As a voracious learner, it was a delight to tuck into this book full of interesting floral anecdotes and histories. There is no need to know about each of the selected flowers but there is joy in finding out. Each flower has its own section with a brief history and its name origin. These lovely little tidbits are interesting and easy to digest. The illustrations are beautiful. It’s a five out of five on the enjoyment scale!

From the back cover:

Garden and social historian Advolly Richmond (of Gardener’s World) unravels the surprising histories of 60 flowers that shape our gardens.

Have you ever wondered where your favorite garden flowers came from? Where their names derived? Or why some cultivars go in and out of favor? Every flower in your herbaceous border has a story, and in this book Advolly Richmond takes you on a tour of the most intriguing, surprising and enriching ones.

Tales of exploration, everlasting love and bravery bring these beautiful flowers to life. Advolly has dug down to uncover the royalty, scholars, pioneers, and a smuggler or two that have all played a part in discovering and cultivating some of our favorite species. From the lavish and exotic bougainvillea, found by an 18th century female botanist in disguise to the humble but majestic snowdrop casting a spell and causing a frenzy. These plants have played pivotal roles in our societies, from boom to bust economies, promises of riches, and making fashion statements. These unassuming blooms hold treasure troves of stories.  

With specially commissioned artworks from award-winning botanical illustrator Sarah Jane Humphrey, which sumptuously bring each flower to life – this is a beautiful compendium for every garden lover.

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