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A Contemplation Upon Flowers

Garden Plants in Myth and Literature

By Bobby J. Ward

This is a perfect bedside book for the literate gardener and makes a terrific gardener's gift book. It is an entertaining survey of 80 plant genera, with a multitude of references to, and extracts from, myth and literature from Shakespeare to the Victorian language of flowers. Based on prodigious research, it includes much literature that has fallen into undeserved obscurity, as well as selections from the great poets. It is a delightful study of the influence of the world's flora on humanity, from the mundane to the mystical.

This book is only available through print on demand. All interior art is black and white.

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Bobby J. Ward

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Review quotes
“Ward is meticulous in identifying the particular plants referred to in the literary selections he quotes.” —Library Journal

“If a gardener’s curiosity about plants seems to increase the longer one plants, prunes, and propagates, this excellent meditation on plants will help appease such inquisitive tendencies.” —Booklist

“Whimsical, scholarly, informative, and entertaining.” —Fine Gardening

“Luscious trivia, and a great deal more, can be found in Bobby J. Ward’s A Contemplation Upon Flowers.” —Country Living Gardener

“From casual flirtations to lifelong affairs, Bobby Ward probes our relationships to the flowers of gardens, fields and forests. With the relentless fervor of the paparazzi, he delves into literature past and present to unveil the joyful as well as the dark emotions that plants incite. His sumptuous commentary brings to life writers who exult the triumphs and lament the tragedies that have inextricably bound us to ornamental plants throughout history.” —Horticulture

“The book is easy to use as compared with other such titles, in part because it is arranged by type of plant, and because Ward weaves it all together, gives historical and botanical context, with his commentary.” —Garden Notes

“This is a great resource for further delving into literature with a horticultural flavour.” —Victoria Times Colonist

“A fascinating compendium of thoughts about flowers.” —Avant Gardener

“The book is the result of several years of research and promises to give readers more than that amount of pleasure.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“An exceptional read, full of enticing, well researched, beautifully crafted words that bring to life many of the plants we already grow in our gardens. . . . A requisite adjunct to any botanical or horticultural reference book currently available!” —Pacific Horticulture

“If you enjoy herbal lore and history, this is a perfect book to read in the hammock amongst the poppies, roses, honeysuckle, and evening primrose.” —American Herb Association Quarterly Newsletter
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Publication date
July 21, 2005