Why Gardeners Need Latin and Romans

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) think that a bit of Latin is useful for Gardeners but so is weed killer. But what did the Romans ever do for gardeners? Well they educated the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus who began consistently using a one-word “trivial name” together with a generic name in a system of binomial nomenclature for all plants.
Moving on 250 years and 3000 plant names are worthy of exploration as they give a backbone to our gardening language.

Book Cover
‘ RHS Latin for Gardeners: Over 3,000 Plant Names Explained and Explored’ Royal Horticultural Society and Lorraine Harrison

Amazon would say ‘RHS Latin for Gardeners is an informative, entertaining and beautifully illustrated unraveling of the mysteries of botanical Latin’ or something equally vomit inducing.

As Ovid said about compost making ‘adde parvum parvo magnus acervus erit’ or in English Add a little to a little and there will be a great heap.

My favorite is ‘errare est gardanum’ to err you must be a gardener.

Plant lables
Latin on the Slate

If it was the Romans who brought wine and grapes to our shores then a big cheers!


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