The Making of the English Gardener Plants, Books and Inspiration, 1560-1660 Margaret Willes

Publication date:
15 Sep 2011
Yale University Press
336 pages: 235 x 156mm
80 b-w +24 pp. color illus.

Buy this eBook

You can purchase this title from a number of online retailers:

The Making of the English GardenerIn the century between the accession of Elizabeth I and the restoration of Charles II, a horticultural revolution took place in England. Ideas were exchanged across networks of gardeners, botanists, scholars, and courtiers, and the burgeoning vernacular book trade spread this new knowledge still further - reaching the growing number of gardeners furnishing their more modest plots across the nation and its young colonies in the Americas.

Margaret Willes introduces a plethora of garden enthusiasts, from the renowned to the legions of anonymous workers who created and tended the great estates. Packed with illustrations from the herbals, design treatises, and practical manuals that inspired these men - and occasionally women - Willes' book charts how England's garden grew.


Right hand image: Watercolour from an album of Alexander Marshall’s paintings, showing white, crimson and purple anemones (from the plate section of The Making of the English Gardener).

Margaret Willes, the former Publisher for the National Trust, has written and illustrated numerous books. She lives in London.

"An erudite study of Tudor and Stuart Gardens. This is more than just Ye Olde Gardener’s World – Willes’s book is a subtle study of a world in which exotic tastes and information were spreading worldwide, and a new age of scientific study was dawning."—Dan Jones, Daily Telegraph (Christmas Books History Round Up)

"The most successful of the year’s garden history books is Margaret Willes's The Making of the English Gardener: Plants, Books and Inspiration 1550... She deserves a good readership both in and outside England."—Robin Lane Fox, Financial Times

"A heady, brilliant period, well documented by Margaret Willes’s The Making of the English Gardener... Willes is particularly well informed on the books that fed the new obsession and the libraries put together by early English botanists... An excellent study."—Anna Pavord, The Independent Magazine

"Willes, who was a publisher for the National Trust, is a true bibliophile who has undertaken an ambitious piece of research that will be invaluable to students of gardens and their history."—Rosie Atkins, History Today

"All can enjoy the illuminating way Willes puts gardens into context."—Gardens Illustrated

"Winter evenings were made for books like this."—Rachel De Thame, The Sunday Times (Home)

"The sheer handling of a mass of material and making it readable would have been recommendation enough for this book. But it is so much more – a revelation, a delight, and a work that no one who has made a garden can be without."—Ronald Blythe, Church Times

Page spreads