The Wild Gardener is the biography and selected writings of a very special woman, Eloise Butler (1851-1933). During a time when science and career did not mix well with marriage, Eloise chose science and taught in Minneapolis when it was little more than a mill town. As a botanist, she suffered seeing wild places disappear beneath city streets and watched delicate wild plants become increasingly scarce. She helped establish in 1907 a protected place for wild plants, a Wild Botanic Garden, and lovingly gathered delicate wild beauties, nurturing them to grow in the garden’s few acres. Elusive and rare, the showy lady’s slipper still flourishes there. The efforts of this determined, persevering botanist have, years later, provided Minnesotans with a treasure wild place in the midst of vast urban expansion.
This soft cover book has numerous black/white photos as well as illustrations of native plants, which contribute toward making this book an excellent addition to a personal library. The book was a Minnesota Book Award winner in 1993. The author, Martha Hellander, is a graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Law. From 1985-1990 she and her family lived near the Wild Botanic Garden, now named the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, the oldest public wildflower garden in the United States.
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