“We need to see to believe.”  

One day while lying in her garden, aritst/writer/photographer Joan Solomon took a random picture of a blooming violet. The result of that photo surprised her so much she decided to photgraph more plants. The original photo of the Wild Violet Gnome that serves as the cover of her new book Sprits in the Garden may be beautiful, but it is only the beginning of the layout that Solomon has prepared for anyone willing to take a look. Showcasing beautiful nature photographs, a brief introduction to discovering the spirits of nature and an extensive list of natural recipes and remedies, Solomon’s new book is for all people who think there might be something more to the natural world than meets the eye. 

Divided into four distinct but cohesive parts, Solomon’s book first explains the idea of nature spirits while displaying several images showing facial features found in rocks, the bark of trees and flowers and then asks readers to “Suspend your disbelief for a whle and allow yourself to wonder… What if it’s really true?” This question leads the reader into the second part of the book, entitled “Meet the Nature Spirits,” where the true heart of the publication lies. This is where Solomon not only gives the reader a detailed history of numerous flowers and herbs, but also illustrates her interest in nature spirits with stunning pictures portraying each plant’s anthropomorphic tendencies.

Part three is dedicated to recipes and remedies, including Calendula Cough Syrup, Mermaid Magnolia Bath, Violet Jelly and Peony Body and Facial Freshener. This chapter is perhaps a bit shorter than most would like, but assuming that the remedies here work and the recipes taste as good as they sound, there’s still something to be enjoyed. The final section of the book is a rather personal “Author’s Notes” section. Featuring a personal letter to Nature, a brief statement and some thank yous, this part section is only for the die-hard Solomon devotees.

Overall, Solomon’s book offers readers many breathtaking photographs and much interesting information. For those who already have an affinity towards nature spirits, this conglomeration of pictures and knowledge is an ideal addition to your library. For those who may be thinking twice, the images are still pretty enough to enjoy on a surface level without requiring the additional beliefs expounded throughout the book.

Zach’s Rating: B
Perfect For: The nature spirit afficianado looking for photographic documentation of faery life
Stay Away if: “Garden” to you is the patch of grass between your house and the sidewalk

For more information and to purchase Spirits in the Garden, visit the book’s homepage
To view more of Joan Solomon’s art, visit her homepage

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