Plant exploration influences our lives in many unexpected way. While there is still much to be discovered in the dark recesses of the forests, oceans, and mountains, what we’ve already found benefits us in unique and surprising ways. From shaved white truffles sprinkled over pizza to a beautiful botanical illustration gallery at Kew Gardens to advances in medical research, the benefits of plant exploration pervade our everyday life. In the spring session of the Literature of the Land book club, we’ll focus on the many facets of plant exploration – in history, fiction, and the modern era. In an effort to explore such a diverse topic in a fun and informative manner, I picked three very different books on the subject.
The first book we’ll read, Abundant Beauty: The Adventurous Travels of Marianne North – Botanical Artist, will cover Marianne North’s nineteenth century, globe-spanning travels and her quest to paint indigenous plants in their natural habitats. We’ll follow this with a work of botanically themed fiction. In The Signature of All Things, botanical explorers travel the globe trying to understand the mysteries of plant evolution during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. We’ll end the series with The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America. The book follows a group of men who live in the wilderness and move with the seasons, harvesting fungi and selling it for cash. If you’re interested in the fascinating ways plant exploration influences our lives, please consider joining our discussions.
Join us at the Gardens for this season's unique book club. We look forward to your company at any or all of our sessions. Register online or call the Gardens Registrar at 720-865-3580.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014: 7-8:30 p.m. ~ Abundant Beauty: The Adventurous Travels of Marianne North – Botanical Artist
Wednesday, April 16, 2014: 7-8:30 p.m. ~ The Signature of All Things
Wednesday, May 14, 2014: 7-8:30 p.m. ~ The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America
GUEST BLOGGER: Rory O'Connor Walston
Rory is a garden librarian with a passion for reading, which she imagines is wholly unsurprising. She has been one of the librarians at Denver Botanic Gardens for over five years. Before joining the Gardens, she worked for Jefferson County Public Libraries. In her spare time, she is a book reviewer and all around literature enthusiast.