Born in Australia and brought up in the bush, Peter Valder's early interest in the Australian flora was stimulated by local amateur botanists. He went on to become a plant pathologist and mycologist after graduating from the Universities of Sydney and Cambridge. He was pleased to later become involved in the teaching of general botany in addition to his mycological work. Peter has also been an office bearer of the Linnean Society and the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science. Since drifting into the popularizing of Australian botany and horticulture, he has made appearances on radio and television, written for magazines, and lectured to organizations concerned with plants and gardens. His interest in gardening has taken him to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Burma, and China, from which he has introduced numerous plants suited to the Australian climate. Also, he has visited gardens in Britain, New Zealand, North America, France, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, and Korea, accumulating photographs with which to illustrate his lectures and writings. His involvement with his family's garden, Nooroo, at Mount Wilson, New South Wales, led to its becoming one of Australia's most admired gardens. It was here that he was able to indulge his enthusiasm for plants from all over the world. Amongst other things, he gathered together a remarkable collection of wisteria, his experience with which led to his writing Wisterias, the first monograph on this genus in any European language. It was the success of this book that encouraged him to utilize his long-standing interest in Chinese plants and gardens to write The Garden Plants of China, which was awarded as the Reference Gardening Book of 1999 by the Garden Writer's Guild of the UK. To recognize his gifts of plants to and voluntary work for the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, in 1995 he was made their first Honorary Horticultural Associate, and in 1996 was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition of his contribution to botany and horticulture in that country.
It is pure enjoyment to read. -- John E. Bryan Gardening Newsletter 19990701 Examination of the relationship between Chinese philosophies and the garden are followed by a detailed treatment of some 400 plants. SciTech Book News 20000201 It is both a beautifully designed and illustrated book, and one that is thoughtfully organized and well written. Arbor Essence 19990201 He makes the case that the plants that appear in Chinese gardens are there more because of their rich historical and cultural associations than for their horticultural performance. More than fifteen hundred years of art and literature attend these plants, and Valder reproduces paintings, drawings, pottery, poetry, and folklore to illustrate his point. -- Catherine Taylor Arbor Essence 19990201 A beautifully illustrated master work by a botanist who has received the Medal of the Order of Australia for his contributions to horticulture. Avant Gardener 19990701 A delightfully written presentations of some 400 favorite plants that we take so much for granted, and which have come to us from these very special gardens. It's not one you'll quickly put back on a shelf. Horticultural Society of New York Newsletter 20000201 An excellent book for both the serious and not-so-serious gardener. -- Mike Darcy Garden Showcase 19990801 Travel vicariously with Valder via the book's many photographs of ornamental plants in the parks, homes and historic sites of China. -- Kristine Moe Seattle Times 19991101 Valder gives us a window on a sophisticated garden ethic very different from Europe's, and an encyclopedia of more than 4000 Chinese garden plants. Many will inevitably become more widely seen here because of their natural resistance to pests and diseases now arriving from Asia via global trade. Boston Globe 19991201 Looking through this beautiful book will make you want to book a flight immediately. The photos were so well chosen that you can almost hear Chinese music playing as you study them. California Garden 20000201 This book is a must for anyone interested in China and interested in gardening ... If you want to give a gift to a gardener who is interested in feng shui, this book will knock their socks off. No other book exists like it in English. -- Clear Englebert FungShway.com 19991203 Outstanding academic title. Choice 20000101 One of the most wonderful (books) I have seen in a long time. -- Howard Garrett Dallas Morning News 20000303 The richly illustrated text is a stunning expose on gardening... Principles of Chinese horticulture and its role in Chinese history, culture, and philosophy, including edible landscaping, are all there. American Herb Association Quarterly Newsletter 19990316 A spectacular work. Taxon 19990822 Anyone contemplating a trip to China, or indeed intrigued with many of the commoner garden ornamentals, will find this sumptuous coffee-table book a great fund of information ... The magnificent reproductions of paintings and impeccable photography of temples and misty vistas capture not only the sense but something of the sensibility of China. -- Panayoti Kelaidis Rock Garden Quarterly 20000406 A beautiful presentation recommended for horticulture collections. Midwest Book Review 20000418 The Garden Plants of China is a beautifully realized book. And it should quickly become a standard reference on [China] the Mother of Gardens. -- Patricia Jonas Plants and Gardens News 20000501 Combining vast research as well as information and photographs from his many trips to China, Valder presents a comprehensive volume on ornamental plants in the gardens of China. -- Elaine Ezell American Reference Books Annual 20000517 This splendid book is an important addition to the otherwise scanty and scattered literature in English on China's contribution to the garden splendor of the West and should be added to every library's horticultural section. Choice 19991101 This is a splendid and detailed book, profusely illustrated in colour with excellent modern photographs and a few reproductions from early Chinese and classic European journals. -- Martyn Rix Gardens Illustrated 20000722 A beautiful book ... A significant addition to horticultural literature ... Highly recommended. E-Streams 20000629 His book is fascinating scholarship, with handsome photographs of the plants and their county. -- Ann Milovsoroff Pappus 20001004 Remarkably handsome, remarkably good value, and a remarkably good read, this is certainly a book to buy. -- Tim Longville Hortus 20001129 If you are greedy for cultural and horticultural history, this artful book will alter your coffee table in to a shrine. -- Julie Siegel Chicago Botanic Garden 20001210 An important reference guide for anyone interested in the history and origin of plant introductions. Quarterly Bulletin of the Alpine Garden Society 20001229 Everyone with an interest in Chinese culture, gardens, and plants will find much to learn and enjoy in this beautiful, readable and scholarly work. -- Richard Bisgrove Garden History 20000417 While we are often bombarded with a wealth of information on the Chinese plants that have been grown in our garden for, at the most, a few hundred years, this book describes those that the Chinese have been growing themselves, often for several thousand years ... An excellent and important addition to the available literature on Chinese plants. -- Allen Coombes International Dendrology Society Yearbook 20000629 The richly-illustrated text is a stunning expose on gardening...Principles of Chinese horticulture and its role in Chinese history, culture, and philosophy, including edible landscaping are all here. American Herb Association Quarterly Newsletter 20000214 Insightful and fascinating. -- Barbara Joe Hoshizaki Southern California Horticultural Society Newsletter 20030218 A great addition to the library of anyone who has traveled to China, is thinking of traveling to Chinga, or just wants to read about China and its great garden plants. The book is everything the author intended it to be as described in the introduction... For people that love plants this is a fun, informative book. If I didn't already have a copy... I would envy anyone that did. -- Winston Dunwell University of Kentucky HortMemo 20030331 Author and botanist Peter Valder is ... a gifted photographer, and The Garden Plants of China both shows and tells. -- Josephine Bridges Asian Reporter 20060411