352 pages, 350 colour photos
If you thought the age of the great plant explorers was over, guess again. Dan Hinkley, founder of the legendary Heronswood Nursery, has scoured the globe for botanical treasures, a bounty that has enriched gardens throughout the world. He presents the most outstanding shrubs and vines from his plant-collecting trips to Chile, Costa Rica, South Africa, Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan, India, New Zealand, Europe, and North America. Explorers will encounter little-known exotics such as the sapphire-berried dichroas and vermilion-flowered Desfontainea spinosa (Chilean holly).
The book also includes more familiar, but just as garden-worthy, plants such as witch hazels, hydrangeas, and sassafras. In every case, Hinkley zeroes in on why the plant deserves your garden space and what you can expect as the plant matures. Excerpts from Hinkley's travel journals evoke the plant's native setting with poetic precision, painting seductive portraits of the monkey-puzzle forests of South America or the rhododendron-clad slopes of the Himalayas.
Hinkley ... addresses his plant-collection procedures and standards to assure readers he's taken pains to avoid introducing pests, diseases or invasive species. -- Mary Beth Breckenridge Akron Beacon Journal 20090613 Hinkley is in the old breed of plant-hunter, one who hoofs about the globe with little more than a trowel and a trusty leather carry-all to hold his botanic treasures. -- Mary-Liz Shaw Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 20090621 [Hinkley] traps us with his eloquent, spot-on descriptions as cleverly as a Dutchman's pipe bloom lures, traps, then releases its pollinators. -- Kathy Huber Houston Chronicle 20090711 What sets Dan apart from the crowd is his understanding of how to grow plants well. His careful observations of plants in the wild give this book an edge and provide us with a better understanding of how to cultivate many of these wonderful shrubs and vines. -- Mat Reese Gardens Illustrated 20090801 Scores of exciting plants still await wider use by gardeners, and The Explorer's Garden is a masterful guide to this cornucopia. Michigan Gardener 20090901 A diverting read on chilly nights to come, when we can share, from a safe distance, Hinkley's "near-lunatic" passion for exotic plants and places. -- Maureen McCarthy Minneapolis Star Tribune 20091027 The armchair traveler will relish the quotes from [Hinkley's] travel journal which introduce each chapter; the horticulturalist will be caught up in the text, which describes the origins and hybrids of an array of perennials. SciTech Book News 20091201
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Daniel J. Hinkley's fascination with plants goes back to his childhood in Michigan, where he studied horticulture before moving west to Washington to earn his master's degree. He writes for numerous horticultural publications and is in high demand as a speaker throughout North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Dan has been awarded the Scott Gold Medal, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award, and the Veitch Memorial Medal, among others. Founder of the original Heronswood Nursery in Kingston, Washington, with his partner, Robert L. Jones, he now brings his expertise to Monrovia Growers as well as to several design firms, including Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd., Portico, and The Berger Partnership, where he serves as horticultural consultant. He currently gardens at Windcliff, their home in Indianola, Washington, on five acres of high bluff overlooking Puget Sound.