by Christina Bjork and Lena Anderson
I happened to walk to the library today, and saw this book on their sale shelf, next to another one about organic gardening. Thumbing through it for a few seconds, I knew this was a book I wanted to have. And it sounded familiar- now I recall a book my mother found at the library called Linnea in Monet\’s Garden, which was quite good. So I paid fifty cents, and upon returning home sat and read it while the baby fed. Charmed.
And instructed. It\’s all about a little girl and how she grows plants in her apartment. She grows plants from the seeds and pits of produce brought home from the supermarket. She grows plants from cuttings given by a friend. She grows from seed packets from the nursery. And tells you all about how to do your own plant experiments (did you know that a pea, urged to grow, can break out from being sealed inside a lump of plaster of paris?!), how to care for the plants, how to get rid of nasty bugs, etc. I was delighted to find info about sprouting avocado and orange seeds (both of which I\’ve tried, my avocados succeeded and the oranges didn\’t- and with both I used a different method than the one she suggests) and lots of practical stuff like how to keep your plants happy when you\’re gone for a few days (again, not by any method I\’ve ever used) or how to soften water for sensitive plants (just let it sit out overnight). I like that she notes that not all plants will thrive, or all seeds germinate; you just have to try again. And that the bug-ridding methods include not only pick-them-off-and-squash them or spray with soapy water but also ingenious tricks I\’ve never tried, like putting an aphid-infested plant in a bag and blowing cigarette smoke into it! Maybe I\’m silly to get itchy green thumb over a kid\’s book, but now I\’m eager to try growing experiments again…
Rating: 4/5 …….. 59 pages, 1978