Monday, December 15, 2008

Planthropology by Ken Druse - A Book Review

Planthropology: The Myths, Mysteries, and Miracles of My Garden Favorites by KenDruse

©2008 Clarkson Potter/Publishers
List price $50 / Amazon price $31.50

This is the book I wish I'd written. I'm sure it was all kinds of fun for Ken Druse, as it would be for most of us gardeners. Think of it! If you were asked to list your garden favorites, then given an assignment to find out all you could about them, how fun would that be?

The first thing you'll notice about this book is the stunning photography. From the poppy on the front cover of the dust jacket all the way through to the hosta foliage at the end of the book, it's just one fabulous photo after another. Even if you never read the book, it's worth the price (List price: $50 ... Amazon price: $31.50 and free shipping) for the photography alone.

But once you've taken a look-through of the photos, the real fun begins. Druse shares the most fascinating tidbits of trivia and information about his favorite plants (many of which are probably yours, too), all while imparting helpful tips about growing them. His obvious love and knowledge about all things gardening is apparent here and we are the benefactors.

"Living with plants is life affirming; there is something new to see, and to learn, every single day—about nature and about life. In the end, the great discovery is that gardening is a collaboration, an alliance if you will, between people and plants."

As you see, Ken is really just one of us, which is why this book is so charming. His own "love of the game" drove him to dig deeper into the history and unique characteristics of plants and he pours it out onto the pages. It's a factual book, yet there is nothing dry about it and you'll find it hard to put down.

Need a last-minute Christmas gift for the gardener on your list? I can't imagine who wouldn't be thrilled to find this treasure under the tree. All done with your Christmas shopping? Buy it anyway and pick one up for yourself while you're at it. This is truly a book that every gardener needs to have in their library. I love it and you will, too.

Ken Druse
is the author of many award-winning books, including his groundbreaking title, The Natural Garden, which initiated a design movement that continues to grow in popularity today. His most recent book, Ken Druse: The Passion for Gardening, was touted as "one of the five gardening books to own" by the Wall Street Journal. His podcast, Ken Druse Real Dirt, is available at

The product or merchandise being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for testing and reviewing the product. All opinions expressed here are mine, with no suggestions whatsoever by the manufacturer or distributor. If I like it, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that, too.


Connie said...

Wow, I'll be checking to see if our library system has this one, and if not I may have to bite the bullet and buy it. ;-)
BTW, is that Drama Queen poppy on the cover?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Dear Santa, I realllly need this book. Thank you, Lisa

IBOY said...

Hmmm... need to take a trip to the book store before the snow hits this afternoon.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Oooh... I want that book, too!

Kylee Baumle said...

Lisa ~ If Santa doesn't bring you this book, buy it for yourself! It's great!

Done ~ I hope you get it! It will be a great book to curl up with while the snow swirls outside. Let me know what you think of it.

Kate ~ Yes, you do! :-)

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Wow, that cover is great! Sounds like a great book to have (eyeing the bookcases filled to overflowing and then the garden books on the big to read pile) but perhaps not just yet. ;-)

I had no heard of this author before but judging by what you wrote about him he's worth checking out. Thanks Kylee!

BTW Do you still have snow or is it all gone now?

Unknown said...

Yeah, I came away from reading that thinking that Ken Druse was just a regular gardener like us, too. That makes me hopefully that someday I, too, can have a garden as beautiful as his! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great review, and it is so clear that you "got it!"
Yes, the poppy is 'Drama Queen'!
I hope a lot of gardeners will have my latest book to pour over, htis week. We have about a foot of snow and it has been below ten degrees for a few days, now.
Thanks, again,

Kylee Baumle said...

Connie ~ Well, there you have it from the author himself! That is indeed 'Drama Queen.' Isn't it lovely? I'm still looking for 'Patty's Plum' and now I need to find 'Drama Queen' as well. I don't have the best of luck with poppies, but I won't stop trying, because I love them.

You'd better buy the book, Connie, because even if you do find it at the library, you are NOT going to want to give it back! LOL

Don ~ So sorry for the typo on your name! And to think I used to be an editor! LOL. I guess we all make mistakes... :-)

Yolanda Elizabet ~ I'd heard of Ken Druse, but had not read any of his books. I'm glad to say that's not true anymore. Now you need to get busy and do the same!

Snow? No...we have had horrible ice - twice - a thunderstorm today, and tomorrow it's to be over 60 degrees F. Every day is a surprise!

Kim ~ That is the case with all gardeners...that hope we all have that keeps us at it. The hope that we will someday have the garden of our dreams, all the while having the best time doing it.

Ken ~ Thank you for stopping by to let me know you'd read my review. That means a lot.

I was so excited to get the opportunity to review your book. I truly meant that I wish I'd written it; I liked it that much. Now to read your other works!

I hope you've had a blessed holiday season and that you'll soon be out in your gardens with the sun warming your back. (I hope we all will be!)

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