an extraordinary book

  • 6 Replies
  • 3788 Views

Chantal

  • Jr. Member
an extraordinary book
« on: July 09, 2011, 08:03:39 AM »
I'm enjoying reading a book in english (how proud I am !) called "The brother gardeners by Andrea Wulf.
I'm sorry, it is not mediterranean topic but I love this story so much and it makes me understand some aspects of the history.
It is the story of "how six men (including Linnaeus, Philip Miller, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander) created the modern garden and changed the horticultural world in the process".
Does somebody know this book ?
Chantal Guiraud
Montpellier-France
MGS Seed Coordinator

"The flowers of spring are winter's dreams told in the morning at the table of the angels" (Khalil Gibran)

*

Alisdair

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
Re: an extraordinary book
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 10:09:52 AM »
Yes, a terrific book. I was given it a year or two ago (it came out in 2009) and enjoyed it very much. Just the right sort of book to while away a few hours sitting in the kindly shade of an olive tree! Just yesterday I was reminded of the book's story of Linnaeus in Peter Collinson's garden admiring a giant Lilium superbum towering high above his head - because one as tall that I have, grown from seed kindly sent me from the States by Joe Nemmer, was just opening its first fierce flowers.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

*

Cali

  • Jr. Member
Re: an extraordinary book plus another
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 05:56:56 AM »
Thank you, Chantal.  It does sound very interesting and I'm going to try and get hold of it.
I'll take this opportunity to plug another book that's also pertinent though only on the periphery of our subject: Richard Mabey's WEEDS'. One of the many lessons I learned from it is that the dividing lines betewwen "mediterranean" plants and others is nowhere near as rigd as we think. Plants have a mind and a will of their own and they don't listen to the weather forecast.
Cali Doxiadis
Former MGS President
Gardens in Corfu, Greece.

Chantal

  • Jr. Member
Re: an extraordinary book
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 07:37:59 AM »
Dear Cali and Alisdair,

Thank you for your answers. I must now plan another trip to Great Britain to visit this Collinson's Garden.
I have something else to add about Andrea Wulf's book. I was feeling involved when I learnt that Bartram discovered Franklinia alatamaha and that this shrub is extinct in its habitat (Georgia, If I remember). All the specimens around the world are coming from the seeds Bartram's son collected.
When we visited a garden in Oregon in 2008, I stood completely amazed in front of the flowers of this shrub. By chance, there were some seed pods and, so, I picked up some. It is the reason why, you can find on the MGS seed list, the famous Franklinia named after Benjamin Franklin who was Bartram and Collinson's friend. Unfortunately, I only send one order of these seeds. Of course, it is not very mediterranean and it must be the reason.
When I think that these seeds are the lineage of Bartram's plants, I am touched with emotion.
Cali, I put this other book on my whish list, but as I don't read very quickly in english (imagine, I have the big Harraps dictionary close to me, that I have to consult from time to time), I'll wait for a while.......
 
Chantal Guiraud
Montpellier-France
MGS Seed Coordinator

"The flowers of spring are winter's dreams told in the morning at the table of the angels" (Khalil Gibran)

*

Alisdair

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
Re: an extraordinary book
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2011, 08:50:40 AM »
There seems no reason why the Franklinia should not succeed in a Mediterranean garden, as it's thought the original tree before it was extinct probably grew on dry sandy ridges. Several grow in Italy, though not so many as in more northern parts of Europe - you can see the results of a fairly recent census here. It would need summer watering, but does stand great heat. There is an interesting thread on people's experiences growing it on an American forum, which you can see here.
The suggestion is that seed should be sown in December, to germinate in early spring.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 08:55:58 AM by Alisdair »
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

David Bracey

  • Hero Member
    • Email
Re: an extraordinary book
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2011, 01:32:08 PM »
Alisdair do you mean mediterranean garden!!!!!!!!!! (small m) David
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

*

Alisdair

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
Re: an extraordinary book
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2011, 02:14:44 PM »
No David, I did actually mean Mediterranean! That census shows that there are quite a few Franklinia trees in California, so it does grow in "mediterranean" places. But thanks for reminding us all of the difference between Mediterranean and mediterranean.... as explained here.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society