16 June 2017

Book Review: Seeing Seeds by Robert Llewellyn and Teri Dunn Chace

This is the third book in the 'Seeing' series and the first that I read, followed by 'Seeing Trees'. I held off on this review because I wanted to read another of the series and write a more meaningful review.

The photography in this book is outstanding. Ever since I read this book I've been trying to recreate these photographs and have been looking at equipment to help me do this. I now focus stack quite a few plant photographs, but not to the quality of the photographs that appear in this book.

The book has 8 main chapters, which first look at what seeds are, seed diversity, and the function of seeds. These three chapters are followed by a look at different categories of plants, from garden flowers to weeds, and herbs, to shrubs. Each plant has text and photographs devoted to it, some more than others.

I'm a big fan of seeds, seedheads, and pods. Each page I felt drawn to the wonderful compositions, such as pod of the false indigo, or the fruits of the tree of heaven. So, it was difficult to focus on the text. However, I felt that this author's writing style to be lacking in enthusiam. Also most of the seeds get a comment along the lines of: "seeds may not look like the parent plant', which I felt should have been part of the general introduction and shouldn't have wasted space in the main text - space that could have been used for more interesting stuff about the plant in question.

The text of the book has the gardener in mind, which is much more specific than the 'Seeing trees' book, which have everyone in mind and was more enjoyable for it. The writing is good, I just didn't gel well with the writing style - but with photographs like those within the book, it's not a major concern.