Orchid Summer was published by Bloomsbury in 2018, and is available from all good booksellers.
A heady celebration of the beauty and history of the wild orchid species of the British Isles, embraced in one glorious and kaleidoscopic summer-long hunt by naturalist Jon Dunn
From the chalk downs of the south coast of England to the heathery moorland of the Shetland Isles, and from the holy island of Lindisfarne in the east to the Atlantic frontier of western Ireland, Orchid Summer is a journey into Britain and Ireland's most beautiful corners. The flowers that are the focus of this treasure hunt are exquisite and diverse. Some resemble insects and develop scents that mimic the smell of a virgin female wasp in order to lure male wasps to sample their unsatisfying charms. Some tower above the surrounding vegetation; others are vanishingly small and discrete. Some are sweetly scented; others smell of ripe billy goats. Some can be readily found but some will prove more elusive – none more so than the last to flower, the rarest of them all, the ghost orchid…
Capturing the intoxicating beauty of these rare and charismatic flowers, Orchid Summer is also an exploration of their history, their champions, their place in our landscape and the threats they face. Combining infectious enthusiasm and a painterly eye with a deep knowledge that comes from a lifetime's passionate devotion to their study, Dunn sweeps us up on his adventure, one from which it is impossible not to emerge enchanted and enriched.
"A wonderful book"- Robert Macfarlane, author of 'The Wild Places'
"[A] remarkable book... vivid and expressive"- The Sunday Times
"A painterly book... a hymn to the homegrown and the exotic"- National Geographic Traveller
“From Muckle Flugga to the Isles of Scilly, this is a journey through Britain as you've never quite seen it before – a riveting orchidaceous journey to find our most elaborate, elusive and desired flowers. Jon Dunn is a marvellous guide – a wide-ranging polymath, learning lightly worn, he paints evocative pictures and delivers delicious tales” – Patrick Barkham, author of 'The Butterfly Isles'