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Paradise Under Glass: The Education of an Indoor Gardener Paperback – August 9, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
After a bout with cancer, the loss of a beloved sister to a brain tumor, and the onset of an empty nest, science and health writer Kassinger, inspired by Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Palm House, decided that a conservatory (or more prosaically, sunroom) would be the perfect antidote to the losses and changes of middle age. The book vividly chronicles her initiation into the world of indoor gardening as well as the fascinating and unlikely histories of greenhouses and the flamboyant gardens they have housed, from 15th-century windowless arancieras built to winter orange trees to the Industrial Age, glass-and-iron 18-acre Crystal Palace. The characters Kassinger encounters, literarily and in the flesh, are as quirky as their plants. Michel Adanson, the first botanist to go on a collecting venture in equatorial Africa, declared the country 'delicious' in all ways, despite facing lions, tigers, wild boars, huge 'serpents,' masses of mosquitoes, and red ants that blistered him all over. Breadfruit trees collected by David Nelson, a quiet and unassuming botanist, may have been responsible for Captain Bligh's Bounty mutiny. Tom Winn and Ken Frieling, whose Glasshouse Works is housed in a remote Ohio former hotel, now old-age home, reject growing marketable plants like poinsettias in favor of having fun. Kassinger's lush writing and exotic stories will delight the armchair gardener and historian. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but they should grow plants. At least that’s what brown-thumbed gardener Kassinger thought when she decided to convert the deck area of her suburban Maryland home into a garden conservatory worthy of Victorian England. After having successfully jerry-rigged a hothouse setup with plastic sheeting and, yes, duct tape, Kassinger experienced the heady joy of not killing the meager plants she had installed there. “I can do this,” she thought, and, in the difficult wake of her sister’s premature death from brain cancer and her own bout of breast cancer, she proceeded to do it in a big way. Seamlessly blending her extensive research on the history of conservatories and plant exploration with her own personal anecdotes of raising everything from butterflies to Boston ferns, Kassinger’s personal odyssey into the crystalline world of gardening under glass offers an uplifting and instructional message. --Carol Haggas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I feel like I learned a few things and found fuel to help me follow through on my own garden.