La Rosa’s Garden

Plant Mentors – in person and in print

By Frank La Rosa

We, as gardeners, learn as much from books as we do from friends, neighbors and gardening mentors. Our gardening books often become our life-long mentors. Many of us have collections of gardening and plant books amassed over a lifetime, and we even have books that we have inherited from our parents. I myself know that teachers and books are a viable two-way approach to gardening.

Big-time book dealers such as Barnes and Noble do provide a good selection of basic “how to” and trendy garden books. But, let’s face it, many of us have moved beyond the Sunset Western Garden Book and we want something more meaningful. If the passionate gardener wants specialized and fine garden books, he or she has to frequent privately- owned bookstores that are beginning to make a comeback. They are known as “brick and mortar” bookshops and have a special ambiance all their own. They don’t have magazines, cell phones, and video stuff going off all the time, and the clerks are courteous and knowledgeable. They savor books.

Alfred Bauer’s Rare Books at the corner of Girard and Pearl in La Jolla is a “brick and mortar” book shop.  This is a spacious, comfortable and well-accoutered book shop with books and paintings throughout. Bauer has advanced degrees in literature and art, and he has dedicated his life to the appreciation and acquisition of books and art. His collection of garden and plant books reflects his life-long interests which lead off in numerous directions, and this is the main point. He has plant books in regard to art, design, photography, and world travel!

Here is an excellent example. Bauer has a fine copy of Karl Blossfeldt’s Plant Forms in Nature. Blossfeldt was a talented photographer who lived from 1865 to 1932. His book is a stunning collection of black and white photographs of plant form. It is an inspiration for gardeners of all kinds, and all passionate gardeners are artists.

Bauer’s plant interests lead another way — gardens and world travel, with such titles as The Bagatelle Gardens in Paris, California Gardens, The Huntington Gardens, Sissinghurst and gardens in Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, and numerous other countries. It is a marvelous experience for garden lovers to open these books and remember such places, saying “I saw that, and it was beautiful” or “Yes, I shall go back one day.”  If you are planning a trip abroad, Bauer’s is a good starting point.

Then, there are specialized books such as David Austin’s lavishly illustrated Heritage of Roses. Austin roses are still admired and grown throughout the world today, from Tokyo to San Diego. This is only one of the many titles in Bauer’s plant book collection. You will have to browse the shelves yourself.

Finally, these plant books and plant related titles are an eclectic collection that goes beyond the usual basic books that certainly have their place, but, at Bauer’s, plants books are indeed an easy entry into gardening and culture.

Related posts:

  1. La Rosa’s Garden: Bonsai — living art
  2. Annual Spring Home/Garden Show to be held at Del Mar Fairgrounds
  3. Solana Beach center turning kids into ‘Garden Ambassadors’
  4. Quail Botanical Gardens becomes SD Botanic Garden
  5. Del Mar May Day Garden Party fundraiser to be held at the Powerhouse

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=35018

Posted by Staff on May 11, 2012. Filed under Life, Outdoors. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RSS LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • San Diego realtor pleads guilty to prostitution-related crimes
    San Diego realtor Michael E. Lustig pleaded guilty in federal court July 31 to prostitution-related crimes, admitting that he paid for sex with a 13-year-old girl on several occasions. Lustig, who was indicted by a federal grand jury in October of 2013, entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin. (At that time Lustig was reported to be […]
  • It’s no stretch for Rancho Santa Fe yoga instructor to ‘give back’
    As one of North County’s most prolific yoga instructors, Stacy McCarthy doesn’t just teach yoga, she lives the yoga lifestyle. Selfless service, or seva in Sanskrit, is an important concept of yoga — one that the Rancho Santa Fe resident practices daily. “When we give and we give from the heart, there’s nothing more gratifying than that,” McCarthy said. […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe resident’s Gen 7 wines earn top honors
    Rancho Santa Fe resident Tim Bacino’s Gen 7 Wines is on a hot streak, his varietals winning several awards this summer in California wine competitions. […]