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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Stories of the Natural World
The Secret Life of Plants describes the exploits of plant geniuses throughout the world, for example, a great Bengali scientist, knighted by King George V for his achievements, Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose, who discovered the interrelationship of plants and electromagnetism. There is also the Russian husband-wife team, the Kirlians, who discovered a way of photographing the...
Published on 12 Mar 2006 by Carole Chapman

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Food for your imagination, but not really science...
The basic idea of this book is that all plants are sensing, conscious beings, despite the fact that they lack a nervous system and a brain. I've known about the book since my childhood in Norway, when my father - who is an artist and organic hobby gardener - read it. What he told me probably affected my - and many other's - view on nature and plants, more than I'm aware...
Published on 26 Jan 2010 by Bendik Johnsen


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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Stories of the Natural World, 12 Mar 2006
This review is from: Secret Life of Plants (Paperback)
The Secret Life of Plants describes the exploits of plant geniuses throughout the world, for example, a great Bengali scientist, knighted by King George V for his achievements, Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose, who discovered the interrelationship of plants and electromagnetism. There is also the Russian husband-wife team, the Kirlians, who discovered a way of photographing the aura around living things. In addition, you can read about Canadian researchers at the University of Ottawa, who used sound vibrations to speed up the growth of plants.
You can also read about George Washington Carver, famous for transforming the peanut into many marketable products, and Luther Burbank, the plant genius who developed marvelous new varieties in his plant breeding programs. If you want to learn about their achievements, you can look them up in an Encyclopedia. But if you really want to know what they did to produce their amazing achievements, you need to read The Secret Life of Plants.
This book contains details about their childhoods, for example, that George Washington Carver was a frail child and that he maintained a secret greenhouse in the woods where he cured sick plants. Also, that as a child, he used plants to cure sick animals.
You can also learn about the way these geniuses worked with plants, for example, that Luther Burbank had an amazing intuitive ability to know which of the plants in his plant breeding experiments contained the traits he desired. He evidently could go through millions of seedlings and pick out the ones that showed the most promise.
There are many more fascinating topics covered in this book, among them, the North Scotland community of Findhorn that works with nature spirits to produce amazing gardens, that dowsing is considered a respected science in France, and that the alchemists’ goal of transmuting elements is effortlessly accomplished everyday by plants.
Co-author, Peter Tompkins, who also penned such fascinating tomes as Secrets of the Great Pyramid and Mysteries of the Mexican Pyramids, unearths fascinating information by detailing the work of scientists shunned by conformist academia.
Being an avid organic gardener, I especially enjoyed learning why and how chemical fertilizers deplete the soil of nutrients, and also the amazing research that shows that plant can produce the nutrients they need without supplemental chemicals or additives.
Probably The Secret Life of Plants is the most valuable to me because it shows how scientists using plants were able to prove the reality of telepathy, something researchers holding up index cards to human subjects have not been able to do adequately.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing info and discoveries!, 1 Nov 2003
By 
Sara Molnar (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Secret Life of Plants (Paperback)
It was a great feeling reading this book as it confirmed what I'd already thought, which is that plants have feelings to! Hopefully, people will now respect the Plant kingdom more and see them in a different light. I think Plants have so much to offer us, not just in the oxgyen they release for us to breathe or in the beauty of their growth, but in healing remedies too. This book takes you through the miracle of the plant and certainly opened my eyes to the amazing 'secret' abilities they have. A good read for anyone! Enjoy!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has information that MUST be shared with the world, 6 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Secret Life of Plants (Paperback)
This was a very informative book. It shows how scientists have recently proven plant thought, emotion, and sensing powers. This book must be read by as many people as possible (except parts of chapter two) before any more of the horrible plant abuse that I am constantly witnessing takes place. This book confirmed many beliefs about plants that I had prior to reading it, and it will help in much of my own experimentation. Thank you Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I FEEL THE INFORMATION IN THIS BOOK IS VITAL TO THE WORLD., 20 Jun 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Secret Life of Plants (Paperback)
I HAVE READ THIS BOOK SEVERAL TIMES. AFTER READING THE FIRST TIME I WAS IMPRESSED WITH THE AUTHOR WHO GATHERED THE INFORMATION. I FELT THAT HIS OPINION WERE NOT RELATED IN THIS BOOK, THEREFORE HE WAS ABLE TO ENTER MUCH INFORMATION. THANK YOU - THIS WILL HELP WITH MY OWN RESEARCH.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Food for your imagination, but not really science..., 26 Jan 2010
By 
Bendik Johnsen "Bendik Johnsen" (Bergen, Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Secret Life of Plants (Paperback)
The basic idea of this book is that all plants are sensing, conscious beings, despite the fact that they lack a nervous system and a brain. I've known about the book since my childhood in Norway, when my father - who is an artist and organic hobby gardener - read it. What he told me probably affected my - and many other's - view on nature and plants, more than I'm aware of, long before I read the book myself.

Last year I watched the 1979 movie The Secret Life of Plants (which is based on this book) in parts on YouTube. It is a fascinating old-school documentary with a new age message, and a marvellous soul-jazz synthesizer soundtrack by Stevie Wonder. I love books like "A Short History of Nearly Everything" (Bill Bryson), "The Fruit Hunters" (Adam Leith Gollner) and "The World without Us" (Alan Weisman), so when I went ahead and bought the book, I expected to find more, serious background information on the theories and experiments that are presented in the movie.

The problem with books in general - and movies for that matter - is that people tend to take what's said in them for truth. Reading this book made me think of a college, who started reading science fiction novels. After a while he started talking about what he had read as if they were facts. He spoke of how he received telepathic messages from aliens, and how he could control ambient space energy by making tai chi-like movements. Eventually he was committed to hospital... Perhaps a reminder that you should not take books like this too seriously!

