One of my best-beloved Christmas presents was A Field Guide to Surreal Botany. I heard about it several months ago and sent Eric an excited e-mail saying “I want this!” and apparently he remembered, which charms me. It’s a smaller book than I was expecting, maybe eight by five inches, but it’s full of amusement and wonder. In the “The Americas” section we have, for example, Baby Cabbage (Brassica homogenesis), with fruit in the shape of a human baby, found under the leaves; Forget-me-bastard, with a small aggressive movement and red glow especially against arguing human males but very loyal to their gardeners; kitty willows, in which the plants are dioecious and reproduction occurs when a small fuzzy “catkin” from a male and female tree find each other and burrow into the ground. (They’re excellent for controlling insect populations because the catkins play the insects to death.) I’m liking the Teslated Salishans a lot too, maybe because they’re native to Washington State.

No progress on seed catalogs. Maybe I’ll bring some with me this weekend–we’re going up to Troy, MI, for the ConFusion science fiction convention. There will be no garden content, but there will be a lot of books and science and fun. And if there were gardens, they would have things like the Wind Melon and the Atlantis Mandrake.

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