Inside the World of Cut Flowers
Author Amy Stewart traveled 'round the world -- from flower farms in Latin America, California, and Holland to the Aalsmeer Dutch auction to local U.S. florists -- for the scoop on the cut flowers we so enjoy. In Flower Confidential (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2007; $23.95), Stewart takes us on her journey through the highs and lows of the industry. Fascinating and colorful history, shippable but fragrance-free flowers, eccentric breeders, emerging organic flower farms and green certification, inadequately protected workers dipping roses in fungicide -- this story has it all. After this read, you'll look at Valentine roses, gerbera daisies, and stem-dyed carnations with new eyes.
Tom Ogren is on a mission to encourage the use of non-pollen-producing plants -- trees, shrubs, and lawns -- in pursuit of good respiratory health. Though male trees are often planted because they don't drop fruit, pollen-free female woodies are the better choice, Ogren insists. Ogren's Allergy-Free Gardening Web site contains articles that are food for thought. Topics include tree selection, lawns and pets, and landscaping for clean air. The Suggested Readings and Links sections are also worth a look.