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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Naughty Treat, Jan. 13 2012
This review is from: The Untamed Garden: A Revealing Look at Our Love Affair with Plants (Hardcover)
This naughty little paper-wrapper treat will titillate even non-gardeners. Paper-wrapped, you ask? Yep. The dust jacket resembles a creased, brown paper bag, the sort used in the past to hide indulgences such as bottles of liquor or...naughty books and magazines. The jacket covers the lower portion of the cover, allowing browsers to see flower-bedecked revellers at the top. It is clear there is more to see under the brown paper...and, yes, there is.

The chapters, which look at our love affair with plants, follow the path of many relationships: innocence, flirtation, romance, anticipation, deception, seduction, desire, lust, denial, passion, rapture, and devotion. Don't worry, there's more. Day advises, "The truth is, the plant world is drenched in s**. Passionate, urgent, unabashed s**." The only thing I could see adding would be a chapter about breaking up...or do gardeners ever break up with their plants?

Day packages the plant cast members in this book amidst snippets of history, folklore, medicinal mythology, and Roman and Greek tales--even a quote from the famous English gardener Vita Sackville-West. And she makes the subject fun, as she does with all her writing. For example, she calls peonies the Dolly Parton of the garden, describing the flowers as, "D-cup blooms strutting atop those precarious chicken-leg stems."

Having a fetish for growing figs, I flipped straight to the index, hoping Day included the fig in her book. I was happy to find the fig as the lead character in the chapter about desire, with a full-frontal picture of the fleshy folds inside the fig. Day talks about the biblical associations of the fig, but did you know that in in some Mediterranean countries--those with hot-blooded males, explains Day--there is a hand gesture referred to as, "do the fig."

And the naughty stuff? Take titan arum, which Day describes as, "One of Mother Nature's most macho manifestations." The suggestive central spike, she explains, can be taller than a six-foot-high man. If you're a Latin-spouting gardener, you might be intrigued by Clitoria ternatea. Day says, "If ever a Latin name fitted, this one does.

Day says in her introduction that if people knew about the sensual aura of plants, there might be fewer non-gardeners. I suspect this book will help change that.

Steven Biggs
Co-Author, NO GUFF VEGETABLE GARDENING
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rustle the (Garden) Bed Sheets, March 28 2012
This review is from: The Untamed Garden: A Revealing Look at Our Love Affair with Plants (Hardcover)
Sonia Day's 'The Untamed Garden' is a romp in a different kind of bed - a flowerbed. It is packed with research and fun flower facts relating to the impact flowers have on our sex lives and the coincidence that flower parts look like sexual organs (or 'naughty bits' as Sonia calls them.)

From the 'lewdness of lilies' to 'exhibitionist peonies' Day covers the spectrum of floral carnal knowledge. This book is not strictly for gardeners although many will wish they did garden just so they could get some of the insider jokes. Fall crocus akin to 'naked nannies'? Non-gardeners will have to grow them and find out.

This book takes a different approach from Sonia Day's Incredible Edibles (2009) and will find an enthusiastic audience. I see a big sales opportunity at florist shops where husbands can pick up a dozen roses and a copy of the Untamed Gardener to go.

Day's Toronto Star writer's persona shines through. She has written a book for women looking for flower filler folklore to share at fundraisers or laughs at ladies lunches. Just don't get me started on how the common prairie practice of planting peonies at the front door is anything other than good colour design. Day would have us believe the Chinese suggestion that peonies planted at the front of a house will 'attract a new lustful lover into your life.' Better not tell the mailman!

NO GUFF VEGETABLE GARDENING
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caught My Eye..., Feb. 17 2012
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This review is from: The Untamed Garden: A Revealing Look at Our Love Affair with Plants (Hardcover)
I have to admit, the cover of this book caught my eye first off, with it's paperbag little cover, and then underneath that, the hardcover itself is a profusion of petals...then when I leafed through it, I thought it would be an interesting read. At the very least! Sonia Day writes about such favourites as roses and peonies, providing very interesting history on each and then adds her own touch of whimsy into the mix. I have just started reading, but am loving this book. Now when I am wandering through my garden, I will appreciate each flower a little more, for their beauty of course, and their history...
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun (even sexy) read, Dec 28 2012
By 
Hélène (Montréal, QC, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Untamed Garden: A Revealing Look at Our Love Affair with Plants (Hardcover)
The world of flowers is a fascinating place and Ms. Day reminds us of one aspect we tend to disregard even if it's omnipresent. Take the beefsteak tomatoes and cabbages out and listen to the story of love, explicit display and even deceit. Ms. Day shows us facets of favorites such as roses, peonies, tulips and orchids but also those that makes us weary such as mandrakes or that we find downright dangerous such as the Venus fly trap. All of these are explored throught their sexuality and their history and the reader will end up looking at these flowers and appreciate them on a completely different level then previously - I know I will.

The book itself is beautiful - from the cover to the pages full of colors and drawings. It is a fast read that any gardener will appreciate not for the usual how-to but for the histories provided. It definitely brings an important layer of knowledge. What took a star out : Some history related in this book deviates a bit from what I read elsewhere so who's right? But it was only on one occasion so it is minor. Althought I generally appreciate little separate sections in books, the "Love Potion" sections in this book were blah. They are about old recipes and old beliefs that hopefully nobody modern will ever try, but they weren't all that interesting.
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