352 pages, 250 colour photographs and illustrations
With over a million visitors a year, Kew is one of the world's best-loved gardens. As well as having a fascinating history and holding an unchallenged position as the world's leading botanical research institute, it is a paradise for plant lovers, offering a wealth of ideas and inspiration for every gardener.
Allen Paterson charts the evolution of Kew from private pleasure ground to public park to international institution. This story includes a cast of royalty, scientists, landscape designers and artists, at first being influenced by, later leading the development of plant collections elsewhere in Britain and around the world. This book will be beautifully illustrated with photographs of the garden today and archive botanical illustrations from the Kew collection.
This engaging and beautifully illustrated account of Kew's journey shows us how it has not only survived two world wars and a raft of ideological challenges but has gone from strength to strength. The author clearly loves his subject and gives it a fitting, at times almost poetic, tribute. Waterstone's Books Quarterly As a former 'Kewite' - someone who learned his craft and fostered his love for plants and cultivating them at Kew - I was eager to see this book and hopeful that it would do justice to this garden. I can say that it has achieved this and more. For people who know the gardens well or for those who have never visited, it is a pleasure both to look at and to read. Garden Heaven (Ireland) Kew celebrates its 250th birthday in 2009 and this lavish book celebrates Kew through the ages. This eloquent, historical review explains how a royal pleasure garden became a public institution with a worldwide reputation for plant conservation. The photographs are stunning. Oxford Times The book's structure is clever, with a general "preambulation" through the gardens coming early on. The illustrations are both beautiful and apposite. It is particularly pleasing to find so much of the book devoted to the history of the landscape and its buildings (many now vanished) which began life as a royal garden in the 1730s. Finally, there could not be a more congenial companion guide than Allen Paterson, who seems to know instinctively just how many historical or botanical facts to give readers, avoiding information overload and enhancing Kew's essential romance. Daily Telegraph This gorgeous book, lavishly illustrated with 300 colour photographs, is published to tie in with the anniversary of its foundation and celebrates Kew's remarkable history and influence. A feast for the eyes - and inspiration for your own backyard. Daily Mail The former director of Chelsea Physic Garden makes for an expert guide. So maybe we should plot a major investment by bagging the book and then planning the trip to see the place in the flesh, or rather, the bud, bloom and leaf. Eastern Daily Press The text is well written and interesting enough to sit and read, or, if you prefer, you can just leaf through admiring the luxurious photos. And if you're too far away from London to visit Kew, this book may well be the next best thing. Professional Gardener Beautifully illustrated with photographs of the garden today and archive illustrations from the Kew collection, this fascinating book, published in association with Kew, is the perfect way to celebrate the Gardens' 250th Anniversary this year. Beautiful Britain
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Allen Paterson was from 1973 to 1981 Curator of the Chelsea Physic Garden and from 1981 to 1993 Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Ontario. He is a member of the Council of the Royal Horticultural Society, and a Distinguished Advisor to the Board of Brooklyn Botanic Garden. He lives in Dumfriesshire in Scotland.