Plant Hunters Of Scotland
The Tree Collector. Life and Explorations of David Douglas. David Douglas was one of the most important botanical collectors there has ever been. Thanks to his heroic and often unimaginably arduous explorations, during which he collected and discovered over two hundred species, our forests and gardens are immeasurably richer. Not only is the Douglas fir named after him, but also many of our most established conifers, like the Sitka spruce, Grand and Noble firs and the Monterey pine were introduced to Britain by him. Modern-day suburban gardens would be without the flowering currant, lupin, penstemon, alpines, lilies and primroses had Douglas not travelled so widely. He grew up on the Scone Estate near Perth, studied at the Botanical Gardens in Glasgow under William Hooker, the greatest botanist of the nineteenth century, and then made his name through his remarkable excursions to western Canada, once walking nearly ten thousand miles between the Pacific coast and Hudson Bay. His premature death at just 35 was in keeping with the rest of his life, falling into a wild-animal trap in Hawaii. The Tree Collector: The Life and Explorations of David Douglas.
Monkey Puzzle Man: Archibald Menzies, Plant Hunter. Archibald Menzies was one of a legion of intrepid Scots plant collectors in the 18th and 19th centuries who roamed the world and, by a combination of toughness and knowlegde, established the foundations of the botany of the British Empire. This is a fascinating tale of how he brought the monkey puzzle to England for the first time and provides an insight to international plant collecting in the 18th century. Based on his diaries, the author recounts how Menzies, whilst on a classic voyage of exploration in which he circumnavigated the world twice, is the only naval surgeon to be placed under arrest for insubordination, and all because his precious plants were washed away! He is also the only man to have pocketed his dessert at a foreign presidential banquet, which subsequently resulted in the introduction of one of the most curious trees to Britain's parks and estates.The Author tells a tale of high adventure on land and sea in the latter part of the 18th century, from a surgeon's grisly work at the Battle of the Saints in the West Indies to the seductive allure of Tahitain maidens and plant collecting in freezing Alaska. Menzies was the first to ascend the fiery volcano of Mauna. Monkey Puzzle Man: Archibald Menzies, Plant Hunter.
Seeds of Blood and Beauty. Scottish Plant Collectors. More explorers than gardeners, their quests took them from familiar Scottish towns to far-flung territories, swapping Aberdeen for Africa, Falkirk for China, Glasgow for Afghanistan and Auchenblae for Antarctica. Starting with William Wright (1735-1810), who left the quiet Fife town of Crieff for Jamiaca, and the introspective Aberdonian Francis Masson, who metamorphosed from an under gardener at Kew Gardens to a intrepid pioneer who faced gangs of bandits and poisonous snakes, Ann Lindsay presents men who were regarded as 'the Indiana Joneses of their day', exploding myths of dreamy botanists skipping through fields of flowers and describing the harsh and dangerous realities of their journeys. The chapters chronologically progress through each of the major players in this game, providing fascinating insights into the purposes and practicalities of scientific exploration over three centuries and examining the astonishing contribution these pioneers made in their field. Seeds of Blood and Beauty charts a truly extraordinary period in Scotland's history. In setting each individual's career against a wider backdrop it shows how social change in both Britain and abroad influenced botanical research and thus Scotland's gardens over a period of 200 years. The fruits of extensive research, it is an accessible and informative book which combines biography, history and horticulture in a readable and engaging style. Seeds of Blood and Beauty: Scottish Plant Collectors.
George Forrest, Plant Hunter. George Forrest was a legendary plant collector in the heyday of the British Empire. His career spanned the decades before and after the First World War. Risking his safety and health, he discovered hundreds of new species, introduced many plants to our gardens, and became one of the most outstanding plant collectors in the Sino-Himalaya. As many plants were named after him, he is well known in gardening circles yet this is the first biography of Forrest, and the first book on him for fifty years. This book, published to celebrate the centenary of Forrest's first setting out for the mountains of Yunnan, south-west China, brings Forrest to life, drawing on his own letters and those of his contemporaries. It tells of Forrest's adventures and his escape from death at the hands of warring Lamas. It shows the influence of his patrons, describes the excitement of his plant and animal discoveries, and reveals his rivalry with other plant hunters, Reginald Farrer and Frank Kingdon Ward. Published in association with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. George Forrest: Plant Hunter.
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