Brian's Bookshelf - Nature


D. G. Hessayon "Expert" gardening series
Raymond Sokolov "Why We Eat What We Eat"
Stephen Spongberg "A Reunion of Trees"

Reference books in Japanese
Suzuki Isao et al Colour pocket plant photo-guides
Iwatsuki Zennosuke (text), Izawa Masana (photos) Photo-guide to ferns and mosses


UK Dr. D. G. Hessayon: "The Tree and Shrub Expert" pub. "pbi PUBLICATIONS", 1983

Despite the publisher's wonky capitalisation, and the slightly odd use of Hessayon's "Dr." handle, this is a very useful book. It's one of an inexpensive series of "Expert" titles, mostly relating to gardening. It's clearly laid out, in four main sections - shrubs, trees, climbers, and conifers - with photographs and illustrations, and some notes on planting and care.

Tree and Shrub Expert: (USA) - Amazon UK - Amazon Japan (Popup help)

I can also personally recommend the "Vegetable and Herb Expert", though this is more or less pure gardening - you won't learn much botany from it.

Vegetable and Herb Expert: (USA) - Amazon UK - Amazon Japan (Popup help)

Update May 2001 - For some time I hypothesized that the Dr. D. G. Hessayon was fictional, because the books, while useful, don't read as though they were written by an individual. Tom Coady points out that apparently he is not only real but alive and kicking, giving a "rare" interview to (And the publishers have changed: they're now "Expert Books, a division of Transworld Publishers Ltd.")

USA Sokolov, Raymond: "Why We Eat What We Eat (How the encounter between the new world and the old changed the way everyone on the planet eats)", pub. Summit Books, Simon & Schuster, New York 1991; 255pp; ISBN 0-671-66796-3

Excellent introduction to ethnogastrobotany ("where veggies come from"): My review

Out of print: Find used copy through ABE

USA Spongberg, Stephen: "A Reunion of Trees - The discovery of exotic plants and their introduction into North American and European landscapes", pub. Harvard University Press, 1990, 270 pp large format (22x28 cm)

A wonderful book: see my review
I got the hardback version from Daedalus for about $10: this is out of print, but a paperback reissue appeared in 1995.

Paperback: - Amazon UK - Amazon Japan (Popup help)

Find used hardback copy through ABE


Reference books in Japanese

Plant handbooks
The autumn volume open at Susuki

Japan Suzuki Isao et al: Colour pocket plant photo-guides (three volumes, by flower season), pub. Yama-Kei 1995, (10x16.5 cm)

Each volume is 750-plus pages, about 75% covered with photographs, with (Japanese) index to all three volumes. The description for each plant includes the Latin (scientific) name, but there is no Latin index.

These are only available from (fixed price 2700 yen per volume). You can use my popup help to steer you through the buying process. The graphic shows the Japanese title you're looking for.
Haru-no-hana (spring flowers) title
Natsu-no-hana (summer flowers) title
Aki-no-hana (autumn flowers) title

Coming soon: a proper review, and some more on using Japanese references (including how to find the Japanese name from the Latin name).

Japan Iwatsuki Zennosuke (text), Izawa Masana (photos): "Shida - Koke" (Photo-guide to ferns and mosses), pub. Yama-Kei 1996, (11x18 cm, 270 pp) title

Covers all the "lower" plants, including also horsetails, lichens, and worts. The photographs are really outstanding. With both Japanese and Latin (scientific) indexes. (fixed price 1748+tax)

Find it at (popup help)



The Imaginatorium
Home - Search - Site map

© Brian Chandler 2001-2002
This page is copylefted
Feedback: Guestbook - Email - Snailmail - Linking

Other departments
Shop - jigsaw puzzles and maps from Japan
Sano Gallery
Web Stuff
My digital art - The Artofar-
Brian's Bookshelf
Science and Maths - Photography & Light - Words - Music - This & That

Background to this page (fallen cherry leaves)

Updated from time to time - Almost WDG validated