Allan Armitage, a long-time contributing editor for Greenhouse Grower, is well-recognized as an introducer of new plant varieties, a researcher, a writer of the most-used perennials textbook in print, a columnist, a speaker, and a tireless plant advocate. But where he truly excels is in storytelling.
With the publication of “Of Naked Ladies and Forget-Me-Nots,” now everyone has access to his sharp wit and endless curiosity. Readers will learn the backstory behind unique plant names like “bachelor’s buttons,” “boneset,” and “bouncing bet.”
Armitage spins yarns about the mistaken myth of carrots improving eyesight and how a voodoo lily almost canceled a marriage. Bits and bobs of world history pepper the pages, including plants’ involvement in World Wars I and II, indigo’s role in colonial America, and Queen Anne’s legacy that lives on in a simple roadside wildflower. Helen of Troy, Achilles, and Queen Elizabeth all make appearances among the 95 stories included in the book.
“Of Naked Ladies and Forget-Me-Nots” makes a colorful gift for the gardener, etymology fan, trivia buff, historian, and reader. It is full of photographs, historical drawings, and artwork.