By: Phillada Ballard
168 pages, Col photos & illus
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens are the only provincial botanic gardens in Britain still owned and administered by a private society. This profusely illustrated book describes their 175-year history since the founding of the Birmingham Botanical and Horticultural Society in 1829. Earlier botanic gardens were mostly begun for the teaching of botany to medical students and were founded by universities. In the first half of the nineteenth century many new gardens were opened in London and the provinces run by private societies in order to grow and display the numerous new plants then being introduced to Britain, and to disseminate horticultural knowledge among the middle class. The societies were run by knowledgeable amateurs, mostly industrialists and professional men, and the gardens were open only to subscribers.
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