Book Reviews of Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

Second Nature: A Gardener's Education
Second Nature A Gardener's Education
Author: Michael Pollan
ISBN-13: 9780802140111
ISBN-10: 0802140114
Publication Date: 8/12/2003
Pages: 320
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.

4.3 stars, based on 23 ratings
Publisher: Grove Press
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Second Nature: A Gardener's Education on + 202 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book! This is a fun exploration of a bunch of issues related to one man's attempt to create a diverse garden at his home. It looks at everything from his childhood memories of gardens, to pest control, to the various needs of different kinds of plants and trees, to overall landscape design. Pollan points out in the book that most of American nature writing is on the subject of wilderness, not gardening. This book is a great contribution to that neglected subject.
reviewed Second Nature: A Gardener's Education on + 181 more book reviews
I really, really like Michael Pollan's writing and this book is no exception. However, this book suffers from the same problem that I've noted on his other books that I've read: sometimes he just doesn't know when to stop.

Pollan calls himself on this tendency in his introduction:
"It may be my nature to complicate matters unduly, to search for large meanings in small things..."

My favorite sections:
Chapter 1: memories of his father and grandfather's very different approaches to gardening. His dad's reaction to suburban peer pressure: hilarious!
Chapter 2: Pollan's personal battle to protect his garden, especially against woodchucks.
Chapter 11: a comparison of the various world views represented by different seed/gardening catalogs

My least favorite sections:
Chapter 5: I am bored almost to tears by roses. Worthless.
Chapter 9: Pollan's waxing philosophical about the symbolism of trees in various cultures was much too drawn out. Yawn.

Overall, worth reading if you like Pollan's writing style and have any interest in gardening.
reviewed Second Nature: A Gardener's Education on + 26 more book reviews
Pollan's first book is more about the philosophy and morality of gardening that about gardening itself.