Friday Finds: The Brother Gardeners

The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf

Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading.

Here’s the blurb from the publisher:

This is the fascinating story of a small group of eighteenth-century naturalists who made Britain a nation of gardeners and the epicenter of horticultural and botanical expertise. It’s the story of a garden revolution that began in America.

In 1733, the American farmer John Bartram dispatched two boxes of plants and seeds from the American colonies, addressed to the London cloth merchant Peter Collinson. Most of these plants had never before been grown in British soil, but in time the magnificent and colorful American trees, evergreens, and shrubs would transform the English landscape and garden forever. During the next forty years, Collinson and a handful of botany enthusiasts cultivated hundreds of American species. The Brother Gardeners follows the lives of six of these men, whose shared passion for plants gave rise to the English love affair with gardens. In addition to Collinson and Bartram, who forged an extraordinary friendship, here are Philip Miller, author of the best-selling Gardeners Dictionary; the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, whose standardized nomenclature helped bring botany to the middle classes; and Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, who explored the strange flora of Brazil, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia on the greatest voyage of discovery of their time, aboard Captain Cook’s Endeavour.

From the exotic blooms in Botany Bay to the royal gardens at Kew, from the streets of London to the vistas of the Appalachian Mountains, The Brother Gardeners paints a vivid portrait of an emerging world of knowledge and of gardening as we know it today. It is a delightful and beautifully told narrative history.

Okay, this one sounds incredibly good! The cover is gorgeous too. I already have so many titles that I want to read this year but how can I overlook this one? I must get my hands on it.

Oh, and Happy New Year to you all!

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10 thoughts on “Friday Finds: The Brother Gardeners”

  1. I’m such a sucker for beautiful covers, especially when they’re wrapped around a great story. This one will be going on my wish list. Thanks for sharing your find, and Happy New Year!

  2. This book sounds delightful, Ti! I adore gardens and could spend days in them. I am always fascinated by people who have the ability to design them and plant flowers in beautiful settings.
    The description of this book reminds me a little bit of a movie, “Greenfingers” about a group of prisoners in England who enter a gardening competition starring Clive Owens.

    Thanks for a great post. The cover of this book is beautiful, too!

    Have a Happy New Year!
    ~ Amy

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