Butler, S. 2022. Gardening for Gorillas. Orla Kelly Publishing, Dublin, 369 p.
During the author's 37 years as Curator of Horticulture, Dublin Zoo transformed from an almost Victorian appearance to a verdant green ark. A progressive masterplan focused on animal welfare and themed habitats reflects the spirit of the animals’ natural homelands. Plants have been instrumental in achieving that, for the visitors, and the animals. A well planted habitat gives shade, shelter, and natural enrichment for the animals, all increasing health and wellbeing. Choosing the right plants to survive is key! Stories of animal interactions with the plants, and insights into the creative thinking well outside of the box of normal horticultural endeavour, make for an entertaining read. But it’s not just purely gardening. The last chapter details many educational stories about plants, their names, their history, their origins, or their interesting and unusual botanical points, especially any animal connections. There is something for everyone in these pages, irrespective of their gardening expertise.