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  • Published: 30 August 2013
  • ISBN: 9781905811922
  • Imprint: Eden Project Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $24.99

The Origin Of Plants



The people and plants that have shaped Britain's garden history since the year 1000.

A fascinating history of Britain's plant biodiversity and a unique account of how our garden landscape has been transformed over 1000 years, from 200 species of plant in the year 1000 to the astonishing variety of plants we can all see today. Thousands of plants have been introduced into Britain since 1066 by travellers, warriors, explorers and plant hunters - plants that we now take for granted such as rhododendron from the Far East, gladiolus from Africa and exotic plants like the monkey puzzle tree from Chile.

Both a plant history and a useful reference book, Maggie Campbell-Culver has researched the provenance and often strange histories of many of the thousands of plants, exploring the quirky and sometimes rude nature of the plants, giving them a personality all of their own and setting them in their social context.

The text is supported by beautiful contemporary paintings and modern photographs in 2 x 8 pp colour sections.

  • Published: 30 August 2013
  • ISBN: 9781905811922
  • Imprint: Eden Project Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Maggie Campbell-Culver

Maggie Campbell-Culver is an editor of the new forthcoming edition of The Oxford Companion to Gardens and writes regularly for the Eden Friends Magazine, Historic Garden Review, the Saturday Telegraph and NCCPG Journal. She has been a member of the Garden History Society for twenty years and of the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens since its inception. She managed the running and restoration of Mount Edgcumbe, the Grade 1 Historic Garden overlooking Plymouth Sound. She was a founder member of the Garden Trust Movement and Vice-chairman of the Cornwall Gardens Trust. She was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society in 2001. Maggie danced as a teenager with the Ballet Rambert, then studied garden history and worked on the excavation of Fishbourne Roman Palace in Sussex before moving to Cornwall and self-sufficiency in 1974. While living near Bodmin she was heavily involved with the Wadebridge Bookshop. She now lives in Brittany with her husband Michael.

Praise for The Origin Of Plants

'An impressive work in both scope and detail. The story is a fascinating one ... A most welcome and accessible reference work.'

The Times Literary Supplement

'Tim Smit, restorer of the gardens at Heligan, claims that post-ice age Britain had fewer plants than any region in the world. Yet today it boasts the "widest range of any nation on earth". The extraordinary explosion in biodiversity over the past millennium is the subject of this fascinating work.'

Financial Times

'THE ORIGIN OF PLANTS is not only a good read, but it is a gardening, history and reference book skilfully interwoven. I am now able to enjoy the people and history associated with a lot more of my garden plants, thereby adding a further dimension to my gardening.'

Western Morning News

Full of facts and legends, [The Origin of Plants] will appeal to both the general reader and the more-difficult-to-please scholars. It not only encompasses a thousand years of plant history - tracing the story of a plant's arrival in Britain and its subsequent development for garden-worthiness - but sets gardening in a social context in each era. It should be on every gardener's bookshelf.

Gardens Illustrated

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