From Library Journal
The transcendental nature of gardening is the focus of this pair of books. Both discuss humans' innate need to cultivate and nurture the earth. Ethnobotanist and herbalist Kavasch (American Indian Healing Arts) delves into Native American mystical symbolism to describe how to put together a garden that heals body and soul. He clearly explains the basic layout of a "medicine wheel" garden a circular arrangement built along axes running north/south, east/west, and even into the air and into the ground and how to adapt it to every zone. Also covered are traditional plants and why certain colored plants belong in the different quadrants of the circle. He also offers an illustrated encyclopedia of 50 healing herbs, as well as recipes that incorporate those herbs. Norfolk, a retired English osteopath, uses a much less structured approach in his lovely meditation on the importance of gardening in today's hustle-and-bustle society. During his 40 years of practice, he observed that his happiest and healthiest patients were green thumbs. Here, he introduces his concept of the "soul garden." He draws from literature and scientific studies, among other sources, to back up his claim that, like Voltaire's Candide, people would be happier and less stressed out if they would just sit back and watch their gardens grow. Kavasch's book is recommended for public libraries whose patrons appreciate Native American mysticism and gardening; Norfolk's is recommended for all public libraries. Pam Matthews, M.L.S., Olmsted Falls, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In the wake of September 11, there seems to be a natural tendency to seek solace in comforting, "cocooning" activities. Fortuitously, the idea of "garden as sanctuary" is one whose time has come full circle, literally and figuratively. For Kavasch, this means harkening back to ancient times when Native American cultures revered "medicine wheel gardens," stone circles interplanted with healing herbs and other indigenous plants, creating sacred spaces whose mystical and mythical powers soothed the soul and calmed the spirit. An herbalist and ethnobotanist, Kavasch presents a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to how primitive traditions can have modern applications. Carol HaggasCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved