Ted Jordan Meredith has written books on viticulture, enology, wine appreciation, garlic, and bamboo. His "Bamboo for Gardens" (Timber Press 2001) was awarded the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Literature Award and The New York Times Editor's Choice for Best Books for Gardening, and his "The Complete Book of Garlic: A Guide for Gardeners, Growers, and Serious Cooks" (Timber Press 2008) has become the standard reference for garlic enthusiasts. His newest book, "Timber Press Pocket Guide to Bamboos" is a Timber Press best seller.
When a housing development suddenly took away his privacy, Ted became interested in bamboo as a beautiful, rapidly growing, evergreen screen. He quickly became captivated by bamboo in all of its aspects and began to grow, research, and write about bamboo, a diverse plant of some 1400 species that grows in a range from the tropics to above the arctic circle.
A native of Montana, Ted recalls the daring use of fresh garlic in the family kitchen. In later years, as his interest in cooking grew, Ted enthusiastically incorporated garlic into much of his cuisine but initially regarded garlic as a supermarket commodity with little distinction. It was at a farmer's market that he purchased a few heads of a Rocambole garlic, 'Spanish Roja'. Ted realized then that all garlic was not the same, and he never looked back, voraciously exploring a new-found world of hundreds of cultivars in nearly a dozen different horticultural groups.
With his focus on bamboo and garlic, Ted seems to specialize in highly beneficial plants that also carry something of a social stigma. A plant of great beauty, bamboo also plays a major role in landscaping, privacy screens, and the green sustainability movement, but it has a reputation for running where you do not want it. In his bamboo books, Ted shows that once you understand bamboo's growth habits, simple methods will keep it where you want it. Garlic is integral to most of the world's great cuisines and garlic offers a broad spectrum of health benefits, but it can also generate strong and distinctive breath, particularly noticeable by those who do not consume garlic. For this Ted offers the helpful advice that is a mantra among garlic enthusiasts: "If your friends object to your garlic breath, get new friends."
Ted and his wife garden and grow bamboo at their home in Washington state. In addition to writing and photography, Ted enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, and music.