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The Plant Hunters: Two Hundred Years of Adventure and Discovery Around the World
This is the story of the men who travelled through remote and beautiful lands, often in great peril, to collect the plants that shaped western garden design for 200 years.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Seven Dials
(first published November 5th 1998)
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Although I'd heard of a few of the "plant hunters" featured in this book, I did not previously understand either nor the occupational hazards of this vocation. Extremities of weather, terrain, foreign illnesses, and political turmoil made the search for exotic plants uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst. The demand among European gardeners, horticulturalists, and botanists for ever more diverse specimens fueled this campaign. There were some great stories in this book and interesting inf ...more
Amazing tales of adventure and often misadventure seeking out new plants for wealthy Anglo gardens. For instance, during Joseph Banks ‘successful’ voyage with Cook, he led two of his servants to a cold, wet, exhausted death near Tierra del Fuego. Eventually, 7 out of ten in his party died, mostly of disease in Jakarta. The authors have a gardener’s view of exotic plants, without a smidgen of interest in native plants nor the problem of invasives. Their Eurocentric view of imperialism and the bru ...more