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Medieval Flowers Book Review

“Medieval Flowers-The History of Medieval Flowers and How To Grow Them Today” is by Miranda Innes with exquisite photos by Clay Perry.

Though this title has been available for some time in the UK, American readers haven’t been so lucky. Recently, a U.S. edition was released by Kyle Cathie.

This is destined to become a classic. It is by far the most extensive title on the subject. Well written and thoroughly enjoyable, readers will find this is an indispensable source of inspiration and information. All in all, this gives a well rounded look at medieval life and gardening. This will be especially appealing to those interested in garden history.

The introduction provides a complete, in-depth history of medieval gardens and gardening. This explains what tools were used and what was done in the garden throughout the different seasons.

Though the name implies that only flowers are featured here, that isn’t
the case. In fact, all sorts of other plants from medieval gardens can be
found here. These include foliage and ornamental fruits.

It also covers the subject of herbs and herb gardens in great detail as well. Herb gardeners will be pleased to know this gives extensive attention to herbs of all sorts from the medicinal to the culinary. This provides a history of herbal healing as well.

The reader is taken on a tour through medieval gardens throughout each of the four seasons. During this process, readers will learn about the symbolic and cultural meanings of the plants, and how they were used during the period. This covers all aspects of plant use from the practical to the decorative. Examples include those used in garlands, cosmetics, dyes, and as part of rituals during feast days and various celebrations throughout the year.

This has an A-Z directory of plants that were grown during the period. The plants come to life through quotes from poetry and other literary sources. With lush color photos, there is a complete profile for each plant, its complete history, and details on how to grow it. Among the featured plants are foxglove and roses.

This is illustrated with exquisite, historic illustrations of the period.

There is also a very helpful chapter that explains how to create your own medieval style garden.

One chapter is devoted to medieval gardens that are open to the public. This
has the addresses and contact information for each.

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