Tuesday, 25 January 2011


A celebration of the finest mountain flowers that lay along the fabled Silk Road beginning in Istanbul, Turkey and passing through Iran to Central Asia from where we continue the journey south to the fabled Shangri-La to include the plants of western China and the eastern Himalaya, drawing together the extraordinary flora found in the most spectacular mountains on Earth.  It is the culmination of twelve years travelling around Asia visiting diverse countries and their landscapes, cultures and of course flowers from bulb fields in Turkey to blue poppies in Sichuan or black irises in Jordan to ravishing slipper orchids in Yunnan, tulips in the Tien Shan to dionysia in the Iranian Zagros. 

It is a personal compilation intended as an introduction to the world’s greatest treasure trove of flowers and the book structure follows a botanical route through the flowering plant kingdom rather than a geographical one, showcasing it family by family selecting the loveliest, most outstanding or colourful genera and species.  The objective is to inspire and not to catalogue and the book will contain the key floral elements of this huge region, providing an overview of what is where and when.

The Silk Road itself is a loose concept and was certainly never a single road instead branches diverted into different corners of the Asian continent and the book too wanders here and there to nearby botanical spots, whilst still heading in the same general direction from Turkey to China and the Himalayas the mythical realm of Shangri-La.  The pictures used are jointly the fortuitous product of professional tour leading for Greentours Natural History Holidays www.greentours.co.uk to the areas featured as well as many private trips to this remarkable botanical world.  

To offer a taster of what is to come by (hopefully) the end of 2011 here are six spreads from the book;

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