I had been wondering how best to celebrate the forthcoming publication of my novel about the plant hunter John Jeffrey. Imagine my surprise when the Victorian explorer himself took to Twitter this week! Read More
To celebrate the lives of plant hunters, like John Jeffrey, here I share some of my favourite books on botany, botanical exploration, and the often extraordinary lives of the plant hunter. Think more Indiana Jones than shy retiring pansies, as these men and women travelled the world in search of plants, valuable for their beauty, medicines, timber, smell, and any number of other benefits. Read More
No.9 of my occasional newsletter is now available, featuring stories linked to the creation of my historical novel: GREEN GOLD – the lost journals of John Jeffrey. In this issue, a new extract from the book, more stunning botanical art by Nicola Macartney, how to gift a book patronage this Christmas, plus good news on… Read More
Following visits to Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) and Benmore Botanic Garden, botanical artist Nicola Macartney (collaborating in my GREEN GOLD book project) has started work painting sketches of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) including foliage, cones and a section of bark. These elements will be included in the final painting which will feature in an… Read More
John Jeffrey, the main character in my latest book Green Gold, walked, paddled and rode at least 10,000 miles across North America while hunting for plants from 1850-4. During the two years I spent researching and writing the book I plotted his travels in detail and can now publish the route in full for the first time. Read More
There remain many botanical parts of trees to be drawn and a few whole trees to be depicted by Sarah Simblet, yet a forest visited this week by the authors will be one of the last whole treescapes to feature in The New Sylva. The authors visited Brechfa Forest Gardens near Abergorlech in Carmarthenshire. During… Read More
In a recent post we wrote about Sarah Simblet’s work in progress, drawing an enlarged alder catkin (see post). Here is a sneak preview of the finished drawing. Far right of the photograph of the drawing (out of focus) is the female flower of Alnus glutinosa.