Henry Hobhouse

A beauty of many names and places

Do not be put off by the silly sub-title: this is an admirable book on several levels. Botanical origins; plant-hunting; the arrival of plants in England; hybridisation, and the American connections. There is much history, including that of great gardens like Exbury. All is here, plus some gorgeous illustrations, including one of Marion Dorn, designer of rhododendron-inspired fabrics, doing her bit to mitigate the rigours of postwar Crippsean austerity in 1947.

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