Irene Virag's Garden Party

I'm Irene Virag -- a writer, a gardener, a cancer survivor. I think ideas are like plants. They need nurturing to grow. And gardeners share both. So welcome to my blog. It’s all about what’s happening in my garden and beyond.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ken Druse Does It Again

I know what book I'm giving to all my friends for Christmas and Chanukah this year.
"Planthropology" by Ken Druse. 

And not just my gardener friends. You don't have to love getting your hands dirty to learn something from this book. There's something fascinating on virtually every page. I spoke to Ken recently for my column and I was struck by how after 17 books, he's still learning and still nurturing his passion for writing about and photographing plants.  
And lucky for us, he's still sharing what he sees with gardeners who get it. So here are two tidbits I learned from "Planthropology," along with Ken's lovely photos, used here with the permission of his publisher, Clarkson Potter. His pictures truly are worth a thousand words -- each. 

How Many Seeds on the Head of a Sunflower?
The seed heads of a sunflower aren't just a candy store for birds and a visual treat for gardeners. They're a lesson in the mathematical wonder known as the Fabonacci numbers: the amount of seeds in the two opposing arches may be 55 and 89 or 89 and 144 -- but the ratio always works out to 1 to 1.618. 

Calling All sieboldii 
Magnolia sieboldii Colossus is one the plants named for Phillipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold, a 19th century plant explorer who found true love and hundreds of new botanical species in Japan. You can read all about him in "Planthropology." 

There's Hosta sieboldii and Clematis sieboldii. And who knows how many others. It would be fun to make a list. Any sieboldii you grow or know about counts. So let's do it.

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