Fruits and Plains: The Horticultural Transformation of America

Fruits and Plains The Horticultural Transformation of America The engineering of plants has a long history on this continent Fields forests orchards and prairies are the result of repeated campaigns by amateurs tradesmen and scientists to introduce desirabl

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  • Title: Fruits and Plains: The Horticultural Transformation of America
  • Author: Philip J. Pauly
  • ISBN: 9780674026636
  • Page: 370
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The engineering of plants has a long history on this continent Fields, forests, orchards, and prairies are the result of repeated campaigns by amateurs, tradesmen, and scientists to introduce desirable plants, both American and foreign, while preventing growth of alien riff raff These horticulturists coaxed plants along in new environments and, through grafting and hybriThe engineering of plants has a long history on this continent Fields, forests, orchards, and prairies are the result of repeated campaigns by amateurs, tradesmen, and scientists to introduce desirable plants, both American and foreign, while preventing growth of alien riff raff These horticulturists coaxed plants along in new environments and, through grafting and hybridizing, created new varieties Over the last 250 years, their activities transformed the American landscape Horticulture may bring to mind white glove garden clubs and genteel lectures about growing better roses But Philip J Pauly wants us to think of horticulturalists as pioneer biotechnologists, hacking their plants to create a landscape that reflects their ambitions and ideals Those standards have shaped the look of suburban neighborhoods, city parks, and the native produce available in our supermarkets.In telling the histories of Concord grapes and Japanese cherry trees, the problem of the prairie and the war on the Medfly, Pauly hopes to provide a new understanding of not only how horticulture shaped the vegetation around us, but how it influenced our experiences of the native, the naturalized, and the alien and how better to manage the landscapes around us.

    One thought on “Fruits and Plains: The Horticultural Transformation of America”

    1. Phillip Pauly tries to restore a more holistic and accurate view of nineteenth-century horticulturists. Instead of thinking of white-gloved men and women in garden clubs discussing roses, Pauly wants us to think of horticulturalists as pioneer "biotechnologists," who crossbreed plants in order to create landscapes that reflect their ambitions and ideals. Horticulturalists' standards have contributed to the development and image of suburban neighborhoods, city parks, and the supermarket produce. [...]

    2. This book makes me sad, because the author died shortly after publication. In addition to the human loss, I can't help but wonder what other wonderful books he might have written.This is a very well-written and moderately technical book on the history of US policy regarding the introduction of new plants into the country. This includes wheat, apples, and oranges, as well as many ornamentals and weeds. Sounds dry, but fascinating.

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