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The Explorer’s Garden: Shrubs and Vines from the Four Corners of the World

Articles: The Explorer’s Garden: Shrubs and Vines from the Four Corners of the World

The beauty of Dan Hinkley's writing is that it has matured as his personal aesthetic for plants has grown more defined. The wild world is no longer Dan's metaphorical candy store. As Dan has come to understand himself, he has also come to know how to explain his particular criteria for great garden plants to the rest of us. Now, in the second volume of The Explorer's Garden, Dan has raised horticultural storytelling to a high art, to which the rest of us garden writers can only aspire.

The Explorer's Garden is intended to be nibbled in bits, not consumed front to back, but I would encourage those opening its covers for the first time to read the introduction immediately. In it, Dan relates how he came to be a plant explorer—more to become a better gardener than from any particular wanderlust. He also describes his continual joust with taxonomists—in his case, a more intense occupation than for the rest of us gardeners, because Dan is at the vanguard of plant discovery. I'm not going to be a spoiler here, but he makes one of the best knee-slapping puns about taxonomists I've ever read.

After communing with himself in the introduction, Dan then muses at length and interestingly...

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