The Tropical Hothouse (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

by Chris Thorogood

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LoveReading Expert Review of The Tropical Hothouse (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

This is a stunning beauty of a book, which would be perfect either as a present for yourself or someone else.

This is a stunning beauty of a book, which would be perfect either as a present for yourself or someone else. It is contained within lovely packaging with the gorgeous book cover peeking out at you. Author Dr Chris Thorogood, the Deputy Director and Head of Science at Oxford Botanic garden and Harcourt Arboretum, has chosen over 50 topical plants, with detail of their origins and special features. The book tells us that: “Two of the most extraordinary Victorian glasshouses in the world are the Palm House and the Temperate House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, from whose archives the images in this book have been selected”. What really sets this book apart is that the top part of the illustration can actually be pressed out of the page, so that each plant stands out and creates, when the book is opened, a stunning visual spectacle. The instructions are clear and concise, and I took great enjoyment in pressing out the pages to discover my own hothouse. This is truly delightful, and you really do have to see it to truly appreciate the beauty.

Do take a look at our competition page, as until 31 August 2019, you can win a copy of The Tropical Hothouse and two tickets to Kew Gardens.

Liz Robinson

The Tropical Hothouse (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) Synopsis

The Tropical Hothouse describes over 50 tropical plants, telling the intriguing stories of their origins and compelling features. Sourced exclusively from the archives at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, each accompanying illustration presses out of the page, transforming your book into a work of art. The Tropical Hothouse contains a botanical paradise, where tropical trees are festooned with vines, orchids and bromeliads, lurid blossoms perfume the air, and leafy ferns and palms jostle for the light. From exotic-looking potted orchids and motley assortments of succulents, to luxuriant, leafy greenery, house plants and terraria are more popular than ever as additions to stylish interiors. This beautifully presented and fascinating collection includes perennial favourites and unusual specimens, transporting this world of extraordinary plants into your hands and home.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780233006017
Publication date: 8th August 2019
Author: Chris Thorogood
Publisher: Andre Deutsch Ltd an imprint of Carlton Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 112 pages
Primary Genre Gardens (descriptions, history etc)
Other Genres:

What To Read After The Tropical Hothouse (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

The Story of Gardening
A Little History of British Gardening

The Tropical Hothouse (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

Wow. What a beautiful book. It felt like a treat to have this on our table.

Wow. What a beautiful book. I really couldn't put down all the great things it just wouldn't do it justice. It's informative yet in a really well thought out way that makes it all the more fun. The pop-ups a genius idea and every time you walk past you want to look and find out about a new picture. They should be doing this with other topics like geography or biology. It felt like a treat to have this on our table. I would recommend this to everyone. And I'd love books of this kind to be set out like this. 

Kate Thacker

This book is one to treasure. I read it and learned, then I pressed out the plants, what I held in my hands was an artwork of rare distinction.

I was excited to have been selected to review this book, I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. When the Post lady handed me I was surprised it was so small, I had expected a “Coffee Table” book.

On opening the parcel, seeing the slipcover I knew I was seeing something unusual. The colours were dazzling, I took the book out and went slowly through its pages. Each plant had botanic details and a beautiful picture of each plant plus a written description of each.

I read the instructions to carefully press out the white card, revealing the plants' true beauty. It took me four days to press out each plant, I did not want to damage or spoil the illustration, gradually each plant came to life. I was like a child in my delight.

Usually, you read a book and that is it. This book, one to treasure, I read it and learned, then I pressed out the plants, what I held in my hands was an artwork of rare distinction. The colours are so bright and so detailed with botanically correct hot house plants. Some of the smaller plants I have grown on my window sill, others you would need a large hothouse to grow yourself.

This book is written on behalf of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, it is a spur for people to make the journey to Kew to see the plants. I recommend this book to you.

Marjorie Lacy

A truly beautiful book of the highest quality. A marvellous gift for any plant or flower lover, or indeed any lover of fantastically original books.

The very first thing you notice about this book is the quality. It comes in a beautifully vibrant slipcase and then the cover itself is also glorious. The initial pages show you how to set the book up and then we get to the detail.
Each page has an exquisite drawing of a flower or plant, with lots of interesting information about it. Then, here’s the clever bit, you can push away some of the cardboard (the pages are deliberately very thick) to reveal the plant more fully. I must advise taking your time with this and then carefully ‘rubbing down’ the pointy bits, as you want this to look as wonderful as it can be. Once you have completed pushing away all the card from each page, you can then rotate the book to join the two covers and you have your own little hothouse!
It really is truly fantastic and well worth the money. I LOVE this book.

Amanda O'Dwyer

The all-rounder - stunning and informative with a fun and interesting twist.

First of all, this book is of beautifully high quality, It comes in hardback and also has a hard cardboard sleeve (?) to keep it looking it's very best. The exterior of the book is stunning and gives a hint of the beautiful illustrations inside. 

Each page is dedicated to one tropical plant, so you may have heard of, others may look, well, a little alien. Each page has a beautiful, delicate, colour illustration. The information about each plant is detailed while at the same time concise and digestible (in total covering one page each) with details about origins, growing conditions and flowers patterns. A great book for people interested in tropical plants as well as those looking at getting into gardening but find some of the more usual gardening books slightly intimidating (I remember trying to read the great big books my parents have on gardening and they could have been written in a foreign language for all the sense I could make from them).

The pop-out feature is ingenious, it gives a beautiful display effect and is also quite fun to do. as the illustrations are delicate there are some more fiddly areas when removing the card, but the overall effect is worth it. The pages are also sturdy enough to stay together if you decide the pop-out look isn't for you.

My favourite page is Lady of the Night. The illustration is just exquisite and I may have to commit a bit of a book worm sin and take some of the pages out to frame (please forgive me)! 

Charlotte Walker

Exotic plants and a beautiful setting brought to life.

The Tropical Hothouse is a beautiful book. I love the format and the way the exotic plants emerge as the pages are transformed. The fascinating and well-researched plant descriptions are as readable as they are informative.
Having recently visited the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and revelled in Chihuly's glass sculptures, I really appreciate the sculptural form of this book which brings the Tropical Hothouse to life.

Jane Welby

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780233006017
Publication date: 08/08/2019
Format: Hardback

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About Chris Thorogood

Chris Thorogood is Deputy Director and Head of Science at Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum. His research broadly centres on the evolution of plant ecology, with a focus on parasitic plants. He is the author of Kew's Weird Plants, Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Western Mediterranean and Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Algarve.

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