A lavishly illustrated look at botanic gardens and the work that goes on behind the scenes to save our botanical heritage.
All life depends on plants, but we often take them for granted in our everyday lives. It is easy to ignore the fact that we are facing a crisis: scientists estimate that one third of all flowering plant species are threatened with extinction. This lavishly illustrated volume considers the essential conservation role of botanic gardens, telling the story of how a global network is working to save our botanical heritage. Chapters feature gardens from countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Uganda, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, and China. Comments and photographs from the gardeners involved give the book a personal touch, revealing the human side of the important work that goes on behind the scenes of these spectacular gardens. Author Sara Oldfield shows us how botanic gardens are truly "modern-day arks," safeguarding species and saving resources on which we may someday depend.
Sara Oldfield, based in Kew, London, is Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International. She is the author of Rainforest (2003) and Deserts: The Living Drylands (2004), both published by the MIT Press.
Botanic Gardens succeeds in its pursuit of underscoring the vital role that botanical gardens are beginning to play in global conservation of biodiversity.-Peter S. White, BioScience