The research presented in "The Secret Life of Plants" is interesting food for thought; Reading plants by use of lie-detectors and telepathy, interstellar communication through living algae, how music, electricity and radiation can affect plant growth, etc. The chapter about the George Washington Carver, who invented the modern peanut farming industry, and the chapter about the famous horticulturist and hybridization expert Luther Burbank are an interesting read.

I consider the book's strength, its description of alternative philosophical and scientific approaches, through thinkers like Ludwig von Goethe and Rudolf Steiner, and how their thoughts have been an undercurrent in the field of botany for centuries, influencing later important scientists, like Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud. (But would Goethe and Steiner have thought differently, had they known about modern genetics and evolution theory? I think so!)

I would have liked to see more critical remarks - not just "fact" after "fact" and an endless list of scientists. In general, The Secret Life of Plants is just too positive in its embrace of its subject matter, and hardly ever asks even the most obvious counter arguments. For instance, when electricity is used to make aura photographs of plants, how can we know it's not the electricity that's being pictured, and not the "aura"? Had the authors used Occam's razor more often - the basic scientific rule of thumb that states that the best hypothesis is usually the one that introduces the fewest assumptions - the book would have been a lot better. Indirectly, this is a good example of how religious thinking often works; Reducing the complexity and interactions of the natural world to a few over-simplified principles. In this way, the book actually contradicts its own intentions - instead of presenting new, more ecologically sustainable scientific principles, it ends up preaching a new age gospel.

Some of the facts presented in the book are actually false. For instance, the book claims that Carl Linnaeus took the eroticism and poetry out of science and teaching when he invented the modern taxonomy system. The contrary is actually the case - Linnaeus lectures were more like picnics with music and drinking, he invented a flower clock, he gave several flowers names after genitalia, and named a particularly slimy species of worm after his scientific arch enemy!

A lot has probably been done in the field of "paranormal research" and plants since the 70's, both in serious science and in popular science. The TV show "Mythbusters" on Discovery Channel did for instance repeat the polygraph and the sound experiments (both "plausible", if I recall correctly?). So if a critical and up-to-date publication within this field exists, I'd rather read that!

The secret life of plants also has a few chapters oriented towards environmentalism and biologic farming, which may have opened people's eyes 30 years ago, but are rather outdated today. Today, "everybody" knows food additives and refined sugars aren't good for your body, and that soil erosion and artificial fertilisers damage Mother Earth in the long run. Healthy plants make healthy food, and that happy hens lay happy eggs. Looking back on my reading experience, I think the book has a rather strange suspense curve; it starts off with these far-out "scientific" paranormal theories, but ends up with a row of chapters about organic farming, dowsing and homeopathic theories. I agree with the other reviewer, who pointed out that even plant lovers could find this book dull.

All in all, the book does offer some refreshing perspectives on the relationship between man and plants, and the uneducated and religiously inclined reader may swallow the "truths" in "The Secret Life of Plants" wholeheartedly. If you have read many other books on plants and nature, and are looking for something out of the box, I recommend this book for you. If not, go for some of the other - probably far better - alternatives!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful fun, well written, with painstaking research, 15 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Secret Life of Plants (Paperback)
It is one of the best books about plants that I have ever read. It is wonderful fun, and teaches you to aprecciate God's creatures. I found particularly interesting the chapter on Steve Baxter's primary cell perception theory and experiments. I strongly recommend it, especially if you are interested in metaphysical interpretations about life. You'll get a good glimpse of a higher purpose, a higher harmony.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Need to Know, 23 Oct 2011
By 
I first found this book , The Secret Life of Plants, decades ago on an obscure Greek island.It was dog-eared, minus cover and cost too much , but I had to have something in English to read. Since then I have bought new copies for friends and if I ruled the world, I would make everyone read it and it's why I never want to see flowers in cellophane withering at a cold graveside - no, not even for Princess Di.
It's not a whimsical book, you'll find it firmly rooted in science.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book blew me away! Read it!, 18 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Secret Life of Plants (Paperback)
This book goes into things that are so incredible it's unbelivable!,( yet believable). I'd love to recreate some of the experiments in the book but the book doesn't give you enough information in regards to exactly how it was done, materials used,etc. Conveinently? krkingston@aol.com
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secret life of plants, 28 Dec 2011
By 
Mr. Brian Everitt "burwell" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Secret Life of Plants (Paperback)
This is the most amazing book that I have ever read...quite believable a must have by anyone interested in the natural world.
I do not now feel stupid whispering quietly to plants etc as I walk by.
I have always felt that there was some kind of affinity between ourselves and the plant world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account of interesting discoveries, 27 July 2011
This review is from: The Secret Life of Plants (Paperback)
Before writing about the contents, let me tell you the book's cover wasn't what they showed here (the black and white one); rather.. it was the standard latest edition one with a green title and flower smiling (I've put an image in "other customer images", you'll get the idea).

I've read this book cover to cover in a library and I just bought it to put it among my collections. We all know plants live, we all know they can feel the sensations (eg. tendrils around a support, venusflytrap snapping up, etc...) but the question is... can they think ? can the feel beyond the senses, can they feel emotions ? do they interact as we do ? Answer to all this is what you'd expect out of this book, a "yes"; and with knowing that too the book catches you by the seat's edge page after page with interesting accounts of experiments from throughout the world. I'd really recommend it.
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The Secret Life of Plants by Christopher Bird (Paperback - 31 Mar 1989)
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