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High Plains Horticulture: A History Hardcover – November 30, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"Anyone interested in gardening or history should enjoy this book as much as I did."
—Cheryl Anderson, Wyoming Library Roundup

"John Freeman tells a story of hope and resilience as the military, early settlers, and eventually land grant university Extension agencies developed the means for growing both ornamental and esculent plants in lands with limited precipitation."
—Keith Crotz, The American Gardener

About the Author

John F. Freeman is the founder and president emeritus of the Wyoming Community Foundation. He has a Ph.D. in early modern European history from the University of Michigan and is the author of High Plains Horticulture: A History and Black Hills Forestry: A History

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Colorado (November 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870819275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870819278
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,899,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JohnBBQ on January 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A well researched book on the development of high plains horticulture---how the arid west grew plants for their homes.
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Format: Hardcover
As a non-native of the Great Plains, I found this book fascinating in terms of the history of settlement of the northern plains as people, horticulture, water, soil, and climate are intricately linked. This is a well-researched and documented book but is easy to read since each chapter has a particular focus,for example, introduction and breeding of plants adapted to the region, or Denver's growth and city planning in relation to water and plants.I have now lived and travelled in the region for a few decades and thought I was familiar with the key horticultural people and plants. This book taught me a lot more about the people and policies that were instrumental in development of the region. Dr. Freeman took the time and interest to discover which of the plants that were introduced or bred for the region are still available from specialty nurseries or seed suppliers or, if no longer available, the major weaknesses that led to them being dropped by commercial sources. I'm inspired to locate and plant some of these for my own assessment. Focussed on the more arid lands west of the 100th meridian, it does include ties to key experiment station or farmer/rancher experiences through the northern Great Plains (Dakotas, Minnesota), Illinois, Iowa, as well collaboration with Cornell, USDA, Kew Gardens, Russia, and others. The political influences on the emphasis or de-emphasis of horticulture by the federal and different state legislatures, universities, experiment stations, conservation agencies, water development agencies, etc. explains lot of why and how the current situation came to be. Very simply stated but very revealing. This book would be excellent for a discussion group of those interested in plants and/or development of the Great Plains or the history of horticulture. It should be on the recommended reading list for horticulture students. Non-technical language although basic botanical terminology is helpful.
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