The Vancouver launch for Maleea Acker’s Gardens Aflame: Garry Oak Meadows of BC’s South Coast is set for Saturday, March 9, at the People’s Co-op Bookstore. Her talk might even include tips on how to obtain and grow your own Garry oak tree.
Gardens Aflame, No. 21 in the Transmontanus series, is a portrait of Quercus garryana, our own native oak, an unusual specimen that goes into dormancy in the middle of summer, and which seemed to thrive best in a symbiotic relationship with the people who tended the meadows that bloomed at their feet.
In April, Maleea will be back in Victoria for two events organized by the Native Plant Study Group.
On April 18, Maleea will give a talk and slide show at the NPSG’s offices, at 405 — 365 Waterfront Crescent. This event is open to the public, and gets underway at 7 pm.
On April 24, at the Saanich Centennial Library, Maleea wil be reading from Gardens Aflame and from her forthcoming (from Pedlar Press) second book of poetry, Almond In the Earth. The reading begins at 7 pm.
Meanwhile, BC Studies has published this review by Jenny McCune on their website.
Vancouver Island’s Garry oak meadows are a perfect local example of the clash between the traditional ideal of conservation as a return to wilderness untouched by human presence, and the realization that in some cases, the ecosystems we want to conserve were created and/or maintained by the actions of human beings. Acker aptly describes this conflict, and highlights the resulting controversies over how best to manage the small fragments of Garry oak meadows we have left. As far as I am aware, Gardens Aflame is the first book outside the academic literature to tell this story. It has the potential to introduce the fascinating environmental history of Vancouver Island’s Garry oak meadows to readers in British Columbia and beyond. I hope it will also inspire more people to consider creating a Garry oak meadow in their own front yard.
And yes, sparrows are not mammals.
The People’s Co-op launch gets underway at 8 pm. Admission is free.