Library Book Club – Get Involved!

Some of you may have had difficulty contacting Margaret, the librarian, but she has had technical difficulties with her former e-mail address. Her new e-mail address is library@albuquerquegardencenter.org

Meetings are generally held on the first Monday (unless there’s a holiday) at 4:00 pm.

What we’re reading now. For details on the books below follow the “READ MORE” tag.

6 July:                  Botany of Desire (movie AND book)
3 August:             Rose Rustlers
14 September:    Orchid Fever

Come join us in the Patio Room at the Garden Center (10120 Lomas in Albuquerque between Wyoming and Eubank) to sample some great books.  No need to belong to a plant club or society although it is a great way to meet members of them.

We sell copies of all the books in the Garden Shop at 10% off list up until the night the book is read.  And, remember, as a non-profit, our books are sold tax-free.

6 July 2020: Botany of Desire (movie AND book)
According to something I read somewhere, this two-decade’s old book established Michael Pollan as Someone To Read. Spending a morning planting potatoes in his garden while surrounded by bees pollinating the flowers on an apple tree, Pollan asked himself how much he and the bee really differed. They were both, after all, ensuring the next generation of plants. From that somewhat whimsical thought, Pollan launched an investigation into four plants that have evolved to satisfy human desires for sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control. And, no, control isn’t about bindweed…

3 August 2020: Rose Rustlers
First of all, who can resist the images conjured by an oxymoronic title like “The Rose Rustlers.” And then, the inside of the cover has this quote inscribed: “Antique roses aren’t good because they’re old; they’re old because they’re good.” Also copied straight from the inside cover summary:

“By the 1950s, almost exclusively, modern roses (those with one compact bloom at the top of a large stem) were grown for the cut-flower market. The large rounded shrubs and billowy fence climbers known to our grandparents and great-grandparents in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had been reduced to this rather monotonous single style of plant.


Yet those roses of old still grew, tough and persistent, in farmyards, cemeteries, vacant lots, and abandoned fields. The rediscovery of these antiques and the subsequent movement to conserve them became the

mission of “rose rustlers,” dedicated rosarians who studied, sought, cut, and cultivated these hardy survivors.”

This book is a bit more expensive than some of our other titles, but if you love those good old roses, you’ll definitely appreciate the beautiful color photographs that pepper the pages of this book.

14 September 2020:  Orchid Fever 
A book that opens with the line:  “There is something distinctive about the sight and sound of a human body falling from the rain forest canopy.” does make you question just how cozy the human pollinator-plant relationship really is.  In that case, it turns out that the problem was actually an unexpected encounter with a pit viper, but still…  There are the orchid collections that have broken up marriages.  There is the grandmother who began collecting orchids in the early 1960s.  Due to changing laws, her collection had become (well, in 2000 when the book was published) contraband for which she could have been imprisoned.  I am sure most owners of orchids are mild-manner citizens – I count myself in that category – but this book highlights the excesses to which some people will go in pursuit of a passion.  As one person told the author, “You know, the only people that are weirder than us are the dog show people… and we are not a distant second by any means.”

Don’t have time to read the book?  No worries, just come join us for conversation and light snacks.  We begin each session with about 10 or 15 minutes of video related to the book so you can learn a bit from that as well as from the discussion.

Want to be on our mailing list?  Contact Margaret at library@albuquerquegardencenter.org

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how we interact. We have been very fortunate to have access to Zoom through the kindness of our New Mexico Horticultural Specialist (NMSU Extension), Dr. Marisa Thompson.

As people become eager to return to personal interactions, we continue to heed the recommendations of our public health officials and recommend caution. At the moment we plan to continue offering our meetings by Zoom although we hope to be able to incorporate some in-person presence to create a hybrid experience.

Always check with Margaret at Library@AlbuquerqueGardenCenter.org for the latest information about how we are meeting.