How vagabond plants gatecrashed civilisation and changed the way we think about nature
“Ever since the first human settlements, 10,000 years ago, weeds have dogged our footsteps. They are there as the punishment of ‘thorns and thistles’ in Genesis, and two millennia later, as a symbol of sacrifice and regeneration in the poppies of Flanders Field. They are civilisation’s familiars, invading farmland and building site, war-zones and flower beds across the globe. Yet, living so intimately with us, they have been a blessing, too. Weeds were the first crops, the first medicines.
In this first ever cultural history of weeds, weaving together the insights of botanists, gardeners, artists and poets with his own life-long fascination, Richard Mabey explores the paradoxes of these indomitable, opportunist plants: that they thrive best where we want them least.. One person’s weed is another’s wild beauty.”