In the Land of the Blue Poppies: The Collected Plant-Hunting Writings of Frank Kingdon Ward
A Modern Library Paperback Original
During the first years of the twentieth century, the British plant collector and explorer Frank Kingdon Ward went on twenty-four impossibly daring expeditions throughout Tibet, China, and Southeast Asia, in search of rare and elusive species of plants. He was responsible for the discovery of numerous varieties previously unknown in Europe and America, including the legendary Tibetan blue poppy, and the introduction of their seeds into the world's gardens. Kingdon Ward's accounts capture all the romance of his wildly adventurous expeditions, whether he was swinging across a bottomless gorge on a cable of twisted bamboo strands or clambering across a rocky scree in fear of an impending avalanche. Drawn from writings out of print for almost seventy-five years, this new collection, edited and introduced by professional horticulturalist and House & Garden columnist Tom Christopher, returns Kingdon Ward to his deserved place in the literature of discovery and the literature of the garden.
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In the land of the blue poppies: the collected plant-hunting writings of Frank Kingdon WardUser Review - Book Verdict
Describing one of his 22 expeditions throughout Tibet, China and Southeast Asia, British plant collector Ward (1885-1958) wrote,"But it is not so much the plants which fascinate, as the excitement of climbing and exploring the cliff itself." That is the excitement readers feel here, traveling with Ward to discover unimagined dangers, grueling hardships, astonishing landscapes, exotic cultures--and, on occasion, a plant. As impossible to categorize as it is to put down, this is not a gardening book, although it will appeal to the millions who cultivate descendents of the seed Ward so often risked his life to collect. Travel readers and armchair adventurers will relish it, but the journeys recounted here were mapped to Ward's innate sense of ecology more than geography. A non-chronological"mosaic" intended by Christopher to reflect"this remarkable man's personality and daily life," the edited narrative never flags, treating readers to the kind of juxtapositions that surprised and delighted Ward:"Cuckoos and parakeets... as incongruous as a clump of Bananas and Pine trees I had noticed growing farther down the valley." Christopher edits Ward's work cinematically, creating an internal logic of theme and observation rather than time or place. Leaps of more than a decade and hundreds of miles are made within a few pages. Unfamiliar characters suddenly appear, vanish and reappear chapters later. Somehow, none of this is in the least disconcerting; the selected text creates context. The result is a seamless, rousing read.
Review: In the Land of the Blue Poppies: The Collected Plant-Hunting Writings of Frank Kingdon WardUser Review - Goodreads
A remarkable and excellent book. Kingdon-Ward made 24 [or 25] daring and it seems exhilarating and occasionally terrifying expeditions thru the Himalayas of Tibet, China, and southeast Asia in the ...
The Land of the Blue Poppy: Travels of a Naturalist in Eastern Tibet
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No preview available - 2008
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