The Florida MGV Summer Book Club

Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2023 MGV Virtual Book Club! We enjoyed reading with you and hope you will join us again next summer.

Cover of the summer 2023 book selection in front of previous selections

For the summer of 2023, the Florida MGV Virtual Book Club read "Founding Gardeners" by Andrea Wulf, a design historian and author.

From the author

"The Founding Gardeners offers a fascinating look at the revolutionary generation from the unique and intimate perspective of their lives as gardeners, plantsmen and farmers.

For the founding fathers, gardening, agriculture and botany were elemental passions, as deeply ingrained in their characters as their belief in liberty for the nation they were creating. Andrea Wulf reveals for the first time this aspect of the revolutionary generation. She describes how, even as British ships gathered off Staten Island, George Washington wrote his estate manager about the garden at Mount Vernon; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson's and John Adams's faith in their fledgling nation; how a trip to the great botanist John Bartram's garden helped the delegates of the Constitutional Congress to break their deadlock; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of American environmentalism. Taken together, these and other stories are a revelation of a guiding, but previously overlooked ideology of the American Revolution.

The Founding Gardeners adds depth and nuance to our understanding of the American experiment, and provides us with a portrait of the founding fathers as they've never been seen before."

Learn more about Andrea Wulf at her website.

Book list

Interested in what we've previously read? See the MGV Book List.

You can watch recordings of previous live meetings with authors and Extension experts on the UF/IFAS Center for Land Use Efficiency's YouTube channel.