November 24, 2010
The Arboretum Library has books about all kinds of gardens – even those that are about “the illicit cultivation of some else's land”. That's what On Guerrilla Gardening by Richard Reynolds is about. Reynold is a London-based guerrilla gardener who shares the history, philosophy and logistics of this special type of garden. They are gardens that have been cultivated without permission to create beauty or food on unloved land.
There are two main sections in the book – the first part called “The Movement” discusses a bit about the history of guerrilla warfare in general and how it relates to this gardening movement and its history. Reynolds also covers what and why people fight when they guerrilla garden. The second section is “The Manual”, which talks about more practical aspects of guerrilla gardening including plants, techniques and issues that you might run into.
On Guerrilla Gardening is an interesting book that's likely to make you look around your neighborhood a little differently and open your eyes to neglected patches of land and what you can do to improve them. If you want to learn more, the author's website is http://guerrillagardening.org/ and the LA community board is here.
Find this and similar books in the Arboretum Library here.
November 20, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Here at the Arboretum Library we're thankful for many things, but we're certainly thankful for books and plants. And new books about plants are even better! Check out the the new books (both children’s and others), magazine articles and websites we’ve cataloged recently here. If you are interested in any of the items on the list, just visit the Arboretum Library and talk to the librarian, Susan, and she can help get them for you. Here are just a few of the new books we've gotten in the last couple of months:
Another thing we are grateful for is that a construction project in the Arboretum Library is just finishing up, so the back of the room will soon get a little more organized. Many thanks for the Good Family Foundation for their grant to help with the reconstruction of the Rare Book Room. The Good Family Foundation is paying for the shelving and a start with the cataloging of the rare materials so the bibliographic entries for the rare books will appear in the online catalog. We are very grateful for their generosity. Their generosity has been instrumental in helping the Arboretum Library serve the citizens of Los Angeles County and beyond. In order to see a little of the variety of materials in the Rare Book Room search in the online catalog in the field LOCATION, with the word “Rare.” The items that come up have been added to the Rare Book Room since the online catalog started. If you can’t figure out how to do the search, just talk to Susan, the librarian.
Here is the latest and greatest from the Reading the Western Landscape Book Group and the books we have just finished are here. Please let your friends know about the group so we can really get this group going. The next meeting is on December 1, at 7:30 pm when we will be discussing Linda Hasselstrom's Between Grass and Sky: Where I Live and Work.
And for the kids out there, here are the Bookworms story time themes and dates for December:
Plant CirclesSunday, December 5 at 2pm Wednesday, December 15 at 10am Sunday, December 19 at 2pm
The story time is recommended for children ages 3-8. Come explore the Arboretum Library and our great story trees! Enjoy plant & nature stories and a nature project or adventure. It is an indoor/outdoor program that will go rain or shine, so please dress appropriately. This is a free program for members and free with admission for non-members.The Arboretum Library hours are:
Tuesday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Library will be open all the days of the Thanksgiving holiday. Come visit!
Remember we are circulating to Arboretum staff and members. The circulation period for books is 3 weeks with 2 renewals if no one else wants the item. You can renew by e-mail, phone or in person. The circulation period for current magazines is 3 days with 2 renewals if no one else wants the item.
Our Botanical Information Consultant (for plant advice) is currently available Tuesday-Saturday, Frank.McDonough@Arboretum.org, or 626-821-3239.
For up to the minute Library News, check us out on the Arboretum’s Facebook page.
November 17, 2010
One large and important part of gardening is plant propagation. There are many different types of plants and propagation techniques and the Arboretum library is a great place to learn more about them. The Arboretum Library has books about the art and science of plant propagation targeted to all levels of gardeners and interests levels – from children's books about seeds to college textbooks about the science and chemistry of commercial propagation.
A book that focuses on practical information for the gardener new to propagation is the American Horticultural Society's Plant Propagation. It has many color photographs and mainly focuses on propagation techniques applicable for the home gardener and the plants they are likely to have.
For a more academic and scientific take on plant propagation, Hartmann and Kester's Plant Propagation: Principles and Practices, is a textbook with a CD-ROM that covers many of the same topics, but explains the science of propagation in more depth and includes more information about commercial plant propagation. This book is a new acquisition at the library, so come check it out!
To search the library catalog for books about plant propagation click here.
The Arboretum Library was fortunate to receive a wonderful donation of cookbooks by Peg Rahn, a local food critic and writer. Ms. Rahn's generosity allowed us to add a significant collection of plant related cookbooks to the Arboretum Library collection. Click here to explore the cookbooks in the library catalog.
We are selling the rest of her wonderful donation to make a little money to buy new books for the Library and they are now 50% off the prices written inside the front cover. There are hundreds of books available including Barbecue and Summer Foods Cookbook, The Living Heart Cookbook, 20-Minute Menus, The Book of Breakfasts & Brunches, 365 Ways to Cook Chinese, American Heart Association Around the World Cookbook: Healthy Recipes with International Flavor, and Fifty Ways to Cook Most Everything. The 1/2 price sale books are housed in the back of the Library, so ask the librarian to show you where they are located. We accept checks, cash, Master Card, Visa, and Discover Card. Please make payment to the librarian, Susan Eubank.
