Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

Front Cover
Open Road + Grove/Atlantic, Dec 1, 2007 - Gardening - 320 pages
“One of the distinguished gardening books of our time,” from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma (USA Today).
 
Chosen by the American Horticultural Society as one of the 75 greatest books ever written about gardening
 
After Michael Pollan bought an old Connecticut dairy farm, he planted a garden and attempted to follow Thoreau’s example: do not impose your will upon the wilderness, the woodchucks, or the weeds. That ethic did not, of course, work. But neither did pesticides or firebombing the woodchuck burrow. So Michael Pollan began to think about the troubled borders between nature and contemporary life.
 
The result is a funny, profound, and beautifully written book in the finest tradition of American nature writing. It inspires thoughts on the war of the roses; sex and class conflict in the garden; virtuous composting; the American lawn; seed catalogs, and the politics of planting a tree. A blend of meditation, autobiography, and social history, Second Nature, from the renowned author of The Botany of Desire, In Defense of Food, and other bestsellers, is “as delicious a meditation on one man’s relationship with the Earth as any you are likely to come upon” (The New York Times Book Review).
 
“Usually when Americans have wanted to explore their relationship to nature they’ve gone to the wilderness, or the woods. Michael Pollan went to the garden instead . . . and he’s returned with a quirky and pleasing book.” —Annie Dillard
 
“A joy to read.” —Los Angeles Times
 

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User Review  - 2wonderY - www.librarything.com

This must be one of Pollan's early books, at just the start of his fascination with food writing. His personal history of gardening wasn't particularly engrossing, but his later chapters make up for ... Read full review

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User Review  - idiotgirl - www.librarything.com

My favorite Pollan book has always been Botany of Desire. And this book is now a close second. I can see how this garden book led to Botany of Desire. The part that human as gardener plays in the ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
TWO GARDENS
7
NATURE ABHORS A GARDEN
37
WHY MOW?
54
COMPOST AND ITS MORAL IMPERATIVES
66
INTO THE ROSE GARDEN
79
WEEDS ARE US
98
GREEN THUMB
117
THE HARVEST
137
PLANTING A TREE
150
THE IDEA OF A GARDEN
176
MADE WILD BY POMPOUS CATALOGS
205
THE GARDEN TOUR
229
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About the author (2007)

Michael Pollan is the author of The Botany of Desire and the prize-winning A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder. In 1991, he received the QPB New Visions prize for Second Nature, which was also chosen by the American Horticultural Society as one of the seventy-five greatest books ever written about gardening. He is currently the editor of Modern Library’s gardening series and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.

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