Sandy Primrose guides us through the horticultural year with a series of essays on the origins, history and unusual properties of dozens of plants, many of which we find in our gardens. Some have histories dating back thousands of years, many are still used in medicine, and others can kill a man. He explains how plants are catalogued and the necessity for all those Latin names which most of us struggle with. In doing so he pays tribute to those hardy collectors who faced extreme dangers on their world-wide expeditions to discover new exotic species which were such a favourite in Victorian gardens – and still do.
With chapter headings entitled ‘Who was Granny Smith?’, ‘Plants for Naughty People’, ‘Making Sense of Scents’, and ‘How to Avoid Being Poisoned by Your Relatives’ there is something for everyone!
Sandy Primrose brings an insight to botany which is both educational and entertaining; and the fifty short essays make for perfect bedtime reading. A professor of microbiology and keen gardener, he instinctively knows how to retain the interest of seasoned and novice gardeners alike. Planting the marigolds will never be the same again!