Jane Kilpatrick is a historian whose previous books, Gifts from the Gardens of China (2007) and Fathers of Botany (2014), tell the stories of the individuals who worked so hard from 1700 to 1914 to introduce Chinese plants to our parks and gardens. Her books have been celebrated for both their meticulous research and their immense readability, both of which can be explained by her obvious passion for the subject.
Her garden in Gloucestershire is full of Chinese plants, but once it began to fill up with snowdrops, she became fascinated by the stories of galanthophiles and began researching their lives.
She would much prefer to feature photos of the garden on her website than ones of herself, but the publishers insisted!
"Successful gardening involves finding the right plants for your particular site, carefully assessing the conditions then choosing plants that grow naturally in similar conditions. Discovering the wild origins of a plant thus becomes very important. This led me to read about plant hunting expeditions which have resulted in the introduction of many fine plants that now flourish in our gardens, often thousands of miles away from their native habitats."
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