La Mortola: In the Footsteps of Thomas Hanbury

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9781860111402: La Mortola: In the Footsteps of Thomas Hanbury
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Alasdair Moore, gardener and botanical expert follows in the footsteps Sir Thomas Hanbury, and how he came to establish the world famous garden La Mortola, on the Italian Riviera.

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From the Back Cover:

In 1853, 21-year-old Thomas Hanbury made the long sea voyage from England to war-torn China, as the Manchu Dynasty began to crumble. In Shanghai, a city beset by rebels, greed, vice and opium, Hanbury carved out a great fortune and by 1867 he had acquired a small, dilapidated palazzo in the Italian Riviera village of La Mortola. It was here over the next forty years that Thomas Hanbury was to create the Giardini Botanici Hanbury, known as La Mortola, still one of the foremost and beautiful botanic gardens in the world.
Thomas Hanbury remains one of the outstanding figures of 19th-century horticulture, his legacy includes the gift of the gardens at Wisely to the Royal Horticultural Society. Yet, little generally is known about this Quaker philanthropist and lover of plants who was decorated by both the British and Italian governments. In a compelling book, gardener and writer Alasdair Moore traces Thomas Hanbury's remarkable life and passion for horticulture, examining how a young man from Clapham, London, not only formed the finest private plant collection of his generation, with over 5,000 rare and exotic plants from Africa and Asia alongside native Mediterranean flora, but came to have Italian streets named in his honor.
With unique access to Hanbury's diaries and family documents and drawing on his own gardening expertise and knowledge of La Mortola, Moore follows in the footsteps of Thomas Hanbury; from his formative years in Shanghai to his life in Italy, as that nation was reborn and Thomas battled to create his superlative garden.

About the Author:

Alasdair Moore is a regular contributor to Gardens Illustrated, The Independent, The Telegraph, and The Cornish Garden. In 2002, he was nominated by Gardens Illustrated for an award from The Garden Writers' Guild. He was Assistant-head Gardener at the famous Tresco Abbey Garden for over seven years. He has led numerous garden tours throughout the world, including the French/Italian Riviera, Madeira, and South Africa. Moore has lectured at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he was awarded a Distinction for his Diploma in Botanic Garden Management. In 1997 he visited South Africa as a Winston Churchill Fellow to carry out a two-month study of Proteas. He is currently based at La Mortola gardens on the Italian Rivier.

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