Recreating Eden: A Natural History Of Botanical Gardens
Interviews with the directors of some of the gardens give an insight into the obstacles that exist both for gardens and for the planet as a whole. Some of the news is alarming: in a project to save seeds as genetic material for the future, there are species of plants from which seeds cannot be taken because there are not enough plants left. Soderstrom never downplays such environmental perils, and throughout this book there is a sense of gratitude that the custodians of the gardens take their stewardship seriously.
The photographs, many taken by the author, are beautiful, and the small botanical-themed woodcuts sprinkled throughout the book add an old-fashioned charm.
Recreating Eden can be used as a guidebook – it has information about admission fees, shady corners to rest, even about which food from Singapore’s street vendors is safe to eat – but it is much more. This is a great summer read for armchair travellers, history buffs, and gardeners. M.G. mRb