Roderick Floud has been a pioneer of two new kinds of history- using statistics to study the past and the history of human height and health. The economic history of gardens is his third innovation. He has taught at the universities of Cambridge, London and Stanford, has written or edited over 70 books and articles and is the long-standing editor of the Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain. He has also led London Metropolitan University and Gresham College London and undertaken many other roles in the university world, such as President of Universities UK, receiving a knighthood for services to higher education.
this is an immensely engaging book. The figures Floud presents, while abundant and obviously carefully uncovered, are so remarkable ... Floud's economic approach may seem an oblique means of interpreting [a landscape] but, trust me, it is surprisingly rewarding -- Robert Leigh-Pemberton * Daily Telegraph * a new kind of garden history ... Filled with fascinating and often surprising details -- P D Smith * Guardian * This is one of the most important books on garden history in the last half century and, for anyone serious about the subject, it is a Must Buy. -- Richard Mawrey * Historic Gardens Newsletter * This is a very different kind of gardening book. It's not about design or horticultural techniques, but is a history, - the first of its kind, the author claims - of the economics of gardening, financial excess and all, from Charles II to today ... extraordinarily interesting. Floud impresses on us the sheer scale of what we're dealing with here... his book is full of fascinating detail - about everything from working-class gardens, kitchen gardens and nurseries, to the astonishing cost of some rare plants and their shrinking value over time. -- Andrew Holgate * Sunday Times * We have social histories of the English garden, art histories of the big ones and plant histories of what went where. We seldom have a financial history. Floud has set out to write one, applying his head for statistics to this under-cultivated field... an invaluable checklist ... Floud's bigger point is that gardening is and has been a big element of the total economy. ... Amazing. Floud casts his net wide. -- Robin Lane Fox * Financial Times * A fascinating history of gardening reveals our expensive passion for all things green... This is the first economic history of the English garden and frankly it's almost shocking that no one has looked into it until now... There is a mind-boggling amount of detail in this book ... Floud is a clear writer and excels at providing context and keeping the whole enterprise grounded. -- Ann Treneman * The Times *