Scott Calhoun's Desert
For the last two years, I’ve sat on the American Horticultural Society’s Book Award Committee. This means that each week in November and December, two or three or six gardening books show up in my mailbox or on my doorstep to review, peruse, and ultimately judge...
this is what he says about The Brother Gardeners:
In Andrea Wulf’s The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire & The Birth of an Obsession, she brings to life the colonial world of plant trade beginning with the friendship, correspondence, and plant swapping between American plantsman John Bartram, and British merchant Peter Collinson. The way Wulf mines the letters these men exchanged is exhaustive and magnificent. Along the way, we get a personal picture of the brilliant, arrogant, and persistent father of modern botany, Carl Linnaeus, and his more affable student Daniel Solander. Lest you think that the book is set in drawing rooms filled with rattling tea cups, plant presses, and powdered wigs, Wulf peppers her text with tales of English playboys on high seas plant adventures,Tahitian orgies, bouts of malaria, and glimpses into Benjamin Franklin’s passion for horticulture. I can’t think of a more interesting introduction to the sport we call gardening.