The Untamed Garden

The Untamed Garden

A Revealing Look at Our Love Affair With Plants

Book - 2011
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Which suggestive plant caused a queen to faint when it was presented to her at court? What was the original French name for the Great Maiden's Blush rose that had the Victorians blushing? Why are figs and pomegranates thought to be the real forbidden fruit that led Adam and Eve into temptation?

In this delightful gift book, master gardener Sonia Day brings together delicious tidbits from myth, history, botany, and plant lore to reveal how plants have seduced our hearts, minds, and bodies throughout the ages. Organized in thematic chapters that loosely follow the arc of a love affair, the book journeys from "Innocence" (the notion of a virgin being "deflowered" originated with the belief that flowers were pure and sexless), through such stages as "Flirtation," "Seduction," "Lust," "Deception," and "Rapture." Scattered throughout are love potions, examples from the Victorian "language of flowers," and charming anecdotes, all told in Day's delightfully irreverent and conversational voice. Gorgeously designed and featuring full-colour photos and illustrations throughout, this is a sumptuous tribute to our enduring fascination with plants that is sure to seduce readers everywhere.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2011
ISBN: 9780771025051
Branch Call Number: 712.09 DAY NVD
Characteristics: 229 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 19 cm


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Nov 04, 2012

The Untamed Garden: A Revealing Look at Our Love Affair with Plants --- by Sonia Day.There are some who will read this book and will become convinced that Sonia is preoccupied with sex. One can imagine her vamping about her garden in a silky red dress and fluffy feather boa. But then I’ve never met the author and anything I might have to conclude about her is purely conjecture. Those of us who tend our gardens and grow the plants we do probably do so because we are fond of a certain colour; because they do well in shade; or because they bloom early in the spring while there is still snow on the ground. Little did we suspect that Easter Lilies or daylilies; peonies and tulips; oriwental poppies and butterfly peas were so overwhelmingly libidinous that I may never be able to look these flowers straight in the eye again. But then, maybe on the other hand, a rose is just a rose. Day sees every Venus fly trap as so many parts of female anatomy. And my, she really goes to town when she savoursa fresh figs, pomegranates and, who would have thought it, the sweet tomato. We could go on. O, and then there is the ultimate sybarite of the flower world, the orchid. Orchid names such as Sabot of Venus and Lady of the Night tell the tale that these flowers are no blushing Violets.And just imagine what is conjured up by the voluptuous Amaryllis. Sonia, you are full of ardour. Perhaps you should step back, however, for a moment and smell the roses and perhaps have a cool shower. There is more to flowers than sex. Now, having said all that,there is more to this book than sex. There is a more serious side to this little book. For example, how did some of our flowers come by their names, both common and botanical not to mention how did some come by their tawdry reputations? It seems the ancient Romans as well as the ancient Greeks and their mythologies continue to figure mightily in our gardens. Perhaps the book is meant to titillaet:, there is a kind of humour in that. But still, after all is said and done, for all its plant sex you may still well enjoy reading this floral confection.

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