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The Brother Gardeners

Posted by idig 7b (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 2, 09 at 11:34

I came across this book at the library. It is fascinating to me so I thought I'd share it with my garden web buddies.

It is about John Bartram and Linnaeus(sp?) How nomenclature happened, and how the European gardens became filled with "exotic" plants from America. It is well written and quite interesting.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: The Brother Gardeners

I happened to hear an interview on NPR about this book some time ago.
Its amazing to think of that time when finding new plants was such a lucrative
and sometimes dangerous business. I like to imagine what they saw in some of our forests and wetlands before they were moved into by people, before
the American Chestnut trees and lots of other stuff dissappeared.

I'll look forward to reading it!

RE: The Brother Gardeners

I'd heard the story of Franklinia alatamaha and knew Bartram's name from it. It is fascinating to me to read of the obsession, the plant swapping that went on between these gardeners 300 plus years ago through wars and great distance. Climbing trees for berries and cones, braving the unknown, risking life and limb to discover what was out there. Amazing to think of waiting months and years for correspondence, for a few seeds or roots of such "exotics" as Magnolia grandiflora, tulip poplar and gardenia.

Fascinating Linnaeus' personality and the horror of the English at his "vulgar" language of the reproductive systems of plants. Of the first hybridizer and how he was plagued with guilt for "playing God".

Mostly, I enjoyed reading and realizing that, 300+ years later, the way gardeners procure our treasures is still much the same. Our passions still bind us together regardless of our positions in life and even out location in the world. So much has changed in 300 years, but gardeners love (obsession even) of plants, our enjoyment of sharing our treasures and learning from one another is still the same.

I'd love to hear what you think of it when you read it Todd.


procure our treasure through swapping with each other is much the same, not the climbing of tress,

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