Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Weeds by Richard Mabey

This is a brilliant, fascinating examination of the relationships between humans and plants, specifically those plants that we consider to be weeds.

Richard Mabey is one of the UK's greatest nature writers and in this book examines all aspects of the cultural history of weeds:

* how plants move from one place to another and why often a mild mannered plant becomes a menace when transported to a different location with a different ecology.

* how agricultural weeds have co-evolved with crop species

* how many weeds are actually useful as food sources or for other purposes

* how weeds have taken advantage of our mistreatment of the environment - how in fact we have made weeds the problem that they have become.

He also explores the role of weeds in art and literature. 

Although written primarily from a UK perspective, the book also considers weeds around the world. It is beautifully written, thought provoking, full of fascinating facts and a must-read for anyone interested in our relationships with plants.

Weeds by Richard Mabey, published by Profile Books 

I have another haiku on Daily Haiku, which you can read here

and I've only just discovered that my story 'Behind Closed Windows' was published last May on Every Day Fiction

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks which take you to other webpages where you can find out more.


bunnits said...

Sounds like I should get a copy.

Nice haiku, too.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

You make this sound very interesting and now I want to read it!

Ms Sparrow said...

The US has a lot of problems with plants imported intentionally or accidentally from other countries.
When my Norwegian ancestors immigrated to Minnesota back in the 1800's, they came as homesteaders to farm free land. They seeds they brought with them contained weeds that are thriving everywhere. Dandelion eradication alone is a huge business. Of course, some folks eat the leaves in salads or make dandelion wine.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Ms Sparrow - dandelions are a problem here too, and they're native here!

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

How fascinating, another book to look for for me at Easter in England. Weeds are beautifully wild and "heady"..a word with which S. Heaney defined mint.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I like his writing Juliet - he talks such a lot of sense.

eileeninmd said...

Your review makes it sounds like a very interesting book. I should look for a copy here.

Bill said...

An intensely atmospheric ku over at DH, Juliet

laughing children
who will tell the dandelion
it's a weed

Rabbits' Guy said...

We have a relatively devout muslim family within ours. The oldest girl is much like you describe - but it is the faith, not the mother, that constrains her. Right now she and the family are struggling about her maybe going off to a college - she is currently finishing Junior College and living at home.

While not being able to say so to her or her immediate family, I do so hope she will have an open window and a chance at romance and the big world.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Bill - thanks for sharing your ku!

Rabbits Guy - thanks for reading my story and sharing your thoughts about your neighbours

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I think I'd like to try to read this. I have often wondered what the difference is between a weed and a wildflower (I post pictures of both/either sometimes.)... Was just looking at the comments as I type this. There are no dandelions in this part of Florida...before we moved here, I thought they were everywhere.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Sallie - a weed is really just a plant in the wrong place...