Cool stuff from the Selectors: plants for changing climates, equatorial forests, and a kiwi graphic novel

If, like me, you sometimes become overwhelmed with the thought of Climate change, let alone having any idea how to combat it, then perhaps you can think small and do something about your own garden. The Climate Change Garden was written after an unusually hot summer in the UK, drought stricken gardens were failing and gardeners were finding these new conditions difficult to navigate.  We are used to drought in New Zealand, but how about preparing your garden for more rain and floods, another aspect of Climate change that we are perhaps less accustomed to. Full of very practical ideas including tips from the past, ideal plants for different situations and plenty of hands on experience this is a good book to get started on preparing for an uncertain future.

Still focusing on the natural world I stumbled upon this rather delightfully obscure book called Atlas of Poetic Botany.

This books aims to show that the equatorial forest isn't the "green inferno" that colonialists and adventurers so often confronted.  On the contrary, it is a universe of magical allure, and, if only one casts a somewhat sympathetic gaze at the little marvels that present themselves to the visitor at every turn, life here is quite pleasant

Admittedly most of us will never set foot inside and equatorial forest, but Francis Halle, with his lovely turn of phrase and equally enjoyable drawings, (unlike any botanical drawings I have seen before as there is a naive quality to them that makes them charming and approachable) brings the forest alive.  Enjoy the dancing plant, an unimpressive looking plant that moves when music is played, why it does this is still a mystery.  Perhaps the Adultery Tree which sneakily houses aggressive ants in its hollow branches is more to your liking, or you may be taken by the biggest flower in the world which is found in the Sumatran forest and measures up to a metre across.  Unfortunately it is also accompanied by an odour redolent of a blocked toilet.

On a completely different line of thought Rufus Marigold is a new graphic novel by New Zealander Ross Murray.

Rufus Marigold in a primate with a problem.  He suffers acutely from anxiety and every social encounter is a harrowing ordeal

This is a gem of a book, it is equally funny and at times squirmingly uncomfortable as Rufus lays himself bare.  I loved it