Paperback / softback
June 18, 2015
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.86 Inches (US)
1.15 Pounds (US)
$38.99 USD, £24.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Why Grow Here

Essays on Edmonton's Gardening History

"A visitor from down south stared at my apple tree

and said: 'Those don't grow here you know. It's too cold.'

If the apricot tree in Highlands knew it couldn't live here,

it might stop scattering white blossoms over three lawns." – Bert Almon

Edmonton has a rich and diverse horticultural history. Vacant lot gardeners, rose gardeners, and horticultural societies have all contributed to the beautification of the capital city of Alberta, and through the enthusiasm of florists, seedsmen, and plant breeders the city has developed a distinct horticultural character. In this collection of nine essays, each with a different theme, Kathryn Chase Merrett depicts the development of Edmonton's social, cultural, and physical landscape as it has been shaped by champions of both nature and the garden. Edmontonians and all urbanites interested in gardening and local history, as well as professors and students of history, cultural studies, and urban design, will delight in the colourful storytelling of Why Grow Here.

About the Author

Kathryn Chase Merrett obtained her Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Alberta in 1992. She researches and writes about Edmonton, and volunteers her time in the interests of horticulture and history.


#8 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list (Edmonton Nonfiction) for the week of August 07, 2015—Edmonton Journal

#10 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list (Edmonton Nonfiction) for the week of August 14, 2015—The Edmonton Journal

"Why Grow Here [is a] lovely read that's full of details that anyone will enjoy."—Mark Stumpf-Allen, Wildflower News

"well-written, meticulously researched stand-alone essays that illustrate the long history of what [Kathryn Chase Merrett] calls horticultural optimism in Edmonton, Alberta, on the Great Plains' northern edge. She interweaves major horticultural activities and the people who made Edmonton a garden city Merrett traces a common North American horticultural story: a new settlement concentrates on survival and subsistence first, then slowly on beautification. What makes Edmonton's story a bit different? I think it is the passionate plant breeders (almost a who's who of northern hybridists) who made it their life's mission to create hardy roses to make Edmonton the "city of roses."—Edwinna von Baeyer, Great Plains Research Vol. 26 No. 2

"For most Edmontonians and those with an interest in gardening, this book is a must."—Alberta History


"I am roughly halfway through the book, and what has amazed me is how much of the rich history our city is connected to the land and those who have shaped it, and turned it to good purposes. I love what I am learning about the people who contributed to giving shape and content to life here. Your writing style is so accessible — great history and storytelling — a magic combination in my books. Well done!"—Bob Robertson

I must tell you how fascinating your new book is and how much I learned!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The different essays were very enlightening and so much that I did not know. The section on the Chinese Gardeners and the contribution of Gladys Reeves were totally unknown to me and really are an interesting part of Edmonton's history!—Michael Phair

"I have just finished your book and am wanting to thank you for writing it.  I found all of the essays very interesting, the writing excellent, and the development of themes riveting. I pictured you pouring over sources and enjoying all the small and big discoveries. Loved the way you traced the evolution of the City Beautiful theme to present day community gardens. I enjoyed the book and was impressed by your work on it."—Donna Cardinal

9781772120486 : why-grow-here-merrett
Paperback / softback
352 Pages
$38.99 USD

Other Titles in GARDENING / Urban

In Love with a Hillside Garden

Ann Streissguth, Daniel Streissguth, Benjamin Streissguth
Jun 2009 - University of Washington Press
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback