I fell in love with plants in childhood – the first plant I bought was Chamaecereus something or other (it’s now classed as an Echinopsis). When it eventually flowered, I was amazed at its beauty, and began collecting all sorts of plants, wheedled from school friends, local nurseries, even surreptitious adrenalin-rush cuttings from Kew.

The obvious thing to do was to become a botanist. I couldn’t leave my collection, so read botany at nearby Reading University, then went up to Edinburgh to do a PhD, on the genus Muscari. In between looking at chromosomes, I managed a marvellously educative collecting trip to Greece, where I found out a bit about life, but not much about grape hyacinths.

Classical taxonomy being in decline, I went to Liverpool University to look at yet more chromosomes. That was something of a disaster, and I managed to get a job back in my beloved Edinburgh.  My new post was as a taxonomist studying vegetable varieties. This was not especially interesting, and gardening somehow took over. I began restoring an urban Georgian garden (and its house), wrote a book on Georgian Gardens, sold the house, dumped the job, and bought a lovely but ruinous 17th century village house on the shores of the Firth of Forth at Belhaven.


I now currently garden in a tiny 18th century patch in a Borders village; the garden still has paths, seat, sundial and urns from the 1790’s.  We added pools, and lots of new plants and plantings.  I am still writing about gardens and gardening, photographing, and doing some very occasional advisory and design work.

More garden books and plant/garden apps for mobiles and tablets are in development…

I also have the opportunity to mooch about in a pretty little garden in London, and something very nice in Lincolnshire – see my blog for pictures – in a while.  Must do some posting.  So remiss….  lol


12 Responses to About

  1. hi david, really like your site, i’m new to blogging, but have been a passionate botanist since i was 7 years old and started growing aquilegias. i am now about to start at SAC in september, and am raring to go, mainly so i can get applying for all the trips available for plant collecting, and working in conjunction with RBGE.

  2. Hi David,

    You gave our Gardenate app a nice mention in your August 11th Guardian article. I thought you might like to know that I’ve recently released an iPad version of the app: http://itunes.apple.com/app/gardenatehd/id462710934

    Please let me know if you would like an itunes promo code for a review copy.

    Chris Hutchinson (chris@gardenate.com)

  3. James Sagmiller says:

    Dear David Stuart,
    I enjoyed your book Plants From The Past very much. Do you still operate the nursery of antique plants? If so, I would love to obtain a catalogue.
    Yours truly,
    James Sagmiller

  4. Bonnie says:

    Dear David Stuart,
    I found “Classic Garden Features” at the library while browsing gardening books. Is there somehow a way to find out what the delicate red flowers on stalks are on page 139 in that book? I absolutely adore them.
    The book is from the year 2000 I believe. Thank you for any info on this flower.


  5. Rick Kyper says:

    Hi David,
    My first ‘stroll’ through your blog. Love everything.Were you the author of “Plants from the Past”? What is that Italian confection with the biscuits, some kind of filling, and whipped cream on top with candied lemon peel? Gawd, now I’m hungry.
    Rick K

  6. Ann Shelton says:

    Kia ora David, I am an artist form New Zealand, wanting to make contact regards your book Dangerous Plants. Could you please flick me an email? Ngā mihi Ann Shelton

  7. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    David, I’m looking at re-cutting the excellent 8mm movie we made with Peter and Kersten, around 1966, much of it shot in your flat in Inverleith. As you were on camera 2, I thought you might be interested. Give me a text or call on 07879275151 if you are free one day. Alasdair.

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