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Blue Heaven: Encounters with the Blue Poppy

Articles: Blue Heaven: Encounters with the Blue Poppy

I have always been suspicious of lay monographs, especially those with titles that evoke something more akin to cheerleading than botanical erudition. Yet, I did not get the blu-blu-blu blues from Blue Heaven. Bill Terry obviously lives the subject of blue poppies (Meconopsis) thoroughly and delivers a readable and enlightening work on this genus, which is often bypassed by gardeners irrationally fearful of its resistance to cultivation. Here are found both experiential data on germinating Meconopsis seed and finding the correct space to bring it to blossom, along with insight into the taxonomy of the genus. I was particularly fond of its slant toward a historical and literary appreciation of a genus proffering such a magical and surreal floral pigmentation.

Terry has a command of language that sweeps the reader along. I read the entire book in less than two hours in front of a slow-burning fire, but I was warm enough from the text alone. Not since Nicola Shulman’s A Rage For Rock Gardening, the short biography of Reginald Farrar (who also appears in this text), have I felt so charmed and satiated.

The only hesitation I might raise concerns the photographs, the majority of wh...

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Articles: Calochortophilia: A Californian’s Love Affair with a Genus by Katherine Renz

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