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Seasonal Writing

August 10, 2010

Filed under: Book Review,Gardening,Uncategorized — admin @ 3:54 pm

When I finished reading Michael Pollan’s “Second Nature” I wished there were more seasons.

Pollan, who is now famous for telling Americans what they should eat, began his book-writing career with a work on gardening, and like many others he used Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall to keep things organized.

I just wish there were some extra seasons so he would have written more. I’m probably biased since I enjoy digging in the dirt and my career in journalism matches Pollan’s.

If you have read any of Pollan’s other works you will recognize the meticulous research which backs up his simple but eloquent style. The book traces his own life in gardening from his grandfather who loved to garden, to his father who had no use for even mowing his front lawn, to Pollan’s own love affair with a farm he owned in Central Connecticut over twenty years ago.

Along the way we learn where the American passion for green lawns began, where weeds come from and why there are so many rose varieties.

My favorite chapter is Pollan’s analysis of the seed and flower catalogs that every gardener gets. Pollan has more than a little fun explaining catalog hierarchy.

Pollan also dispenses a fair number of gardening tips although they’re often hidden among the philosophical underpinnings of compost.

About my only criticism, from a California perspective, is that some of the gardening advice doesn’t really apply to the conditions we have here, but if you have a green thumb or just an interest in why things grow, “:Second Nature’ is worth a read.

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