A personal perspective on the growing movement toward more natural and ecologically sound gardens in which snakes are as welcome as butterflies. In chapters that loosely follow the course of a year— beginning in the fall and ending the following Thanksgiving—Stein (My Weeds, 1988, etc.) describes how she came to change radically the way she gardened. The author, who lives with her husband on six acres in Pound Ridge, New York, began to question conventional practices—large lawns surrounded by neat beds of flowers and occasional specimen plantings—when, a few years ago, she noticed the absence of many creatures she could recall from childhood. Creatures like orioles, bluebirds, box turtles, and Monarch butterflies, once common, were seen no more. Stein began reading books and consulting experts, and decided to try to reverse the trend by changing the way she maintained her land. To restore the delicate balance necessary for a native ecology to flourish, she planted not only shrubs and trees native to the region but ones that would encourage birds and beneficial insects to return. She deepened her pond so that fish and turtles could flourish in water purified by appropriate plant life; replaced most flower beds with plantings of native flowers and shrubs; restricted the lawns to a small patch; seeded the old lawns with native grasses; and began to restore woodland areas to their pristine state. Stein still plants favorite foreign species, but argues forcefully that the old methods of gardening not only require inordinate amounts of labor and chemicals to keep unsuitable plants alive but are dangerously inhospitable to indigenous inhabitants. A persuasive and informed plea to change the way we garden, thoughtfully defying old wisdom and suggesting, without ever being didactic, just what can be achieved even on the smallest suburban lot.

Pub Date: April 21, 1993

ISBN: 0-395-65373-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1993

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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