Book Reviews

  • 10 Aug 2020 11:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Maria Hitchcock

    Reviewed by Bill Aitchison

    Wattle Day was first celebrated in Australia in 1910, and in the period since then its popularity and observance has been subject to a number of highs and lows.  In this book, which is a substantially revised edition of her earlier book “Wattle” (published in 1991), Maria Hitchcock argues very convincingly that “the time is right for a general and official revival of Wattle Day”.

    The book provides a detailed history of the Wattle Day movement and many individual memories of Wattle Day. It also includes a section on the Wattle Day Association which was only founded in 1998.  A very extensive anthology of wattle poetry, wattle stories and wattle songs is included.

    There are also a number of very practical sections within the book.  For example, in a chapter headed “Let’s Celebrate Wattle Day”, there are many suggestions for activities that can be undertaken by schools, companies and local businesses and community groups (including groups running wildflower shows).  Another chapter includes practical advice on how to create a garden or nature area featuring wattles (including advice on the planning and design stage, construction, planting out and maintenance).  A further chapter covers the propagation of Acacias from seed.

    The book includes brief descriptions and notes on about 130 species of Acacia, these all being illustrated with either colour photographs or marvellous watercolour paintings by botanical artist Kath Alcock (Kath also extensively painted Correas, some of which appear in Maria Hitchcock’s previous book “Correas, Australian Plants for Waterwise Gardens”).  The descriptions and illustrations of the various Acacia species are interspersed throughout the book, but an index enables each species to be easily accessed.  

    In his Foreword to the book, Peter Garrett remarks on the history of the wattle and the place it occupies in our national consciousness – and notes that “this and more are to be found in this definitive account”. Certainly, more than history is covered – for example some more recent matters that get a mention in the book are the recent Acacia name change debate, Cadel Evans win in the Tour de France, deep stem planting and even myrtle rust.

    Whilst our level of celebration of Wattle Day has had its ups and downs over the last hundred years, one thing that has been a constant over the last 30 years or so has been Maria Hitchcock’s commitment to promotion of this special day and of our association with this genus. Hopefully this book will ensure that the Wattle continues to hold a special place in the heart of all Australians and our history.

    Published by Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd 2012
    304 pages, paperback

    RRP $29.95

  • 9 Aug 2020 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Professor John Pearn

    This book is a major work of interest and reference to all who love the garden, for bushwalkers, and those who enjoy the living world of nature. It describes the stories behind the names of 350 Australian native plants and trees, and includes hundreds of biographies of those who have contributed to our knowledge of medicine, health and medicinal herbs.

    There are over 500 pages, over 1,000 illustrations, with more than 100 in colour. Included is an index of 1,000 entries.

    This book is published by Amphion Press, a non-profit publishing unit within the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Proceeds from sale of this book are channelled back into the Royal Children’s Hospital.

    So if you want to do your bit to help the Royal Children's Hospital and enjoy a really good read as well, this book is for you.

  • 8 Aug 2020 12:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Bruce Fuhrer

    Fully Revised & Updated Second Edition

    Beautiful, bewildering and sometimes just plain ugly, the one thing the vast variety of fungi have in common is that they are sure to fascinate.

    In this book, Bruce Fuhrer, the noted natural historian and photographer, presents over 130 species, all with full-colour photographs and descriptive notes. It is a fascinating collection of photographs and information that allows for identification of species, describes natural habitats, advises whether edible or not and much more.

    This comprehensive field guide is suitable for the amateur botanist and the recreational bushwalker to study, observe and enjoy these colourful and unusual members of the plant kingdom. It comes in paperback form and is a compact field-guide-size (275 x 230 mm) that allows for easy transport in a car glove box or backpack.

    Bruce Fuhrer is a highly regarded botanical photographer and author. He is a Senior Technical Officer with the departments of Botany and Zoology at Monash University, Victoria. In 1989 he was awarded the Australian Natural History Medallion. He is the co-author of “Wildflowers of Victoria and Adjoining Areas” and author and illustrator of several other botanical publications.

    Contact:

    Bloomings Books
    37 Burwood Road
    Hawthorn Victoria 3122

    Phone: 03 9819 6363
    Fax: 03 9819 1862

    Email: sales@bloomings.com.au

More Book Reviews coming soon...

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