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THE SECRET GARDEN by David Bodanis...

THE SECRET GARDEN by David Bodanis (Touchstone: $14; 187 pp., illustrated). Bondanis takes the reader on a micro-tour of a suburban flower bed, revealing how a multitude of tiny insects, algae, plants and bacteria compete, survive and communicate within a seemingly tranquil landscape. Aphids respond to the depredations of lady bugs by secreting a sticky compound that traps the marauding beetles’ feet; rose bushes send unpleasant chemicals to the stems the aphids attack. Dramatic photomicrographs of mites, beetles and fungi supplement the intriguing text, although the vision of home as a place infested with miniature grotesques may give timorous readers the willies.


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