Margaret Willes on the cottage garden – fact and fiction
Margaret unearths lush gardens outside workers cottages and horticultural miracles in blackened yards, she reveals the ingenious, often devious, methods used by determined, obsessive and eccentric
workers to make their drab surroundings bloom.
From the fashionable rich stealing gardening ideas from the poor to the competitive alehouse syndicates, she discusses the ways in which the cultivation of plants plays an integral role in everyday British life.
Margaret studied architectural history and has a background in publishing (setting up the National Trust’s own book imprint); her books include The Making of the English Gardener: Plants, Books & Inspiration 1560‑1660 and most recently THE GARDENS OF THE BRITISH WORKING CLASSES
Jennifer Potter on the extraordinary influence of plants
Jennifer latest book SEVEN FLOWERS reads like a detective story. As she tracks her septet across the globe, we discover where and when they originated, what power or influence they have exerted over the affairs of man and how they acquired it, revealing some astonishing truths.
Here are the flowers of healing, delirium and death; of purity and passion; of greed, envy and virtue; of hope and consolation; of beauty that drives men wild …
Jennifer is a horticultural historian, Consultant Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and author of both fiction and non‑fiction which include a biography of the John Tradescants (father and son) and The Rose: A True History. Seven Flowers and How They Shaped Our World is her latest book. Susan Rhodes MBE is a horticultural historian, involved in garden restoration.