In this unique book established garden writer Patricia Cleveland-Peck tells the story of the auricula's journey from its native Alpine habitat into the gardens of Europe and beyond. She introduces the reader to some of the interesting characters who felt passionately about the auricula and discovers the important social role it played as it was transformed by skilled florists from the simple Bear's Ear to one of today's most refined and exquisite cultivars.
Patricia Cleveland-Peck is an established freelance garden writer who was educated at the Sorbonne and Trinity College Dublin. She has contributed to The Garden, Gardens Illustrated, Hortus, The English Garden, History Today and many other publications. Her travels have taken her to historic gardens in Europe, jungles of Borneo, temple gardens in Japan and on a botanical safari in Kenya. She has also compiled programmes for BBC radios 3 & 4. Elisabeth Dowle is a botanical illustrator working in watercolour on paper and vellum. She has received seven gold medals from the RHS including one for a selection of plates from this book. She has had two solo exhibitions at the Hortus Gallery in London. Her work is in many private collections including The Shirley Sherwood Collection, The RHS Lindley Library, The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in the United States and The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. She has illustrated fifteen books including The New Oxford Book of Food Plants.