Less than three hundred years ago, America was a huge Eden of plants as yet unknown and unnamed by Europeans. In The Brother Gardeners, Andrea Wulf wrote about the great era of American plant hunting that accompanied England’s heyday of colonial exploration and led to the development of the science of botany and the art of landscape gardening. No one was more important to this enterprise than the Quaker farmer John Bartram, an indefatigable backwoods plant collector and propagator of newly discovered botanical species. After forming a relationship with the London merchant Peter Collinson, he became the principal supplier of the seeds that brought American plants into cultivation in England. Thanks to Bartram’s boxes of seeds, the horticulturist Philip Miller transformed the Chelsea Physic Garden into a living catalog of botanical specimens, and Joseph Banks, the president of the Royal Society, spurred the conversion of the Royal Gardens at...

 
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