By Jennifer Krisch
Starting this month, Outlook will feature a monthly column showcasing recent titles published by Ohio University Press. The largest university press in Ohio, the press publishes 50 books annually on a variety of topics. These books carry the Ohio University name into the world, receiving national and international attention from leading scholarly journals, prominent review media and prestigious award competitions.
As the warmth of spring inspires us to start planting, an upcoming release from Ohio University Press offers a private tour of one of the most famous gardens in Ohio. "Our First Family's Home," due out in May, gives readers a vibrant visual and narrative tour of the Ohio Governor's Residence and its Ohio Heritage Garden.
The richly illustrated volume tells the story of the home that has served as Ohio's executive residence since 1957 and the mark left on it by nine governors and their families who have lived there.
Inspired by Ohio's diverse landscape, the Ohio Heritage Garden that surrounds the home is made up of a series of smaller gardens overflowing with native plant species that tell the state's history. For instance, the Garden of the Lost features plants believed to have existed before the Ice Age, while the Prairie Garden reflects the bare, arid grasslands along Ohio's western border.
First families carry on Ohio's farming traditions by utilizing the home's Herb Garden and Kettle Bog, where culinary herbs and cranberries are grown, and by harvesting fresh vegetables from the Agriculture Garden.
Although focusing much of its attention on gardens and grounds, "Our First Family's Home" also offers a history of the house -- from its beginnings as a private residence to its near demise -- and the major renovations that shaped what today is the stately residence of Ohio's first family and a learning environment for visitors.
As with any historical home, the Governor's Residence undergoes periodic renovations and updates, and, as mentioned in the book's foreward, will lead Ohio in promoting environmental issues such as solar power and green energy. Gov. Ted Strickland and his wife, Frances, plan to install solar shingles and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
In addition to spectacular images by award-winning photographer Ian Adams, "Our First Family's Home" includes "Native Plants of Ohio," a 14-page section of paintings by artist Dianne McElwain and several essays about the home and garden.
Published in conjunction with The Friends of the Ohio Governor's Residence and Heritage Garden, the Ohio University Press book will be available May 10 at select bookstores or online through the publisher Web site at: www.ohioswallow.com/on/our_first_familys_home.
Other recent Ohio University Press titles
- "The Last of the Husbandmen: A Novel of Farming Life," by Gene Logsdon: An opinionated and funny fictional look at the challenges that confronted rural America in the 20th century.
- "The Lawyer Myth: A Defense of the American Legal Profession," by Rennard Strickland and Fran T. Read: Former law school deans take on popular misconceptions about lawyers and explain their necessary role in society.
- "Cleansing the City: Sanitary Geographies in Victorian London," by Michelle Allen: A professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, Allen explores the resistance to public health efforts in London, drawing from work by Charles Dickens, George Gissing and others.
- "The Sacred Door and Other Stories: Cameroon Folktales of the Beba," by Makuchi: Thirty-four rich and compelling folktales by a writer who grew up in Cameroon.