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A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Rauer Buchschnitt, 25. Februar 2014

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“A sumptuously written history of greenhouse horticulture.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Ms. Kassinger’s writing is chatty and intimate, but she has clearly done her library research.” (International Herald Tribune on Paradise Under Glass)

“The book [PARADISE UNDER GLASS] vividly chronicles her [Kassinger’s] initiation into the world of indoor gardening as well as the fascinating and unlikely histories of greenhouses and the flamboyant gardens they have housed…Kassinger’s lush writing and exotic stories will delight the armchair gardener and historian.” (Publishers Weekly)

“[M]y favorite gardening book of the year...But be warned... you might feel a need to start acquiring houseplants, or even a greenhouse.” (Boston Globe)

“Ms. Kassinger’s writing is chatty and intimate, but she has clearly done her library research.” (New York Times Book Review on PARADISE UNDER GLASS)

“[A] pleasant ramble through the world of plants . . . Kassinger weaves a huge amount of information into what still feels like a personal memoir, and by the end of this effortless afternoon stroll with her, readers will be startled to realize how much they have learned.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) on A GARDEN OF MARVELS)

“A self-taught, infectiously enthusiastic home gardener… intrepid journalist and indefatigable plants woman, Kassinger ferrets out the most entertaining and educational aspects of plant science with a researcher’s fervor and a collector’s zeal… Kassinger has a knack for uncovering horticulture’s quirky side.” (Booklist on A GARDEN OF MARVELS)

“A delightful book, fun to read and share…” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on A GARDEN OF MARVELS)

“Kassinger has a knack for explaining without oversimplifying, so that xylem andphloem finally make sense, and the discovery of photosynthesis becomes an exciting event.” (Columbus Dispatch on A GARDEN OF MARVELS)

“Garden is a lively alternative to traditional botany books…” (Discover magazine on A GARDEN OF MARVELS)

“…if you told me I was going to find a book on the history of plant physiology fascinating, I would have snorted. But there you have it: truth is stranger than fiction.” (Cold Climate Gardening on A GARDEN OF MARVELS)

“That [Kassinger] makes botany so approachable is a feat; that she makes it downright enthralling is almost as miraculous as an adorable photosynthesizing sea slug.” (Shelf Awareness on A GARDEN OF MARVELS)

“This is a delightful compendium of botanical discoveries.” (Meaghan Walsh Gerard of A Cineaste's Collection on A GARDEN OF MARVELS)

“…gardeners, if you’re looking for a good read, I recommend the book. Yay science!” (My Garden Group on A GARDEN OF MARVELS)

“This is an entertaining, sophisticated primer on botany itself…” (Cleveland Plain Dealer on A GARDEN OF MARVELS)

A Garden of Marvels is a delight.” (Bookslut on A GARDEN OF MARVELS)


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."

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Amazon.com: 21 Rezensionen
20 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Botany! 17. März 2014
Von J. Hartley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Ruth Kassinger has done a great job of exploring the mysterious internal workings of plants in a way that is both engaging and entertaining.

I received it as a gift from my local library and was skeptical at first as to how much I'd get out of it. I'm an educator for a public garden, so I rather arrogantly assumed most of what I would find here would be old news to me. I can, after all, correctly use words like xylem and phloem in a sentence; if this book is the laymen's first peek into botany, I fully expected to be bored.

I was clearly due for a serious humbling, which is probably obvious. Ms. Kassinger was just the woman for the job. She hooked me immediately with an exploration of botanical myths and an overview of why botany -- which mankind has at least understood to be fundamental to all life on some level for centuries -- went largely misunderstood and under-explored for a long time. She weaves wonderful personal accounts in and out of her exploration of plant tissues and their workings, and touches on issues that may not have yet fully hit the public consciousness -- like the use of perennial crops instead of annuals -- but should and hopefully will very soon.

I highly recommend this book to everyone -- even if it means I'm no longer the only one in the room who knows the difference between collenchyma and sclerenchyma and I lose my Look-How-Plant-Smart-I-Am edge in cocktail party smalltalk. This was a fun read, full of great stories and information worth thinking about.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Robert Steven Thomas - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Life is a continuing mystery in every facet of detail. The author has punctuated this fact through a compelling account of her personal journey of research from being a black-thumb novice plant lover, to one of the world's foremost self-trained botanists. Her journey is both fascinating and, at the same time, highly informative. From the novice home-gardener to MBS botanists, this book has something of interest for everyone concerned.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great 14. Juni 2014
Von kadonne - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Like a college botany course but a lot better. The author offers personal anecdotes that make the life of plants very interesting.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Like a Romance Novel 28. April 2014
Von Margaret Thompson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Ruth Kassinger has written a delightful book that is both accessible to the casual plant-lover and fascinating for the expert botanist. She opens with a brief overview of how the sciences tackled more out-of-reach topics like constellations and atomic stucture before ever approaching the study of plants, yes, its true. This history of botany is covered well in Anna Pavord's The Naming of Names: The Search for Order in the World of Plants, which I read a couple years ago and loved, so I was briefly worried that this book would simply re-tell that story. Thankfully, "A Garden of Marvels" covers enough scientific discoveries that were new to me, many about plant sex.

Kassinger is a wonderful storyteller like Pavord and Ruth Stout, particularly in teh way that she shares her personal taste for gardening indoors. While I treasure Stout's advice for mulch gardening in Gardening Without Work, Kassinger has had an amazing experience with exotic plants, which I hope to enjoy some day!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Garden stuff I did not know 1. Juli 2014
Von kathleen krasity - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I am a retired biology teacher and an avid gardener. I already know a lot about plants. However, Ms. Kassinger has expanded my knowledge in many areas,
I enjoyed learning about the evolution of the first flowering plants
Much closer to home, I found interesting the techniques used in Ontario greenhouses that grow the vegetables I eat all winter.
Of greater importance for us and our children, are plants being developed for biofuels that may well change our future.
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