A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants

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9780062048998: A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants

In the tradition of The Botany of Desire and Wicked Plants, a witty and engaging history of the first botanists interwoven with stories of today’s extraordinary plants found in the garden and the lab.

In Paradise Under Glass, Ruth Kassinger recounted with grace and humor her journey from brown thumb to green, sharing lessons she learned from building a home conservatory in the wake of a devastating personal crisis.

In A Garden of Marvels, she extends the story. Frustrated by plants that fail to thrive, she sets out to understand the basics of botany in order to become a better gardener. She retraces the progress of the first botanists who banished myths and misunderstandings and discovered that flowers have sex, leaves eat air, roots choose their food, and hormones make morning glories climb fence posts. She also visits modern gardens, farms, and labs to discover the science behind extraordinary plants like one-ton pumpkins, a truly black petunia, a biofuel grass that grows twelve feet tall, and the world's only photosynthesizing animal. Transferring her insights to her own garden, she nurtures a "cocktail" tree that bears five kinds of fruit, cures a Buddha's Hand plant with beneficial fungi, and gets a tree to text her when it's thirsty.

Intertwining personal anecdote, accessible science, and untold history, the ever-engaging author takes us on an eye-opening journey into her garden—and yours.

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A witty and engaging history of the first botanists, interwoven with stories of today's extraordinary plants found in the garden and the lab

In Paradise Under Glass, Ruth Kassinger recounts with grace and humor her journey from brown thumb to green, sharing the lessons that she learned from building a home conservatory in the wake of a devastating personal crisis.

In A Garden of Marvels, she extends the story. "This book was born of a murder, a murder I committed," she begins. The victim was a kumquat tree. Though she diligently did her best—watering, fertilizing, repotting, and pruning—the plant turned brown and brittle. Why did the kumquat die when other plants in the garden that received the same attention thrived? she wondered. It was an experience that offered invaluable insight.

While she knew the basic rules of caring for indoor plants, Kassinger realized that she understood very little about plant physiology—how roots, stems, leaves, and flowers actually function. Determined not to repeat her failure, she set out to learn the fundamentals of botany in order to become a better gardener. A Garden of Marvels is the story of her wise and enchanting odyssey to discover the secret life of plants.

Kassinger retraces the progress of the first botanists—including a melancholy Italian anatomist, a renegade French surgeon, a stuttering English minister, an obsessive German schoolteacher, and Charles Darwin—who banished myths and misunderstandings and discovered that flowers have sex, leaves eat air, roots choose their food, and hormones make morning glories climb fence posts. She goes out into the world as well, visiting modern gardens, farms, and labs to discover the science behind extraordinary plants like one-ton pumpkins, truly black petunias, ferns that eat the arsenic in contaminated soil, biofuel grass that grows twelve feet tall, and the world's only photosynthesizing animal. Kassinger also introduces us to modern scientific research that offers hope for combatting climate change and alleviating world hunger.

She then transfers her insights to her own garden, where she nurtures a "cocktail" tree that bears five kinds of fruit, cures an ailing Buddha's Hand plant with beneficial fungi, and gets a tree to text her when it's thirsty. Intertwining personal anecdotes, accessible science, and little-known history, A Garden of Marvels takes us on an eye-opening journey into Kassinger's garden—and yours—offering us a new appreciation of this exquisite gift of nature: "Our garden is more than a marvel. It's as close to a miracle as there is on Earth."

About the Author:

Ruth Kassinger is the author of Paradise Under Glass, as well as a number of award-winning science and history books for young adults. She has written for the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Health magazine, Science Weekly, and other publications.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the tradition of The Botany of Desire and Wicked Plants, a witty and engaging history of the first botanists interwoven with stories of today s extraordinary plants found in the garden and the lab. In Paradise Under Glass, Ruth Kassinger recounted with grace and humor her journey from brown thumb to green, sharing lessons she learned from building a home conservatory in the wake of a devastating personal crisis. In A Garden of Marvels, she extends the story. Frustrated by plants that fail to thrive, she sets out to understand the basics of botany in order to become a better gardener. She retraces the progress of the first botanists who banished myths and misunderstandings and discovered that flowers have sex, leaves eat air, roots choose their food, and hormones make morning glories climb fence posts. She also visits modern gardens, farms, and labs to discover the science behind extraordinary plants like one-ton pumpkins, a truly black petunia, a biofuel grass that grows twelve feet tall, and the world s only photosynthesizing animal.Transferring her insights to her own garden, she nurtures a cocktail tree that bears five kinds of fruit, cures a Buddha s Hand plant with beneficial fungi, and gets a tree to text her when it s thirsty. Intertwining personal anecdote, accessible science, and untold history, the ever-engaging author takes us on an eye-opening journey into her garden-and yours. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780062048998

