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November 7, 2013 / Leslie

Review: Seeing Flowers by Robert Llewellyn, Teri Dunn Chase

Seeing FlowersSeeing Flowers: Discover the Hidden Life of Flowers
Photography by Robert Llewellyn
Written by Teri Dunn Chase

Genre: Science, Photography
Publisher: Timber Press
Publish Date: September 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover | 302 pages
Rating: 5 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Seeing Flowers is a visual feast that gloriously highlights 343 popular garden flowers. Using a unique photo process that includes stitching together large macro photographs, Robert Llewellyn reveals details that few have ever seen: the amazing architecture of stamens and pistils; the subtle shadings on a petal; the secret recesses of nectar tubes. Teri Dunn Chace s lyrical and illuminating essays complement these images and offer insights on each flower, by exploring its distinguishing characteristics and sharing fascinating tidbits, tales, and lore. Together, Llewellyn and Chace give the reader a deeper appreciation of how and why flowers have become so deeply embedded in human culture.

My Thoughts:

We are surrounded by flowers. They are everywhere. We glance at them and marvel at their beauty but do we really see the complexity of each bloom? Seeing Flowers takes a close-up look at over 300 popular garden flowers, revealing detail rarely seen in photos.

I’d experienced Robert Llewellyn’s remarkable photography in Seeing Trees and expected the book to be a glorious display of photography. I wasn’t expecting the wonderful, informative and interesting essays complimenting the photos, each written in an easy to read, breezy style. As a gardener I thought I would already know much of this information, but there is always much more to learn.

The beautiful, unique photography in this book must be seen to be appreciated. Each photo is composed of many small images shot at a different point of focus, then stitched together using special software to create incredibly sharp, detailed images.

The book is organized into 28 plant families and accompanying photos. We get an intimate look at the distinguishing features of the plants in each group. Along with the botanical details of each flower we are treated to quotes, tales, folklore and fascinating bites of information: Different ways plants are pollinated, how seeds are dispersed, what’s edible and what isn’t, and some interesting factoids. I knew the flowers of nightshades are poisonous and that tomatoes are in the nightshade family, but I didn’t know early Americans considered tomatoes themselves to be poisonous and wouldn’t eat them, or that a Loyalist chef tried to poison George Washington by preparing a meal using tomatoes.

Both factual and entertaining, this is a gorgeous book and a worthy addition to anyone’s bookshelf.

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Source: eGalley provided by Timber Press.
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.

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5 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Nov 7 2013 4:05 pm

    This sounds gorgeous and informative!

    Like

  2. postingfornow / Nov 8 2013 7:06 am

    The cover is unique. I’m sure the rest of the photos are amazing! Thanks for your review.

    Like

  3. Suko / Nov 8 2013 2:12 pm

    Leslie, this sounds like an incredible book. Very interesting, painstaking process that creates the wonderfully detailed photos!

    Like

  4. stacybuckeye / Nov 8 2013 10:42 pm

    Tomatoes as poison? Crazy! Love the flower on the cover.

    Like

  5. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Nov 10 2013 8:34 am

    I think this would be so interesting. Thanks for mentioning it.

    Like

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