Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

July, 2011
Regional Report

Books

Weeds
The plants you love to hate are the subject of Weeds by Richard Mabey (Ecco Publishing, 2011, $25.99). I promise that you will never look at weeds the same way after reading this fascinating history and expose. Mabey explores our relationship with these "botanical thugs," explaining how they can restore war zones and derelict cities; for example, the poppies that sprang up in the battlefields of France after the First World War. Dry wit and serious science make this a compelling read. The book is divided into 12 chapters, each containing the history of a particular plant and how it affects humanity. A glossary, notes and index complete the publication. Nature's underdogs have a new defender in Richard Mabey.

Tool or Gardening Product

SoilWrap Pots
I recently received a sample of plants that arrived in SoilWrap pots made by the Ball Horticultural Company. The pots looked and felt like thin plastic but had no bottoms. The directions said to plant the pots directly into the soil and that they would decompose, eliminating transplant shock. I followed the directions and have been very pleased with the results. SoilWrap pots are made from Mirel, a 100 percent renewable resource. Even the trays that the pots arrived in were biodegradable, made of cornstarch. Always look for the most earth-friendly products when you shop. For more information, visit www.mirelplastics.com.

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