464 pages, 32 illus
From the author of the native gardening classic Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards comes My Weeds, a foray into the secret and fascinating lives of the world's most hated plants. By asking of the common weed, "What kind of plant is this? How does it behave? What is it up to in my garden? Can I thwart its plans?" Stein shows how a thorough understanding of the enemy is the gardener's best defense. Incredibly adaptive, weeds are also good teachers, and Stein shows us what they tell us about our gardens and the lives of all plants. She entertains with tales of famous -- and notorious -- weeds of the world, compares weeding tools and methods, and discusses the uses of weeds. Along the way, Stein also explains the intricate workings of photosynthesis, plant anatomy and reproduction, evolution, and the laws of succession by which nature tries to reclaim the land a gardener has disturbed. First published in 1988, My Weeds was among the first generation of books to advocate the use of native plants, and Stein's discussions of backyard ecology, pesticides, and the threat of exotic species were as groundbreaking then as they are relevant today. A biography of the plant world's most maligned members and a fascinating primer of the most useful aspects of plant biology and ecology, My Weeds is essential reading even for the gardener who never leaves the armchair!
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