When Bonnie and I travel to other cities, we seek out botanical gardens and and conservatories. ("It was Mr. Green in the conservatory with the candlestick.") We have been to great places like the United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C. (close to the Capitol) and the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. When we are just hanging around Chicago, we enjoy visiting the Garfield Park Conservatory. These places are filled with beautiful flowers, stately palms, and plants with usual leaves. It was through these visits that I learned that leaves are not just green.
So I was intrigued when a reader asked me to find "that big new book with beautiful photos of leaves." He did not remember the author or title. After not finding what he wanted in the 580s, I did a search in the online catalog, sorted by date and found Extraordinary Leaves: Photographs by Stephen Green-Armytage: Text by Dennis Schrader in our photography section. It was the book! Because he just wanted the author and title to tell a friend in another town, I was free to check out the book. (It sometimes happens that I help someone and I am the one who ends up checking out the book.)
Extraordinary Leaves is filled with full-page photographs of colorful and strangely shaped leaves. Some green leaves have red or purple veins, yellow spots, white stripes, or multi-color splashs. Some are as varied as a bag of M&Ms. Some are almost unbelievable, like this plant that we saw in Pittsburgh.
Extraordinary Leaves is a particulary welcome book to find in the dead of winter. Add it to either your gardening or photography collection.
Extraordinary Leaves: Photographs by Stephen Green-Armytage: Text by Dennis Schrader. Firefly Books, 2008. ISBN 9781554073870