Our mission is to share the wonders of the natural world by publishing books from experts in the fields of gardening, horticulture, and natural history. Grow with us.

Practical Science for Gardeners

By Mary Pratt

Anyone seeking principles for improving a garden will find this book immensely useful.

Science News

Informative and entertaining, this book will stimulate experimentation and encourage gardeners to review and improve their current gardening practices. Once gardeners learn how plants are constructed, it is easier to envision how they'll grow and flourish. An understanding of the structure behind good, healthy soil gives clues as to how to improve one's own garden tilth. This practical guide helps readers identify what plants need to survive and how these fundamental scientific facts are at the heart of good plant care. A chapter on seeds and germination will encourage gardeners at any level to try their hand at propagation, while discussion of soil, pests, and diseases adds to the skills of all gardeners. The final sections of the book take a closer look at biodiversity, ecology, genetic engineering, and nomenclature. For the enthusiastic beginner or the master gardener, Practical Science for Gardeners unravels the mysterious inner life of plants.

Media reviews

"Pratt has a warm feeling for historical perspective and does not hesitate to admonish, philosophize, and encourage."

—Celia Cedric, Bloomsbury Review

"Anyone seeking principles for improving a garden will find this book immensely useful."

Science News

"This is the book you have been waiting for ... to understand the science of gardening will improve your gardening pleasure."

—George Graine, Virginia Master Gardeners Association Report

"You don't need to toddle through this book and take notes. You can master the concepts easily and then apply them to your garden. Pratt's talent in reducing the science down to the simplest explanations is a wonderful gift to her fellow gardeners."

—Jean Starr, Northwest Indiana Times

"Practical Science for Gardeners is an easy and enjoyable read, and can be a useful book for gardeners interested in learning the science behind successful gardening practices."

Sida, Contributions to Botany

"Practical Science for Gardeners explains plant-cell structure, genetics, and other subjects that are the foundation of gardening."

—Betsy Lehndorff, Rocky Mountain News

"Packed with tips about how to apply science to achieve healthier plants and better gardens, this informative and entertaining book will encourage you to review your gardening practices in light of newfound knowledge."

Michigan Gardener

"Packed full of tips about how to apply science to achieve healthier plants and better gardens, this informative and entertaining book will stimulate experimentation and encourage gardeners to review their gardening practices in light of their new found knowledge."

The Professional Gardener

"Information ranging from soil preparation and mulching to planting and pruning ... was presented in a friendly and understandable manner. This book is definitely a 'keeper' from my point of view as I did learn a lot, enjoy the writer's easygoing style, and will use it in the future as a reference."

—Bruce Cottingham, Athens Banner-herald

About the author

Mary Pratt

Mary Pratt graduated in zoology from Oxford University and went on to gain a Master's degree in biology at Keele University. She lectured on adult education programs and worked in nature conservation, including a stint for the Wildlife Trusts. More recently she taught biology at secondary school level before retiring to Devon with her musician husband.

Read more about Mary Pratt

View large jacket image

This book is no longer available

Unfortunately, we don't have any copies of this book for sale.