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This splendidly illustrated book about the world famous botanic gardens at Kew examines their historic impact and importance. With 250 fascinating photographs, many of them previously unseen, it describes the botanical, social, cultural, political and technological developments of the past two centuries and highlights the pivotal role that plants have played in British life. The tale of Kew Gardens embraces a wide range of themes, including: plant hunters, ecologists, explorers and other pioneers; the evolution of building and garden design; influential directors, architects and landscape gardeners; the gardens as a vital public resource; digging for victory – Kew in wartime.