Recommended by Heywood Hill Reader Emma Tennant:
'William Jackson Bean (1863-1947) began his career as an under-gardener at Belvoir Castle. At the age of 20 he moved to Kew, where he worked for 46 years, becoming Curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Incredibly, he wrote his magnum opus in his spare time, settling down to write in the evening, after a hard day's work in the garden. The first, two-volume, edition was published in 1914. As Sir George Taylor, editor of the 1970 edition, said in his introduction, Bean's original volumes were the produce of 'constant observation, massive correspondence, and immense industry'. Indispensable.'
pub. by John Murray, 1970, 4 Volumes, Eighth Edition
This book is also available online
Emma Tennant is a botanical artist, gardener and general reader