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Blooming Marvellous: A Wildflower Hunter's Year

By Zoë Devlin


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Whenever I see the first cowslips of the year, I imagine myself back in a field near Sandyford, County Dublin, in the mid 1950s … 

Zoë Devlin has viewed her whole life through green-tinted glasses, describing herself as an ‘unofficial ambassador for weeds, wasps and wagtails’. What began as a childhood delight in wildflowers grew into a hobby, then blossomed into an enduring passion. She recalls her encounters with various species, divulging the history of where she discovered them alongside tales from her own life. Skilfully interweaving her captivating memories with her expertise, each chapter celebrates a particular month, capturing the beauty and joy it has to offer: birds, butterflies, mammals and even tasty recipes, from nettle soup in April to blackberry-and-apple jam in September. She writes fondly of those who helped her knowledge of our flora, particularly members of her extended family, such as her watercolourist great-aunt, Gladys Wynne, and her cousin, 1916 veteran Dr Kathleen Lynn.

By turns witty, informative, dark and bizarre, Zoë opens our eyes to the beauty all around us, whatever the time of year. Her uplifting recollections will encourage readers to identify, understand and savour the plant life that so often goes unnoticed beneath our feet – she hopes, in this way, to help preserve it.

  • Book Format: Hardback
  • Published: 2017
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148 mm
  • Number of pages: 336
  • ISBN: 9781848893276
  • Illustrations note: Colour photos,
...another handsome publication that should grace the bookshelves of of all keen Irish gardeners, if only to serve as a valuable reminder of the wealth of natural, native beauty contained within our gardens yet so easily and so often overlooked.
The varied stories and beautiful photographs make it an enjoyable book for both the amateur and more experienced naturalist.
Hugely important and informative book written by someone who brings her subject matter to life with the stories that she tells.
Rich in dazzlingly good plant portraits.
[Zoe Devlin is a] one-woman wildflower institution.
Beautifully produced [...] The thing about Zoe Devlin's books is that they are storybooks as well as botanical guides.
A beautiful book.
When it comes to pointing out the often unsung wildflowers and plants that brighten our lives, Zoe Devlin is in a field of her own.
Provides an insight into more than mere flora.

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