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Sarah Raven's Wild Flowers Hardcover – 30 Aug 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (30 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408833751
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408833759
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 4.1 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

An epic and beautiful volume, which I will be poring over with my children, and pressing many flowers between its pages (Robert Macfarlane)

Impressive, beautiful to look at and truly a labour of love (Sunday Times)

Dazzling (Scotsman)

William Blake found 'heaven in a wild flower' and so, too, has writer Sarah Raven in this epic treatise (Living)

Book Description

In a new, practical format - the stunning book celebrating British wild flowers by award-winning garden writer Sarah Raven

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another beautifully presented book by Sarah Raven
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By Brida TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
As soon as I saw this book, I knew that I would end up buying it. Before parting with my money, I did flick through one in a bookshop, and I was instantly captured by the presentation. It is a hefty book, more a coffee table book than anything else. But, it was not really produced to be a field guide or identification aid. WILD FLOWERS is very much a labour of love by Raven. She has chosen 50 of her favourite wild flowers to include in her tome, each organised by the typical habitat that you can encounter them in. Buckley's photographs compliment each entry, although there is only one picture of each plant covered. There are some double page spreads, and Raven has included the names of the flowers which are shown in these, but because they are more like landscape photographs, identification from those would be very tricky.

I think this book would make a great gift for someone who has a love of wild flowers, but perhaps already some knowledge of them. For a complete beginner, you may do well to consider a book like THE WILD FLOWER KEY as well, to aid them in identifying what they find. However, Raven's WILD FLOWERS would be a delight for anyone with an interest in this subject. I am so glad that I bought it. Havind said that it's not been produced as an identification guide, there have been a couple of flowers which I have managed to find in here without having any knowledge of what thet were before going to the book. At the end of the book, along with the index by Latin names, then common names, Raven has also included a glossary of the flowers by colour. This is a great idea, especially for those who may only have a little knowledge.

Highly recommended - it is something I will always treasure.
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Format: Hardcover
The pictures are really well chosen to illustrate growth form and habitat, and are thoroughly supported by all the information needed on taxonomy and anatomy, without being boring! The grouping by habitat is much more practical use than the plant family used by so many standard floras. The only problem is the physical weight of the book, but certainly worth it. When it is raining and cold outside, the book is a delightful escape to a beautiful world, as well as being useful and stimulating.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a sumptuous Bloomsbury volume, weighty, luxurious and with a bright green cloth spine which clashes brilliantly with the bright pink endpapers inside. It's printed on thick paper and has gorgeous photos by Jonathan Buckland. But is it a good book about wild flowers?

It certainly seems somewhat undecided about what kind of book it actually IS. It's not a flora, that should be made clear from the start. By that, I mean, it's not a plant identification book. It's arranged by habitats, yes, such as Woods, Coast and Meadow, but each plant gets only a single photo (in most cases) and that won't be adequate to give you a concrete ID. (And some have very pretty photos that I wouldn't recognise the plant from! For example Cuckoo Flower, which in my experience is a bigger bloom.)

It's also not a botany book, and nor is it a gardening book, or a natural history book exactly. And it's not very comprehensive - most wild flower books include well over a thousand species, sometimes up to 1500, and this has only five hundred. AND some of those are grasses, which wouldn't appear in a normal flora...

This book's actual strengths take time to sink in, and time to grow on the reader. Sarah Raven is one of our best gardening writers, and she grew up botanising with her dad. In a way, this is a very personal (and possibly slightly self-indulgent?) book where she wanders around giving us her own personal take on the wild flowers she sees as she travels. And it's slowly, surprisingly, very seductive.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I sense words missing from the title, it ought to be The Wonderful World of Wild Flowers, or Sarah Raven's Wild Flowers: a lumpy, curiously scatty book full of bits and pieces of information dotted around like ox-eye daisies in an overgrown lawn. Inadequate as a guide to identification - for example check the entries for Hawkbit and compare them with a cursory glance at Hawkbits and Hawkweeds on line - so why the small-print descriptions? The larger photographs tend to be showy and landscapey 'fields of wheat' advertising style, those of individual plants too often single flower-heads with little sense of the scale or overall appearance of the plant. An album to browse through, yet too heavy to balance on your knees, the writing does not compare well with Mabey, even less with Grigson's dry style.[ASIN:1856193772 Richard Mabey Flora Britannica and B0000CJA21 GRIGSON The Englishman's flora] I bought it after reading the five-star reviews, and am disappointed, so mark it down to give a sense of perspective. Not without merits - but see it before you buy it.
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