quoted material in Bulbs for Garden Habitats

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Mon, 28 Mar 2005 10:59:42 PST
In response to Judy Glattstein's reply to the controversy over quotations 
used in her new book, "Bulbs for Garden Habitats":

I have no quarrel with the attribution in the book, which is extensive and 
no doubt perfectly adequate. I did not, however, receive any text to review 
of the passages attributed to me. I have heard from one other person who 
did, however. Perhaps my initial e-mail response to Glattstein's 
questionnaire was poorly phrased, so that she misinterpreted my 
disinclination to be involved in her project as a blanket permission. This 
points to the usefulness of obtaining standard, hard-copy, signed 
permissions for use of others' text -- permissions that a publisher usually 
requires the author to provide during the editing phase, before the book is 
released for printing. If Glattstein's publisher didn't at least think 
about whether this should be done, that is an omission on the press's part; 
or perhaps they thought about it, and decided that the statements she had 
obtained via e-mail were adequate.

The omission of a bibliography by the publisher is unfortunate, and it is 
good that the author has explained this. Given the extensive (and likely to 
become outdated) "Sources" section in the back matter, it is difficult to 
understand how room could not be found for, say, a two-page list of useful 
general books. Timber Press also failed the author in the matter of 
providing competent copyediting; but one can't blame an author for that.

Given my views already expressed, I would of course not write a review of 
it in a journal I myself edit. In fact, one of the requirements for 
reviewers of books in the Rock Garden Quarterly is that the reviewer has 
not contributed to the book, and that he or she not be well acquainted with 
the author -- difficult constraints, sometimes, in the small world of 
specialist gardening. Although I sometimes write reviews, I usually do this 
because I can't find anyone else to address a certain book. It should be 
relatively easy to find a suitable reviewer for Judy Glattstein's book, 

Nor should the eventual reviewer fail to find value in this book. It 
appears to be a good introduction for the novice to intermediate gardener 
to a range of geophytes not found in many gardens, particularly those 
plants suitable for eastern and southern North America. The personal, 
anecdotal style will appeal to many readers and encourage them to try new 
plants. In a sense, this updates the long-ago work of Louise Beebe Wilder 
on the same topic and regions.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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