This is a spanking-new copy of Adrian Slack’s Insect Eaters: How to Grow and Feed Extraordinary Plants, a recent reissue of his long-out-of-print 1986 classic, Insect-Eating Plants and How to Grow Them, a title which still fetches over a hundred clams or more among collectors -- and has resulted in the theft of more than a few library books over the years. I am not naming names . . .
How many titles can claim that popularity? I ask you . . .
Insect Eaters is a large format 21 cm x 21 cm (do the conversion, baby, it’s already 2009) trade paperback, published by Alphabet and Image of the UK; its 158 pages are profusely illustrated with both color photographs and with a generous number of the author’s well-known botanical drawings and diagrams. More importantly though, it is filled with Slack’s simple, no-nonsense approach to the cultivation of most every genera you’re likely to find in a swamp and elsewhere -- from Byblis, Cephalotus, Dionaea, Genlisia, and Nepenthes to the unique “slack-potting” method he popularized to grow Drosophyllum -- none of which seems outmoded almost twenty-five years later; although, I must admit, that his repeated use of the English term “moss peat” is most troubling.
For those of you either too young to recall (or who have otherwise impaired yourselves through decades of “huffing” Ortho® products -- you know who you are), Adrian Slack was instrumental, (initially through his first title, Carnivorous Plants in 1979) in popularizing the cultivation of these vegetal oddities, back in the bygone 1970s and early 1980s (when, for example, Apple co-founder, Steve Wosniak was tiny but many computers the size of Buicks); and he was the founder of the late-lamented Marston Exotics in Somerset, among the first large nurseries and mail-order businesses dedicated to the wider cultivation of carnivorous plants. A great number of cultivars and hybrids (particularly of Sarracenia -- see the NASC connection, here?) were either developed, named by Slack, or for him over the years; and, now, more than a few newer species, among them Drosera slackii from South Africa -- a very attractive, sticky little plant from the Cape Region.
Many a teetering Venus Flytrap and other nasty plants ultimately owed their lasting survival to Adrian Slack’s efforts and clear, spartan instructions; and I would count myself among those who have benefited from this excellent book and from its “borrowed” predecessor, lo those many years ago -- slack-jawed punk that I am . . .
I will ship this book to the, oh, so generous, svelte, terribly good-looking 2009 NASC Auction winner on my dime -- even in the far-off, very alien land of Canada. What could be more better, eh?
Opening bid is 10.00 and my e-mail contact is email@example.com . . .