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Gardening General

Recreating Eden

A Natural History of Botanical Gardens

by (author) Mary Soderstrom

Vehicule Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2001
General, Garden Design
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2006
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2001
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

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Recreating Eden: A Natural History of Botanical Gardens takes garden lovers on a tour of nine of the most beautiful and interesting gardens in the world. It is also a lively history of the idea of the botanical garden and its origins in what the Mosaic tradition calls the Garden of Eden. Although in other cultures it has different names, humans have yearned for this mythic place of peace and joy from which they were expelled. The founders of the first 'botanic' gardens in the sixteenth century attempted to create an Eden that contained a complete collection of all things created by God. Author Mary Soderstrom explores how these gardens have evolved over the last 400 years by guiding us through a selection of botanical gardens that she has visited. Gardens of Empire - Hortus Botanicus at Leiden in the Netherlands - Jardin des plantes in Paris - Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew near London Gardens of the Nineteenth Century - Singapore Botanic Gardens - Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis - New York Botanical Garden Gardens of the Twentieth Century - Jardin botanique de Montréal - Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Garden in San Francisco - University of British Columbia Botanical Garden, VancouverM


  • 12 colour plates
  • Black & white photographs throughout
  • A history of each botanical garden
  • Getting there, entrance fees, what to look for, other nearby gardens, Web sites

About the author

Mary Soderstrom is the author of five previous novels: The Violets of Usambara (2008); After Surfing Ocean Beach (2004); The Words on the Wall, (1998), Endangered Species (1995), which was a finalist for the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction; and The Descent of Andrew McPherson (1977), a finalist for the Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her collections of short stories include Desire Lines: Stories of Love and Geography (2013), The Truth Is (2000) and Finding the Enemy (1997), which was also a finalist for the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. She is also the author of several works of creative non-fiction, including Green City: People, Nature and Urban Places, a Globe and Mail best book of 2007. Originally from Washington State, she grew up in San Diego before eventually moving to Montreal, which she has made home for decades.

Mary Soderstrom's profile page

Other titles by Mary Soderstrom