I checked out Nancy Gift's A Weed By Any Other Name because I'm very cranky about my lawn, which keeps growing and then I have to mow it or weed it or prune it or something, all of which I despise, or else it falls over dead. So I wanted to read about how lawns are awful and should be abolished. I sorta got my wish, but I also had a fun time reading about someone who does love plants and thinks it worthwhile to have a part of nature surrounding your house.
Divided into four sections marked by the seasons, Gift uses various weeds and plants to evaluate her career as a weed scientist, her hopes for her two daughters, and her feeling of responsibility for the earth. Not so much the Earth, but the dirt she shepherds in her lawn and in her neighborhood. She talks about the benefits and costs of different kinds of weeds, the dangers of pesticides both known and unknown, and the purpose of the lawn around your house. It's full of little facts, most of which I shall immediately forget, but I do remember that clover became a weed when major companies couldn't figure out a poison that would kill dandelions but not clover. Before that, clover was part of the standard lawn seed packet.
I am determined now to cancel my fertilizer company, and rely on clover and other weeds to cover my lawn in green. Although I still have to mow it, so I'll look into the moss lawn mentioned in one of the chapters. Should only take 25 years to cover my area... B+