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Field Botanist, gardening Journalist and now Author: is there no end to this woman's talents? (cries of "no!" from the distance.)

After many years of "proper" gardening, I discovered that weeds - sorry, wildflowers - had names, which led to a Diploma of Botany, a strong presence on iSpot, and a general frustration with the way that botany was taught, so I took it on myself to de-mystify Botany for Beginners - and Improvers - by creating The Cribs, each of which deals with one genus, or small group of plants, using the Crib to present just the salient information, without getting people bogged down in pages of dense botanical jargon.

They are not intended to take the place of full-length Field Guides such as Rose, Mitchell etc - just to provide a short-cut for the details of the most commonly found plants of each group. I like to describe them as "simplified, but not dumbed down".

And surprise, surprise, they work!

I know this because members of my Midweek Botany Crew keep trying to steal them from me!

Original pack of hand-written cribs.

This is the original set, and yes, they are hand-written A6 index cards, how is that for old school? They work beautifully, but after what you might call an incident on a rainy day, I decided to computerise them, and this led to publishing them as ebooks on the Kindle platform.

Why Kindle? Why choose an electronic device for something as hands-on and - dare I say it - old-fashioned as Botany?

The reason is that just about everyone on the Midweek Botany Crew has a smartphone, and most of them have Kindles as well, which they often bring with them as a matter of course: and even if they don't bring the Kindle, having downloaded the book, you can put it on your smartphone as well. This means you can refer to it quickly and easily, and best of all, these devices can access the internet even when we are out in the middle of nowhere, so unfamiliar words can be checked, references can be sought, and photos can be looked at.

This is, in my opinion, revolutionising Botany, and is definitely the way to go: make it accessible to youngsters and their electronic devices, and you are halfway towards producing the next generation of Botanists!

So far I have published over twenty of the Cribs, and you can find the full list here, at my Author Page on Amazon.


Book covers.

I am publishing three series in all: there are Botany Cribs (green covers), the Gardening books (blue covers), and the Botany Basics books (yellow covers) which are designed for Budding Botanists, to get them started with the minimum of confusion, and as little Latin as possible.