Synopses & Reviews
This is a perfect bedside book for the literate gardener and makes a terrific gardener's gift book. It is an entertaining survey of 80 plant genera, with a multitude of references to, and extracts from, myth and literature from Shakespeare to the Victorian language of flowers. Based on prodigious research, it includes much literature that has fallen into undeserved obscurity, as well as selections from the great poets. It is a delightful study of the influence of the world's flora on humanity, from the mundane to the mystical.
"A Contemplation Upon Flowers is an exceptional read, full of enticing, well researched, beautifully crafted words that bring to life many of the plants we already grow in our gardens. As a lecturer and plantsman, I found myself unable to put it down - each page revealing a multi-dimensional, highly entertaining, 'take' on the plants we as horticulturists have already come to appreciate. I will find Bobby Ward's work eminently useful in my writing, lecturing and for simply embracing more exuberantly the historical interaction between the plants I grow and the human condition. A requisite adjunct to any botanical or horticultural reference book currently available!"—Dan Hinkley, Pacific Horticulture, Fall 1999
"Luscious trivia, and a great deal more, can be found in Bobby J. Ward's A Contemplation Upon Flowers."—Country Living Gardener, March/April 2000 Fine Gardening
"Whimsical, scholarly, informative, and entertaining."—Barbara Blossom Ashmun, Fine Gardening, November/December 2000 Barbara Blossom Ashmun
From Shakepeare's The Tempest to the Victorian language of flowers, from Mohammed to Milton, this book entertains and informs us with references to plants in myth and literature.
The author has trailed, traced, and tracked down hundreds of literary references to many of our favorite flowers.
An entertaining survey of 80 plant genera, with a multitude of references to, and extracts from, myth and literature throughout the ages. This delightful book will inspire you to look at your own garden in a new light, based on what William Blake or the ancient Romans said about them.
About the Author
Bobby J. Ward is past president of the North American Rock Garden Society. He has a degree in plant physiology, received his PhD in botany from North Carolina State University, and is a retired environmental scientist. A dedicated gardener, he has long been interested in plant names and plant lore. His book A Contemplation Upon Flowers: Garden Plants in Myth and Literature won the Quill and Trowel Award of the Garden Writers Association.