**SHORTLISTED FOR THE GARDEN MEDIA AWARDS, INSPIRATIONAL BOOK OF THE YEAR**
The lotus, lily, sunflower, opium poppy, rose, tulip and orchid: seven flowers, each with its own story full of surprises and secrets, each affecting the world around us in subtle yet powerful ways. But what is the nature of their power and how did it develop? Why have these particular plants become the focus of gardens, literature and art?
In order to find the answers, author and horticultural historian Jennifer Potter tracks this septet of flowers across the globe as she examines the influence they have had on civilizations through the ages. These are both histories and detective stories, full of incident and unexpected revelations.
Here are the flowers of life and death; of purity and passion; of greed, envy and virtue; of hope and consolation; of the beauty that drives men wild. All seven demonstrate the enduring ability of flowers to speak metaphorically – if we could only decode what they have to say.
Sylvan City is a potted-journey through our cities’ woody places and a literary hunt for where their wild things are.
Reviews for Sylvan Cities:
‘Clever, pretty, fun and informative – what more can a reader ask for?’
Sara Maitland, author of Gossip From the Forest
‘Full of gems; a manifesto for green cities. Babbs will turn us all into urban rangers, an unquiet army of neighbourhood watchers.’
Max Adams, author of Wisdom of Trees
An intricately illustrated journey into the urban forest, Sylvan City is both a practical guide to identifying twenty of the most common trees standing sentry on our street corners, and a lyrical, anecdotal treasure trove of facts and history, culture and leafy lore.
It’s certainly possible to appreciate a tree for its beauty, its shade and its shelter without knowing whether it’s an alder, an elder, a lime or a beech. But look harder, and we begin to see the beauty beneath the bark – the tales of how trees are integral to medicine and art as they are furniture and firewood; the stories of why wild figs grow on the banks of Sheffield’s rivers and why the ash tree is touched with magic and mischief.