The Secrets of Great Botanists

(1 customer review)

And What They Tell Us About Gardening

Welcome to the lives of 36 botanists from our past and present, driven by an insatiable desire to learn and discover, whose study of plants revolutionised the scientific world and increased our understanding of the importance plants have on our survival.

Illustrated with beautiful period botanical water-colours and vibrant photographs, this inspiring and practical guide delves into the qualities that brought them success and shows what ordinary gardeners can learn from their legacies.





SPECIFICATIONS: 9781925820256 | Hardback | 230 x 170 mm | 224 Pages

Matthew Biggs trained at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, has presented numerous TV gardening programs and is a regular on UK radio. Author of and contributor to several books and magazines, Matthew is also a highly regarded lecturer. He has travelled widely and is fascinated by global gardening.

Secrets of Bougainvillea

28 January 2020 Matthew Biggs Sometime between 1760 and 1764, Jeanne Baret, a country girl and amateur botanist with a wide knowledge of medicinal plants, became the housekeeper and lover of naturalist and botanist Philibert Commerçon, friend of Voltaire and correspondent of Carl Linnaeus.

The Canberra Times

“concisely drafted, gracefully illustrated, and – for an addicted gardener – truly inspiring.”


Secrets embedded in our gardens

Paradoxically, one of the secrets of great botanists is their reluctance to keep a secret. Each of the 36 scientists in this book collected, analysed, painted, pruned, grew, propagated and nurtured plants, with their results disseminated out in the public commons, for the common good.

Spirit Magazine
“This very collectable hard-cover edition provides a potted history of botany illustrated with lovely images…it would make a good gift for a plant lover or avid gardener”

Sydney Morning Herald
“focuses on the impact that a selection of botanists working over thousands of years have had on domestic gardens.” Click here to view

ABC’s Gardening Australia
History buffs and plant lovers will enjoy this beautifully illustrated presentation of stories about 35 plant collectors and gardening pioneers.”

Better Homes and Gardens
“a natural for holiday-reading green thumbs”.

Adelaide Advertiser
“an attractive hardback with botanic watercolours, sketches and photos, it would be an ideal Christmas present for the curious gardener.”

Good Organic Gardener Magazine Featured as their top pick for in the November issue.
“Gain insights into what makes botanists so important”.

The Highlife

Grassroots Magazine
“This stunningly illustrated hard cover book would make a lovely gift for a garden lover.”

Indulge Magazine
“Unfurl the history of plants found in your own back garden and find new inspiration for cultivation.” Click here to read in full

1 review for The Secrets of Great Botanists

  1. Caitlin Fitzsimmons

    Beautifully presented book that provides a potted history of botany illustrated with lovely images, both photographs and botanical illustrations. I particularly like the fact that the book features many female botanists who are uncredited in most conventional histories. It would make a good gift for a plant lover or avid gardener in your life. – Caitlin Fitzsimmons via GoodReads

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