Second Nature A Gardener's Education review ¼ 104

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Second Nature A Gardener's Education review ¼ 104 ✓ ❮EPUB❯ ✻ Second Nature A Gardener's Education ✶ Author Michael Pollan – In his articles and in best selling books such as The Botany of Desire Michael Pollan has established himself as one of our most important and beloIn his articles and in best selling A Gardener's MOBI #238 books such as The Botany of Desire Michael Pollan has established himself as one of our most important and beloved writers on modern man’s place in the natural world A new literary classic Second Nature has become a manifesto not just. It may be in the margins of our gardens that we can discover fresh ways to bring our aesthetics and our ethics about the land into some meaningful alignment Michael Pollan Second Nature I'm pretty sure I'm now a Michael Pollan completist This was Pollan's first and as I typically read the first last my usual brush with Pollan completism for now This book sent me back to days working in my grandmother's garden my mother's garden my wife and my first garden on our apartment balcony It reminded me of wandering through Jefferson's garden at Monticello Versailles and the lilac gardens of Maui Pollan was definitly influenced in his writing by Thoreau and Wendell Berry but Pollan's philosophy in this book seems driven by the pragmatism of William James His basic premise is that the garden is the better metaphor for dealing with the current environmental issues confronting us; and the zero sum game debates surrounding development vs wilderness I generally agree with a lot of what he says about gardens trees wilderness and our need to find new metaphors for our relationship with nature that weaves together nature and man and man's culture together He does tend to wax poetic Pollan is basically a long form magazine writter who like John McPhee and others figured out that narrative nonfiction can work in chapters made from magazine articles and confederate them together into a book Not the best Pollan but for Pollan fans nature lovers or gardeners there is definitely enough grown in this book to feed all types

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For gardeners but for environmentalists everywhere “As delicious a meditation on one man’s relationships with the Earth as any you are likely to come upon” Second Nature PDF The New York Times Book Review Second Nature captures the rhythms of our everyday engagement with the outdoors in. All Pollan's books explore the ways people relate to the world around them from plants to food in general to space itself This one's about gardens and gardening and is probably the book in which he most explicitly addresses man's relationship to natureThe oft repeated thesis of this book is that all American concepts of the physical world and our place in it stress a division between nature and culture and that while this notion has been useful in its various forms Puritan establishment to the Wilderness Act the present demands a holistic metaphor to guide us Pollan proposes the garden as this metaphor a place where humanity must both acknowledge impotence in the face of white flies and early frosts while at the same time assert its own history culture and opinion in order to harvest tomatoes appreciate a dahlia or feel fully at peace He explores this idea by examining various aspects of the conceptual garden and his own real cultivated corner of Connecticut dealing variously with vegetables lawns seed catalogs weeds etcMy reactions to Pollan's work are remarkably consistent fascination; admiration for the uantity and diversity of historical literary and scientific references he can apply in his analysis of almost anything; simultaneous frustration with his dogged refusal to cite these references in a regular fashion; and dissatisfaction with his failure to distinguish the personal shortcomings of scientists from the legitimacy of science itself ie science as a good if not the best way of learning about the world This book was Pollan's first published almost 20 years ago and it pretty much hits all these pointsThat said I also almost always come away from his books feeling enlightened and importantly convinced Honestly he didn't really have to twist my arm to persuade me that romantic andor radically preservationist environmentalism isn't a particularly useful philosophy if we want to survive the next 1000 years with both our world and our culture relatively intact but I hadn't thought very much about gardening as a way toward a better mindset Sentences like What we need is to confound our metaphors and the rose can help us do this better than the swamp can p 97 intrigued me because I'm definitely of a swamp kind of guyMy main critiue of this book is really of a uestion if the garden is the metaphor that best embodies our relationship with nature what does it tell us about right and wrong The garden teaches us to engage the world instead of dominating or kowtowing to it but it doesn't seem to tell us why we should engage and to what end For instance in his discussion of a local stand of old growth pine that was blown down in a storm Pollan describes the conflicting views of the Nature Conservancy land owners leave it alone let nature take its course utilitarians harvest and sell the wood and romantics restore the grove and then offers some of his own motives for various plans of action restore the grove to perpetuate the locals' relationship with the land restore to our best guess at what the pre Colonial state might have been so people can feel connected to the pre Colonial experience Pollan's garden ethic might encourage us to consider a diverse array of options beyond entrenched commercial interest or the eually inflexible and somewhat irrational position of the Nature Conservancy but it doesn't actually help us choose one path There is no one true reason to garden so garden ethics are not particularly helpful in decision making I guess Pollan might argue that his garden ethic isn't meant to be proscriptive so much as informative the absolutism of our country's childhood and adolescence needs to give way to a harder self conscious way of life one that acknowledges that the most important decisions often must declare a new righteousness rather than adhere to an existing code Some Words Maginot Line France's fortified border with Germany in WW2 the implication here being that it was ineffectual p 53antinomian adj Christian Protestant belief that faith alone is sufficient to achieve salvation p 60secateurs n pruning shears p 138

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Second Nature A Gardener's EducationAll its glory and exasperation With chapters ranging from a reconsideration of the Great American Lawn a dispatch from one man’s war with a woodchuck to an essay about the sexual politics of roses Pollan has created a passionate and elouent argument for reconceiving our relationship with natu. This was such a relaxing read Maybe I am alone in thinking reading about gardening while enjoying a social commentary about revenues and tibits of history makes for a great read but it was The prose was delightful and I was often reminded of Bill Bryson way to got off topic but yet still be on topic I highly recommend