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the tradition of The Botany of Desire and Wicked Plants, a witty and engaging history of the first botanists interwoven with stories of today s extraordinary plants found in the garden and the lab.In Paradise Under Glass, Ruth Kassinger recounted with grace and humor her journey from brown thumb to green, sharing lessons she learned from building a home conservatory in the wake of a devastating personal crisis.In A Garden of Marvels, she extends the story. Frustrated by plants that fail to thrive, she sets out to understand the basics of botany in order to become a better gardener. She retraces the progress of the first botanists who banished myths and misunderstandings and discovered that flowers have sex, leaves eat air, roots choose their food, and hormones make morning glories climb fence posts. She also visits modern gardens, farms, and labs to discover the science behind extraordinary plants like one-ton pumpkins, a truly black petunia, a biofuel grass that grows twelve feet tall, and the world s only photosynthesizing animal. Transferring her insights to her own garden, she nurtures a cocktail tree that bears five kinds of fruit, cures a Buddha s Hand plant with beneficial fungi, and gets a tree to text her when it s thirsty.Intertwining personal anecdote, accessible science, and untold history, the ever-engaging author takes us on an eye-opening journey into her garden-and yours. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780062048998

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In the tradition of The Botany of Desire and Wicked Plants, a witty and engaging history of the first botanists interwoven with stories of today s extraordinary plants found in the garden and the lab.In Paradise Under Glass, Ruth Kassinger recounted with grace and humor her journey from brown thumb to green, sharing lessons she learned from building a home conservatory in the wake of a devastating personal crisis.In A Garden of Marvels, she extends the story. Frustrated by plants that fail to thrive, she sets out to understand the basics of botany in order to become a better gardener. She retraces the progress of the first botanists who banished myths and misunderstandings and discovered that flowers have sex, leaves eat air, roots choose their food, and hormones make morning glories climb fence posts. She also visits modern gardens, farms, and labs to discover the science behind extraordinary plants like one-ton pumpkins, a truly black petunia, a biofuel grass that grows twelve feet tall, and the world s only photosynthesizing animal. Transferring her insights to her own garden, she nurtures a cocktail tree that bears five kinds of fruit, cures a Buddha s Hand plant with beneficial fungi, and gets a tree to text her when it s thirsty.Intertwining personal anecdote, accessible science, and untold history, the ever-engaging author takes us on an eye-opening journey into her garden-and yours. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780062048998

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered That Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants, Ruth Kassinger, In the tradition of The Botany of Desire and Wicked Plants, a witty and engaging history of the first botanists interwoven with stories of today's extraordinary plants found in the garden and the lab. In Paradise Under Glass, Ruth Kassinger recounted with grace and humor her journey from brown thumb to green, sharing lessons she learned from building a home conservatory in the wake of a devastating personal crisis. In A Garden of Marvels, she extends the story. Frustrated by plants that fail to thrive, she sets out to understand the basics of botany in order to become a better gardener. She retraces the progress of the first botanists who banished myths and misunderstandings and discovered that flowers have sex, leaves eat air, roots choose their food, and hormones make morning glories climb fence posts. She also visits modern gardens, farms, and labs to discover the science behind extraordinary plants like one-ton pumpkins, a truly black petunia, a biofuel grass that grows twelve feet tall, and the world's only photosynthesizing animal. Transferring her insights to her own garden, she nurtures a "cocktail" tree that bears five kinds of fruit, cures a Buddha's Hand plant with beneficial fungi, and gets a tree to text her when it's thirsty. Intertwining personal anecdote, accessible science, and untold history, the ever-engaging author takes us on an eye-opening journey into her garden-and yours. Bookseller Inventory # B9780062048998

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