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Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires — sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control — with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom? - This text refers to the Paperback edition.
I read this book last summer and found it fascinating and engaging. Pollan has a knack for writing about plants and the people who love them. His book offers another layer of understanding about why some people are drawn to the perfecting and propagating of certain plant species. I enjoyed the section on the historical character "Johnny Appleseed" as it provided an entirely new and different spin on the familiar myth-version many of us learned in childhood. Not a "how to" book, but fun reading for anybody who appreciates gardening.
A unique perspective on four plants - apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato. From John Chapman, aka, Johnny Appleseed to Tulipmania and thoughts why everyone except Eskimos have mind altering plants or drinks, Pollan explores some fascinating ideas and adds a different perspective to why we grow plants. Not for gardening tips but for a different sort of thinking about plants. Wonderful and fun!