Seed to Seed Prof. Nicholas Harberd
‘Seed to Seed - the Secret Life of Plants’ by Prof. Nicholas Harberd was
published to wide acclaim, and describes Nick’s frequent visits to St Mary’s
churchyard (Surlingham) through the seasons as he follows the fortunes of a
humble thale-cress growing there.
The book also documents the highs and lows of a decade of painstaking
research work by Nick and his team towards understanding the genetic control of
that same plant, the thale-cress. Getting out of the laboratory and into the ‘green’
allowed Nick to overcome something of a ‘scientists’ block’, by observing the
plant anew in its natural context.
There are various illustrations of Wheatfen featured in the book. Nick and
his family regularly visit Wheatfen and are members of the trust - they live in
Norwich. Whilst writing the book Nick would cycle to Wheatfen and spend some
time in peace and solitude thinking about and planning the next stage of the book
and using the setting as a source of inspiration.
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