by Richard Mabey - £9.99 Transworld Publishers Ltd (2017)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781909513105 | ISBN 10: 1909513105
From the beginning human beings have made use of plants - to provide food, to build shelters, to trade, or to tell stories about ourselves in which plants have only a minor role. Perhaps enough is enough? Are we starting to believe that the domestication of plants - the 'fencing of paradise' - is a solution for the world's ills? Do we imagine that a tamed version of nature could be a substitute for the vanishing wild places of the planet?
Richard Mabey sets out to explore our landscape not as a 'severe scientist' but as an 'interpreter' or 'messenger', seeing nature on its own terms, rather than as a means to some human end. Mischievously snaffling seeds at the Eden Project and travelling from the Mediterranean to the Tropics to explore subjects as diverse as the French lavender industry, Victorian orchid cults or sugar production, while picking over buzzwords such as 'renewables' and 'sustainable', this is Richard Mabey on particularly sparkling and provocative form.
(Price & availability last checked: May 2018)