This book is a collection of short pieces on the forgotten and sometimes amusing history of horticultural science and landscape design. With a sensibility both American and British (Elliot is an American who has lived in Wales since 1985), the ideas, books and individuals he addresses impact how we farm and garden today. The author examines the written works of other authors on particular topics, in a way reviewing those books, while injecting his own impressions of the book’s characters–scientists, plant explorers, noxious weeds and devastating agricultural pests. Elliot delivers curious garden esoterica and stories from his own plot in an easy to digest format. The is a nice read for those of us who enjoy non-fiction topics but don’t have the time or desire to read a whole tome on a dismissed botanist. The composition allows an entertaining introduction to an concept and the means to explore it more if it grabs you.
© Colleen Miko, 2013