The British have always been a nation of gardeners. Our gardening history began even before the Romans, who brought Mediterranean plants which still flourish across Britain. Gardening grew in the sixteenth centur and a distinctively British style became a major export in the eighteenth century. Today, the annual Chelsea Flower Show is an international festival, and our garden designers are in demand all over the world. This book traces the history of British gardening over 450 years through the stories of twenty-eight key figures, showing what drove them, and their role in the evolution of Britain's gardens. Their work shows changes in taste and society down the centuries. Familiar names are featured, such as `Capability' Brown, Humphry Repton, Gertrude Jekyll, Vita Sackville-West and Christopher Lloyd, together with less well-known figures such as John Gerard, whose Herball of 1597 inspired generations of plantsmen, the Tradescants, pioneer plant hunters, and JC Loudon, nineteenth-century champion of smaller gardens. In the present day, there is Beth Chatto, advocate of the right plant in the right place, and John Brookes, who did for gardening what Elizabeth David did for cooking. Their achievements provide a colourful history and and inspiration to every gardening enthusiast.