"A brilliantly readable account of double flowers, exploring everything from their many varieties to their biological development, their long history in our gardens and the powerful emotional responses they elicit. This supremely researched book will leave you appreciating double flowers as never before."
- Stephen Blackmore, Queen’s Botanist and former Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
With charms extending from the romantic allure of double roses and the attention-grabbing flamboyance of double tulips to the exquisite perfection of tiny double primroses, double flowers are among the most loved of our garden plants. Double Flowers is the first popular handbook to explore them in depth.
Double flowers are simply flowers with a greater than normal number of petals or petal-like structures. They occur spontaneously in the wild and can also be selected and bred. This superbly illustrated guide - begun by bestselling garden writer Nicola Ferguson before her death in 2007, and completed by Charles Quest-Ritson - celebrates some of the many thousands of beautiful double flowers produced throughout history. The book examines how doubles have arisen; how they are constructed; how and where they will flourish; their particular appeal and how best to place them in the garden; and the advantages and disadvantages of such flowers - for gardeners, for flower-arrangers and for wildlife.
Nicola Ferguson (1949-2007) was a garden writer or great originality and intellect. Her first book Right Plant, Right Place, published in 1984, sold nearly half a million copies worldwide. Take Two Plants followed in 1998. Both books appealed alike to novice gardeners and experienced horticulturalists in search of fresh inspiration.
Charles Quest-Ritson is the author of many books on gardens and gardening, including Ninfa: the Most Romantic Garden in the World and the RHS Encyclopaedia of Roses. Charles Quest-Ritson lives in Hampshire and Normandy.
"It's rare that there's a book you can be sure any gardener would be delighted to be given for Christmas - but this year there's a clear winner. Double Flowers is both erudite and seductively readable, comparable to the writings of Christopher Lloyd - and there simply hasn't been a book on the subject before. Handsomely illustrated, Double Flowers makes irresistible browsing and will have all its readers planning to use them in the year ahead."
"Scholarly and fascinating."
"This is a book that will help readers to formulate ideas about which plants to choose for different areas of their gardens - valuable both to keen amateur gardeners and designers."
"Well-observed and superbly illustrated."
"Elegantly written and most readable."
"A wonderful book that explores the history and origins of the transformative quirk of nature that is double flowers. This lovely book is a joy to read, it is packed with fascinating information and anecdotes and deeply learned, though written with a light touch. Filled with superb illustrations...this book is also a valuable practical guide for the gardener."
"The integrity of this book lies in its erudition...Nicola Ferguson was a passionate researcher and in this her great skill is evident."
"Accessible and superbly illustrated...This exquisitely produced book is both a go-to gardener's reference and a moving floral tribute."
"Probably the most concise and informative study of double flowers ever...the writing is fluid and lively, never stodgy, and the text flows seamlessly from one subject to the next."