The Box Hill Book of Box

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The Box Hill Book of Box by Lalage Grundy

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The Box Hill Book of Box by Lalage Grundy

Lalage Grundy lived for many years in the warden’s cottage on Box Hill. This book provides a wealth of information about the establishment of box in this country after the last Ice Age, its distribution in the wild and its biology including how it increases by seeds and by layering. Lalage has researched the connection between box and Box Hill, the first records dating back, through names relating to box, to 1268.

We are told where to see box trees most conveniently on Box Hill, so we can decide for ourselves whether it smells ‘delicious, disgusting or somewhere between the two’. The uses of box wood, from tools through musical instruments to decorative items such as turned articles, go back to the ancient Egyptians six and a half thousand years ago. The book provides a comprehensive list of various uses over the years, including the use of boxwood blocks for printing engravings. There are many references from literature to the use of box in formal gardening both here and on the Continent. Lalage provides comprehensive advice on growing box in modern gardens, including a guide on how to ‘grow your own topiary sheep – box is especially good for this as the bushy leaves look like sheep’s wool’.

The illustrations are many and varied, with plenty of photographs, beautifully produced, woodcuts and lovely line drawings mostly by F N Colwell.