Orchids- Book Review

Book Review

by Anu Dharmani

Originally published in BellaOnline

Posted by Sys Admin almost 4 years ago.

Article Blog   Article Index

Recently, while searching a book on orchid culture, I came across quite an old book on orchids. Orchids – Structure, History and Culture is a classic book and was written in 1886 by Lewis Castle, who mentions on the title page itself about his association with The Royal Gardens of Kew. As time passes many times old things as well as practices get discarded, in the favour of seemingly better and easier to use newly available things and products. Slowly, we forget our old practices that makes us dependent on the newer practices and objects. Here is a book to refresh your memory and somewhat reduce your dependence.

Some interesting features of the book are: 
1. The cover is beautifully designed, as it was done at that time. 
2. You will find the Index at the end of the book after the Orchidist's Directory
3. The content is preceded and followed by advertisements, which are by themselves classic and interesting to read. 
4. The book even carries a section on the construction of the orchid-house and it is accompanied by illustrations that guide in construction. 

Pros 
1. It is written in easy and engaging English, even a non-native speaker like I could understand the contents easily. This is very different from the books written at that time. Easy language makes it is a good book for the beginners too. 
2. The book contains information on practices followed in 1800's, some of these are long forgotten but have not lost their importance or use. 
3. The book offers a wide range of topics concerning the orchids that can be useful both to the beginners as well as the experienced readers. Topics ranging from history to structure and then to cultural practices of orchids are given in the book. 

Cons 
1. The unorthodox index location and structure can be a deterrent. 
2. As this book was published in late 1800's, it is understandable that there are no pictures but the illustrations given are lesser than 50 and that too in black-and-white, which is bad for a book on orchids. They are known for beautiful and colourful flowers. 
3. Though particular orchids or orchid groups do find a mention, but these are not explained in detail. It is not an exhaustive list either. 

The book is more like a coffee table book that provides some quite useful information on orchids. As this book is a classic can be costly- so it would be better to look for it in your local library. If you are interested in collecting classic then it can be bought. Otherwise, stick to the library option.

P.S. Checked on Amazon, the cost of this book is about $11 only.

Share on Social Media:  
Log in to Add a Comment

New Topics

  1. Rae Walker asked question Name help in category General Discussion
  2. John Small asked question Schomburgkia, species or hybrid in category General Discussion
  3. Robert H. Findlay asked question Help with ID of this Eria sp. in category General Discussion
  4. Osura Mindula Gunasena asked question Help to Identify the Id of this Vanda in category General Discussion
  5. Maricarmen Ferreira asked question Care for Myl Quest Fanguito in category General Discussion

New Comments

  1. Robert H. Findlay commented on topic "Help with ID of this Eria sp." by Robert H. Findlay
  2. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Name help" by Rae Walker
  3. Carol Holdren commented on member plant Dtps. Younghome Little Spirit by Heather A
  4. Sara D commented on member plant Den. Green Mist by Sara D
  5. Sara D commented on member plant Phal. bellina var. Coerulea by Sara D
  6. Sara D commented on member plant Pot. Marie Yellow Bird var. Love Love by Sara D
  7. John Small commented on topic "Lady Bug or dangerous bug" by John Small
  8. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Help to Identify the Id of this Vanda" by Osura Mindula Gunasena
  9. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Care for Myl Quest Fanguito " by Maricarmen Ferreira
  10. Roberto Lizama commented on topic "Help to idenficate this orchid" by Roberto Lizama
  11. Mark Ashworth commented on topic "Orchid species search" by Mark Ashworth
  12. Debbie Chase commented on topic "Head on Shot to be Identified" by Debbie Chase
  13. Carol Holdren commented on member plant Phal. Liu's Cute Angel by Mo Chen
  14. Mo Chen commented on member plant Holc. flavescens by Mo Chen
  15. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Identify Orchid" by Debbie Chase
  16. Nilda Vega commented on member plant Bct. Roman Holiday 'Hamlyn' by Terence Kew
  17. Clint Dalrymple commented on member plant Pnr. graminifolia by Clint Dalrymple
  18. Carol Holdren commented on member plant Rth. Beau's Golden Touch 'Touch of Class' by Robert Rand
  19. Robert H. Findlay commented on member plant B. nodosa 'Remar x Mas Mejor' by John Small
  20. Carol Holdren commented on member plant Phal. buyssoniana by Robert Oceans