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The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession: 01/26/15
The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf outlines the correlation between the American colonies and the rise of modern botany. She does this by following the correspondence and commerce between a colonist and a British gardener. There is also mention of the arrogant but often right Lineas as well as the Bounty's botanical adventure to Tahiti.
At the time I read the book I was in the midst of a difficult but fascinating cataloging course. So my take-aways from the book are based around cataloging. Botany is rooted in classification of plants and flowers. It's a way to describe something that might be shipped as a seed, a cutting, a fruit or dried flowers.
The "new world" was filled with unusual and exotic plants that were in high demand back especially on the British estates that were trying to recreate the colonial wilderness in their stately gardens. Shipping entire living plants was a difficult and expensive venture. Seeds worked better if the garden could be made to mimic the expected climate and soil conditions.
It was an interesting look at a specific time in history. The illustrations are good. The asides are fascinating but sometimes long winded.