Botanists are the trailblazers who first discovered how plants work and collected from around the world many of the species that we find in our gardens today. This informative and beautiful guide presents the stories of 35 plant collectors and gardening pioneers of the past and present, including Joseph Banks, Asa Gray and Marianne North. Arranged in chronological order, each profile covers one botanist, presenting their life story, discoveries and legacy, while special feature pages reveal their secrets, exploring the qualities that brought them success and showing what ordinary gardeners can learn from them. Illustrated with beautiful period botanical watercolours and vibrant photographs, RHS The Secrets of the Great Botanists will provide inspiration and practical guidance for gardeners of all levels, from successful plant cultivation to adding interest to your garden.
Matthew Biggs trained at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, has presented numerous television programmes, notably Channel 4's Garden Club, and is a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time. He has written several books, including the recently revised Complete Book of Vegetables and the Eden Project's Gardening at Eden and how to do it at home. Matthew contributes to several magazines, including the RHS's The Garden, BBC Gardeners' World, and Gardens Illustrated. He lectures at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Oxford University Botanic Gardens, and the Cookery School of Michelin-starred chief Jean-Christophe Novelli, and is course Director of the Plants and Plantsmanship course at the English Gardening School.