The RHS's Lindley Library has been plundered extensively for lots of superb botanical drawings with which to illustrate the text.
It's a dippable book in terms of telling the story of botany rather than a dry reference (though see my caveat in the Weaknesses section below). It's perfect for curling up with on a dark night and will help to chase away those winter blues.
- Tells the 'story' of botany and the people who developed its thinking - such as Mendel and Linnaeus
- It's not a dry tome - good at relating botany to gardening/'botany in action' e.g. pruning; use of a plant's natural defences to deter pests
- The science of plant breeding is explored, though it stops short of GM
- Beautifully illustrated
- A high quality hardback with an integrated bookmark ribbon
- A good set of references and websites are given for further exploration
- A poor index means it's not a dippable reference. It can be hard to look up specific terms if the reader is unsure in which part of the book they'd be found. Perhaps it's assumed the reader would Google these instead?
- Some of the diagrams could be better e.g. flower structure. A diagram of each leaf shape would be a useful addition to their descriptions.
A very readable text, plus the illustrations makes this book a wonderful gift for keen gardeners. Horticulture students however, will still find Brian Capon's book Botany for Gardeners the better reference for their studies, particularly those studying for the RHS's qualifications.