November 15, 2010
The Arboretum’s collection of historic photographs includes two boxes of glass lantern slides which include several early images of the Rose Parade as well as scenes in Pasadena and other parts of the San Gabriel Valley.
Lantern slides were invented in 1849, only ten years after the invention of photography. They are positive photographic images on glass usually four by five inches in size. They were projected onto a screen using an early version of a slide projector. They made it possible to project large images that were viewable by sizeable audiences. Like the Meeker lantern slides they were often hand colored and when shown they were sometimes accompanied by live music, sound effects and dramatic readings. They were essentially a precursor to motion pictures. Information in detail can be found on the Magic Lantern Society’s web site.
Unfortunately we know very little about Meeker however some of the slides are inscribed “L.E. Meeker” and in some cases “M.D.” is added. A photograph of a pencil portrait includes a note indicating that Meeker was a physician.
Census records suggest that they may have belonged to a Dr. Lewis Edgar Meeker M.D. (1851-1918) of Brooklyn New York. As a young man, Meeker lived in Arcata, California where his son Lewis Edgar Meeker Jr. was born in 1881. Dr. Meeker was apparently a keen photographer and a President of the Eastern District Savings Bank. A note on page 210 of the journal Photographic Times and American Photographer in the 1887 issue under news from the Brooklyn Institute (now the Brooklyn Museum of Art) describes a lantern slide show presented by Meeker of old houses in Brooklyn. Meeker’s death was announced in the June 8, 1918 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Cause of death is not given but it is possible that the Class of 1872, Detroit Medical College graduate may have been a victim of the great 1918 Influenza Pandemic like so many others but this is simply guesswork at the moment.
At present, we can’t be certain that the images were taken by Meeker or even if this is the correct L. E. Meeker. However, it seems likely and more research will undoubtedly reveal more about this collection of images. Perhaps someone reading this posting will be able to supply the solution to this mystery? We're hoping to get assistance in making high quality digital scans of the images to facilitate access and study of the images.
The first Tournament of Roses was held in 1890 to showcase the mild winter weather in Pasadena. Carriages bedecked with flowers probably made a powerful impression on the visiting snow birds as did images of the event which made their way east. Perhaps doctor Meeker retained fond memories of his visit as did many others who visited early in the 20th century.
Mitchell Hearns Bishop
Curator, Historic Landscape and Collections
November 12, 2010
The Reading the Western Landscape Book Group met last week to discuss Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights. Below is a summary of the questions that were brought up for that book and a preview of the book that will be discussed on December 1.
Previous book selections can be found here and future selections here.
November 2010 – Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights
Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights, by Susan Straight; New York: Hyperion ©1994. Find it at your local library.
The life of a “straight and narrow” black man, a topic rarely treated in contemporary fiction. The protagonist is Darnell Tucker, a firefighter, and the setting is a racially mixed community in a volatile quarter of Los Angeles. By the author of I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots. From the WorldCat summary.
Susan Straight also has a new book that has just been published called Take One Candle Light a Room.
What was it about “fire.”?
What was it about the mountains?
What did the story tell about fathers and sons? Fathers and daughters?
What did his father do that Roscoe didn't? Or is that too easy?
How did the parents (including his mother-in-law and grandmother) keep from losing Darnell?
Why all the lies?
After Louis was killed why did Darnell want to hear his father's stories?
Was there really a twin, Antoine?
December 2010 – Between Grass and Sky: Where I Live and Work
Discussion on Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Between Grass and Sky: Where I Live and Work, by Linda Hasselstrom; Reno: University of Nevada Press ©2002. Find it at your local library.
From Booklist: There are those who would argue that the viewpoints of a rancher and those of a nature lover are incompatible. Hasselstrom would not be among them, for she embraces Nature-with-a-capital-N as her home, her workplace, her inspiration, and her mission. Self-described as a “rancher-slash-writer,” Hasselstrom, in these personal essays, details with pragmatic honesty economic, environmental, educational, and ethical issues confronting today's independent rancher. Beleaguered by the plagues of modern society, ranching is endangered as much by the inflamed rhetoric of ersatz environmental groups as it is by land developers intent on suburbanizing America's open spaces. With impassioned eloquence, Hasselstrom takes on all comers, from animal-rights activists to agribusiness conglomerates and eco-terrorists to militant vegetarians, patiently explaining facts, refuting arguments, defending opposing philosophies in logical, sensible, rational terms. “You don't know what it's like,” she cautions and invites those quick to condemn to walk a mile in her rattlesnake-repelling high-top boots before castigating a way of life on which this country once thrived and must protect in order to do so again. Carol Haggas Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved