Leapman, Michael "The Ingenious Mr Fairchild: The Forgotten Father of the Flower Garden" - 2001
A very fascinating book, even if you're not into gardening at all (like me). The story of a gardener who first experimented in breeding different plants by “interfering with nature”.
The author describes the history alongside with a very interesting tour through London but also draws our attention to the concerns we have today towards genetic manipulation. It only sounds like a historical report about something long forgotten.
We discussed this in our book club in January 2004.
From the back cover: "An award-winning journalist pens a fascinating account of the life and times of Thomas Fairchild, a London nurseryman who discovered hybridization and paved the way for the growth of gardening as a cultural obsession. 8-page color photo insert."