The Desert Garden

Book cover of The Desert Garden
Adoption Amount: $300
Category: Build and Access the Collection
Location: Botany and Horticulture Library

The desert garden, native plants of Phoenix and vicinity, Phoenix Mountain Park, Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, Squaw Peak

By Frances Lillian Hamilton. Phoenix, Ariz.: 1933.

This slim book about native plants found in the Phoenix regional area, circa 1933, was written at a time when the population of the city was just under 50,000 people. It’s a self published book with the author providing both text and simple pen and ink illustrations of the plants throughout the book, including the book’s cover. The term "the desert garden" refers to the natural landscape surrounding the Phoenix area, including Phoenix mountain park, Camelback mountain, Papago Park, and Squaw Peak, as opposed to a garden of desert loving plants. The title is a bit of a misnomer, with the majority of the book being a taxonomic key that can be used for plant identification. In her introduction, she addresses the misconception that the desert is a "barren wasteland" where nothing grows. A review of the book in the Arizona Republic newspaper on Sunday, December 3, 1933, mentions that the native-born Arizonan author earned a masters in science at the University of Arizona, with two fellowships in botany.

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