Gilding The Lily

Inside The Cut Flower Industry

Amy Stewart

Published: 6 April 2009
Paperback, Demy HB
138x216mm, 320 pages
ISBN: 9781846271748


A green-fingered gardener, Amy Stewart has always delighted in the sight of freshly cut flowers, but she grew increasingly curious and uneasy about the journey those flowers take to reach her bouquet. In Gilding the Lily, Stewart introduces us to the people, places and plants that make up this multi-million-pound industry, from a lily grower in the American Northwest to the rose fields of Ecuador and the tulip greenhouses in Holland. Gilding the Lily is a page-turning enquiry into the controversial practices that lie behind each bloom, including the treatment of the workers in the fields and greenhouses, the issue of patenting and the use of pesticides, and the financial forces that drive the quest for the "perfect" flower. It is also a wonderful story about the romance and the reality of growingand cultivating flowers.

About the author

Image of Amy Stewart

Amy Stewart is a garden columnist who lives in California, where she writes for Organic Gardening, the San Francisco Chronicle, and others. More about the author


‘Amy Stewart goes inside the cut flower business ... and reveals the stories behind the world's favourite lily and the search for a blue rose’



‘An informative guide to the global cut flower trade’

‘I also heartily recommend Amy Stewart's very readable book, Gilding the Lily, wherein she inquires extensively into the world of commercial flower growing: including matters such as worker conditions, air miles, plant breeding, patenting, pesticides, and the reason why flowers don't smell any more’ Jane Powers

‘It is interesting to learn of ancient concerns about the distorting effects of flower production’ Geoff Simons

‘One of the quirkiest books of the last quarter’

‘Revealing on how your supermarket roses get to you, why they don't smell anymore, and other controversial practices’

‘Stewart does an admirable job ... some first- rate reportage’ Charles Elliott

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