Here are the vibrant stories of eighteen heroes of horticulture—institution builders, plant explorers, and garden creators—who have all had a major impact on the American landscape. Three of them worked together to establish The Garden Conservancy to preserve exceptional gardens for the public. Others came to the rescue to restore and enhance public parks and public spaces, setting new standards for aesthetics and encouraging wider public use. While some have taken on the revitalization of botanic gardens, important to science and public education as well as public enjoyment, others have worked to create new outstanding public gardens. Then there are the adventurous tales of the intrepid plant explorers who travel to remote parts of the globe hunting for new plants unknown in the west. Many have also worked to hybridize and improve the plants already in use, and most have opened nurseries to help ensure these great plants are available to the public. Finally, two have created their own exceptional gardens that, thanks to the existence of The Garden Conservancy, are becoming new public institutions.
…a lavishly illustrated set of biographical essays on gardeners, plant explorers and conservationists.
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
Copiously illustrated and engagingly written, this book is a delight to read and brings much-deserved attention to a group of garden heroes.
—L. G. Kavaljian, Choice Magazine
…this book will help preserve the contributions these incredible people have made to our horticultural heritage.
—Mary Ann Newcomer, American Gardener Magazine
Robinson’s delightful book is sure to whet anyone’s appetite for the diversity of American gardens, garden-makers, and plantspeople who deserve to be better known.
—Judith Tankard, Hortus