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Links in the island chain

Ecology for Gardeners Steven B. Carroll and Steven D. Salt Timber Press, $29.95

August 12, 2004|Lili Singer

How well do you know your garden and how your horticultural practices affect it and the world at large? Prepare to be awed by the wonders of gravity, wind, water and minerals, by flora and fauna great and small, by how each works and by their intricate relationships.

Crack this book with an open mind. Read it to a child. You'll both grow. And you'll enjoy the pictures (like the scrambled egg slime mold and the magnified hairs on a geranium stem) and wish there were more.

Gardens, say the authors (an ecologist and a biochemist-microbiologist), are islands of selected plants, complex habitats that function within ever-larger systems for which we garden-makers are also responsible. Issues of drought, fire, pesticide use and urban sprawl are confronted here. No preaching -- just plenty of fun science, with practical advice on building and tending gardens that enhance rather than harm the environments.

Lili Singer

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