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Deni Bown is a freelance writer, photographer, and consultant based in Norfolk, England. She specializes in botany, gardening, herbs and natural history; her work covers many different aspects of the plant world. She says her interest in plants began with a childhood fascination for her grandfather's lilies and tulips, and a passion for wildflower spotting. After gaining a First in English at Manchester University, Deni worked as the editor of Place Names for Collins English Dictionary. A self-taught botanist, she then pursued a varied career in horticulture, running an organic smallholding, growing orchids professionally, and working for 5 years to help establish Hollington Herbs before taking to the camera and word processor. In 1997, after serving for several years as a Council Member, she became Chairman of The Herb Society.
Deni is a respected and well-known writer. Her first book, Aroids, was originally published in 1988 and was followed by two others: Alba: The Book of White Flowers and Fine Herbs. She won the Garden Writer's Association of America award in 1989, and was a prize winner in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in 1986. Her work also appears in various publications, including Aroideana, the journal of the International Aroid Society.
For the first edition of Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family, Deni undertook a solo round-the-world aroid hunting trip, venturing into the rainforests of Sumatra looking for the spectacular Amorphophallus titanum. She has photographed botanic gardens in Europe, the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, and Australia, and is also a regular researcher and photographer at both Kew and Edinburgh. Deni is married with 5 children, and is currently at work on developing a 6-acre garden devoted mainly to culinary, medicinal, and aromatic plants, which of course includes some aroids.
Awards for Deni Bown
- Gertrude B. Foster Award for Excellence in Herbal Literature