"Can there be a scintilla of doubt that the most mysteriously neglected plants in North America at the moment are the cape fuchsias?" asks Lacy, who then goes on to explain why we should all be growing at least several Phygelius cultivars. He describes how he planted an arbor to drip gourds through its crosspieces, and how the Aztecs domesticated dahlias from wildlings growing in the mountains of central Mexico. His interests are far-ranging, and he takes his readers along with him on an exploration of all things horticultural.
What makes this book especially useful is that it comes from Lacy's own firsthand gardening experience working in his small, suburban New Jersey garden. He is faced, like the rest of us, with unexpected storms, late freezes, and not enough space to indulge all his plant enthusiasms. The difference is that he is a fine writer who is able to transform his experiences into literature to amuse us when we brush the dirt off our hands and come in from the garden. --Valerie Easton