• Founding Gardeners

  • The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation
  • By: Andrea Wulf
  • Narrated by: Antonia Bath
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-29-11
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars (112 ratings)

Regular price: $28.00

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the acclaimed The Brother Gardeners, a fascinating look at the founding fathers 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 break their deadlock; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of American environmentalism. These and other stories reveal a guiding but previously overlooked ideology of the American Revolution.

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 before been seen.

©2011 Andrea Wulf (P)2011 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C.
  • Santa Fe, NM, United States
  • 05-06-11

"Outstanding Listen"


I read Andrea Wulf's first book, "The Brother Gardeners" and was amazed at how a non-fiction book on the history of botany could read like a novel. I am also an avid listener to books and when I saw it available on Audible, I immediately downloaded "The Founding Gardeners". This second book even excels the first one! It's a great history book about the founding fathers of the United States, and the way agriculture and gardening shaped the the country. There are lessons learned in this book not taught in classroom history. Ms. Wulf is a gifted writer and Antonia Bath is the perfect choice to narrate. I have also ordered it in hardback to add to my library of botanical books.

You don't have to be a plant nut to enjoy this book. I would recommend it to anyone, especially anyone interested in American history. And, I shall enjoy re-listening to it too. A real plus to me.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • South Boston, MA, United States
  • 06-11-11

Sublimely informative...

This Audible book really gives you a sense of the founding of this country. Although it is documented with scholarly precision and jam-packed with historical detail, it is a truly compelling listen. Thus far, 'Founding Gardeners' is my favorite audio book. A jewel.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • michael
  • STERLING, VA, United States
  • 03-02-15

The underpinning of America's first 4 Presidents

There's not a single book that accomplishes what Andrea did; bring to life the Agrarian life that shaped our first 4 presidents. It's clear that she has read John Adams, His Excellency, Jefferson's only book, the websites and original documents of these Presidents. She weaves in monumental historical events with a perspective of, what else what on the mind of these men? The answer, soil, compost, economic independence through new crops and farming methods. Thank you!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • LS
  • Westerville, Ohio United States
  • 09-25-12

Enjoyable audiobook about gardens

If you could sum up Founding Gardeners in three words, what would they be?

HIstory of the gardens of Jefferson, Washington, Madison and Adams and their gardening inspirations

What was one of the most memorable moments of Founding Gardeners?

Adams and Jefferson traveling to gardens in England.

Any additional comments?

I listened to the audiobook prior to a visit to Monticello and Mt Vernon. It increased my appreciation of the gardens.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating

It's a whole new view of the founding (USA) fathers. If you love history and even more so love gardens you will enjoy this listen. The founding fathers were gardeners and farmers first at heart. Why and how they planted their gardens and plantations says a lot about why we are the country we became. “AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

If you enjoy gardening, you will find this book quite interesting. Broadly, it's about how the founders viewed agriculture and gardening as a symbol of the new nation and how it distinguished the new country from Europe. You learn how obsessed they were with new American varieties and propagating them in their own gardens. They regularly exchanged seeds. Originally, I began listening to this book thru library loan, but I enjoyed it so much, I bought it. BTW, the narration is excellent, too.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Informative & Entertaining

What made the experience of listening to Founding Gardeners the most enjoyable?

The history facts and hearing how important gardening was to the founding fathers.

Any additional comments?

If you like gardening & history, you should enjoy this book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • COVENTRY, CT, United States
  • 04-28-11

Very little about gardening

This is more like reading a history book. Very little info about gardening and nature.

2 of 8 people found this review helpful