Plants by Kathy Willis
From Roots to Riches

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Tie-in to the landmark 25-part BBC Radio 4 series with Kew Gardens. The peculiarly British obsession with gardens goes back a long way, and Plants: From Roots to Riches takes readers back to where it all began. Across 25 vivid episodes, Kathy Willis, Kew's charismatic Head of Science, will show how the last 250 years transformed Britain's relationship with plants. Behind the scenes at the Botanical Gardens all kinds of surprising things have been going on. As the British Empire painted the atlas red, explorers, adventurers, and scientists brought the most interesting specimens and information back to London. From the discovery of Botany Bay to the horrors of the potato famine, from orchid hunters to quinine smugglers, from Darwin's experiments to the unexpected knowledge unlocked by the 1987 hurricane, understanding how plants work has changed the UK's history and could safeguard their future. In the style of A History of the World in 100 Objects, each chapter tells a separate story, but, gathered together, a great picture unfolds, of a remarkable science, botany. Plants: From Roots to Riches is a beautifully designed cloth book, packed with 200 images in both color and black and white from Kew's amazing archives, some never reproduced before. Kathy Willis and Carolyn Fry, the acclaimed popular-science writer, have also added all kinds of fascinating extra history, heroes and villains, memorable stories, and interviews. Their book takes readers on an exciting rollercoaster ride through the past and future and shows how much plants really do matter.

About Kathy Willis

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KATHY WILLIS is Director of Science at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She is also Professor of Biodiversity and a Fellow of Merton College, both at Oxford University. Winner of several awards, she has spent over twenty-five years researching and teaching biodiversity and conservation at Oxford and Cambridge.CAROLYN FRY is a freelance science writer. She has written seven successful books, including Plant Hunters, winner of the European Garden Book Prize. Formerly Editor of the Royal Geographical Society's magazine, Geographical, her work has been published in New Scientist, BBC Online, Telegraph, Guardian, The Times and Independent on Sunday.
Published August 1, 2014 by John Murray. 368 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Plants

From roots to riches and a 25-part BBC Radio 4 series, Kathy Willis, director of science at the UK’s Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, and writer Carolyn Fry flag up its contributions, taking us on a stroll through Kew, pausing in its magnificent glasshouses to experience other climes and times.

Sep 17 2014 | Read Full Review of Plants: From Roots to Riches