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Books

How 18th-century gardeners ordered their plants after a great storm, a terrible drought and ‘a little ice age’

The enchanting illustrations alone are worth the price of this hefty book — which is more for the coffee table than the bedside

23 May 2015

9:00 AM

23 May 2015

9:00 AM

A Natural History of English Gardening Mark Laird

Yale, pp.448, £45, ISBN: 9780300196368

I hesitate ever to criticise an author for the inappropriateness of a book’s title, since it’s more likely the fault of someone in marketing, who’s had a Bright Idea. But whoever is the culprit, the omission of the dates ‘1650–1800’ from the dust jacket certainly risks annoying the bookshop browser, who may grumpily set the book to one side in a huff.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £40 Tel: 08430 600033. Ursula Buchan is the author of A Green and Pleasant Land: How England’s Gardeners Fought the Second World War.

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