fbpx Great reads from the Sterling Morton Library | The Morton Arboretum

Great reads from the Sterling Morton Library

Three books stand on a table in a library
Find great reads at The Sterling Morton Library
February 2, 2015


The Sterling Morton Library is a treasure trove. Discover all it has to offer as well as these staff recommended titles the next time you’re here.

Pleasures of the Garden: A Literary Anthology
selected by Christina Hardyment

The British Library, 2014

At this time of the year, winter, wind chill factors and darkness can hover in a gardener’s mind. A welcome and readily available escape hatch can be found in the resources of the Sterling Morton Library including Pleasures of the Garden : A Literary Anthology selected by Christina Hardyment. Through the anthology’s selections, the reader can navigate gardening themes of design and practical considerations as well as a love of nature and the perspective of gardens as solace for body and soul. The piece features a medley of writers, including W.B. Yeats, William Morris, Thomas Jefferson, D.H. Lawrence and Jane Austen. Worried about black ice or an onslaught of some new unidentified invasive pest in your garden? Explore Pleasures of the Garden, become acquainted or reacquainted with a diverse community of authors – and bask in the glories of the garden!

Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time
by Beth Moon with essays by Todd Forrest and Steven Brown
Abbeville Press Publishers, 2014

Dragon’s blood trees on the island of Socotra, baobabs in Madagascar, strangler figs at the temples of Angkor and an avenue of Louisiana live oaks are not props to be found in the latest zombie movie at the cinema, but are all immortalized in Beth Moon’s new book, Ancient Trees : Portraits of Time. Photographer Moon traversed the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa in search of and to capture images of these and other ancient tree sentinels. A result of her fourteen year-odyssey, the 60 black and white images contained in this work are both haunting and inspirational. Explore the majesty and splendor of some of the oldest living things on earth with Moon as your guide and companion.

The New Sylva: A Discourse of Forest & Orchard Trees for the Twenty-First Century
by Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet
Bloomsbury, 2014

English writer, gardener and diarist, John Evelyn published Sylva in 1664. Recognized as the first comprehensive study of trees in Britain, Sylva also acknowledged the nation’s timber stock was being rapidly depleted and encouraged landowners to plant more trees. (The Sterling Morton Library’s copy of Evelyn’s 1664 work could originally have been found in Joy Morton’s Thornhill library.) Fast forward 350 years and discover The New Sylva created by author Gabriel Hemery and artist Sarah Simblet. Their work celebrates the 350th anniversary of the publication of Evelyn’s earlier seminal work as well as offering a contemporary update on the trees of Britain. Hemery’s prose outlines the cultural, environmental and economic meaning of trees to us and is illuminated by over 200 pen and ink drawings of more than 100 tree species by Simblet. This work provides not only an update on the trees of Britain, but also a carefully orchestrated connection to John Evelyn’s earlier work.