunch bleeding from soldiers' wounds.
And violets were a favorite of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte — he sent them to his wife each year on their anniversary and wore pressed violets from her grave in a locket until his own death.
Each one of the Atlas' 217 pages is rife with such stories. Even though it's a reference book, avid gardeners might find themselves reading it cover to cover.