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Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

I'll admit it. I am a sucker for Michael Pollan. I started by reading The Botany of Desire, and quickly read through The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. This past weekend I just finished reading Second Nature: A Gardener's Education.

It was a very entertaining and diverse read, and quite beautifully written. He focused a lot on flowers, which isn't a huge interest of mine, but he did include lots of information that pertained to both. One thing I particularly liked was how broadly he used the word garden. In one chapter, called The Idea of a Garden, he talked about a pine forest near his home that suffered from a devastating tornado. Local citizens wanted to just leave it be, and let it regrow however it happened to. Pollan went and talked to local professors and ecologists about primary succession (the way that ecosystems regrow after a disturbance), and they stated that the forest would most likely be overtaken by invasive species. He left us with this quote, "Often, in this day and age, a landscape that bears no mark of human intervention will require some amount of human intervention."


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