This informative volume traces the extraordinary evolution over more than two centuries of Kew's historic landscape, which began with two private royal gardens and expanded through the work of some of our most distinguished garden designers and architects, resulting in an important range of listed buildings of which thirty-nine have survived. These, together with the latest additions to Kew's architectural heritage, are extensively illustrated and described. As much part of this fascinating landscape are the principal figures in Kew's history - among them Queen Caroline, her son Frederick Prince of Wales, his wife Princess Augusta, and George III; Sir Joseph Banks, who organized the first worldwide plant-collecting expeditions; Sir William Hooker and his son, Sir Joseph, who laid the foundations of the present Botanic Gardens; and successive directors who formulated policy and enabled improvements. Kew also played a pivotal role in the development of the British Empire's natural resources, the introduction of commercial crops to the colonies and the compilation of colonial floras.
Its collaboration with overseas botanical gardens, alongside its establishment as an international scientific institution are equally crucial and examined in detail. Whilst previous accounts of Kew have relied almost entirely on printed sources, the present volume makes extensive use of archives which support modern Kew's primary objective: "the better management of the Earth's environment by increasing knowledge and understanding of the plant kingdom".
Publisher: Vintage Publishing