Everything you never knew or will ever need to know about plants is wonderfully detailed in this excellent book. Although most of us take plants for granted, they are an important constituent of medicine, food and drink and for centuries, a source of architectural and cultural inspiration (William Morris’ patterns are one of many examples). Stories of iconic plants are woven into a narrative that bubbles with intelligence, humour, quirky nuggets of information and a guide to gardens worth visiting including London’s Kew and the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in South Africa. There is so much to enjoy about this book although the section Plants in Peril is a chilling wake up call. Climate change, the desertification of the Aral Sea and the environmental damage from palm oil production is a stark reminder of our dependence on plants and how much is at risk if they’re not protected.