Roy Lancaster: My Life with Plants


My Life with Plants, Roy Lancaster

£25 | 978-0-9933892-5-2 | March 2017

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Celebrated plantsman Roy Lancaster’s birth on 5th December 1937 was the start of something big for plants and horticulture. His chance find of a Mexican tobacco plant in a local allotment brought him fame as a Bolton schoolboy and sowed the seeds of his future career.

This book is the story of his adventures as he sees tropical plants for the first time in the jungles of Malaya, meets Roberto Burle Marx at his garden near Rio de Janeiro, and hunts for pitcher plants in North America.

Well-known for his encylopedic botanical knowledge and for introducing many popular garden plants, Roy is also a consummate story-teller and wise philosopher. His acute sense of life’s comic moments, spirited sense of adventure and respect for the natural world make this a remarkable read.

Roy Lancaster  is a world-renowned plantsman and a Vice President of the Royal Horticultural Society. Two years as a gardening student at the Cambridge Botanic Garden, followed by 18 years with the Hillier Nurseries in Hampshire, gave him the perfect platform from which to launch a successful freelance career which included memorable broadcasts on TV and radio, award-winning journalism, two classic books on plant-hunting in Nepal and China respectively and consultancy work at home and abroad. Roy Lancaster has received numerous awards for his contribution to horticulture including the Veitch Memorial Medal in 1972 and the prestigious Victoria Medal of Honour in 1989. His fathomless plant knowledge, popular plant introductions and continuing curiosity about the natural world make him an inspiring figure for gardeners and young horticulturists.

Praise for My Life with Plants

“An inspiring book by one of the greatest plantsmen of our time. I can’t recommend it enough.” Dan Crowley, Westonbirt Magazine

“This is vintage Lancaster.” Jodie Jones, Gardens Illustrated 

His writing here, and in previous books and journals over the years, is as compelling as any plant conversation with him.” Harry Baldwin, The Horticulturalist