Comfrey: Past, Present and Future by Lawrence D. Hills

Comfrey: Past, Present and Future by Lawrence D. Hills

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Comfrey is noted by both organic gardeners and herbalists for its great usefulness and versatility. Of particular interest is the 'Bocking 14' cultivar of Russian Comfrey. This strain was developed during the 1950s by Lawrence D. Hills, who founded the organic gardening organization now known as Garden Organic.

Lawrence D. Hills was the world authority on comfrey. In this book, he wrote for farmers and gardeners in all countries, showing how this useful plant could be cultivated in both tropical and temperate zones to produce a crop equally rewarding for gardener, smallholder and mechanized farmer.

Subtitled 'Past, Present and Future,' on its publication in 1976, this was the most comprehensive survey of the properties and cultivation of comfrey ever, and Comfrey remains undoubtedly the essential book on the subject, as well as a lasting testament to Lawrence D. Hills's indefatigable efforts to achieve a better understanding of it.

About the author

Lawrence D. Hills (1911-1991) was a British horticulturalist, journalist, and writer, founder of the Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA) Bocking, near Braintree, Essex in 1954, now Garden Organic. By the time he retired in 1986, HDRA was the largest body of organic gardeners in the world and had moved to Ryton-on-Dunsmore, near Coventry.

Whilst researching a book called Russian Comfrey Comfrey, Hills discovered that this common plant was introduced in the nineteenth century by Henry Doubleday (1810–1902) a Quaker smallholder who was so intrigued by its possibilities that he devoted the rest of his life to popularising it. Hills took up this crusade, finally naming his fledgling society in Doubleday's memory.

Book details

262 pages
Faber and Faber
Publication date
November 2008


Julie Duncan

Friday 2 October, 2020 at 10:20am

I want to find a book written by Laurence Hills the research was done by Henery Doubleday the book was a green cover with a comfrey plant on the front I had one but loaned it to someone and never got it back just wondering if I can get it again I bought it through Green Harvest at Maleny in QlLD Australia


Friday 2 October, 2020 at 10:57am

I have a copy Julie, and used copies are fairly inexpensive in the UK. If you email me at we can probably work out a way to get a copy to you.

Charlene Sapieha

Wednesday 11 January, 2023 at 9:15pm

I am in Western Canada.

I want to buy:

Comfrey: Past, Present and Future

by Lawrence D. Hills

And I do not want to purchase the book through Amazon.

Any suggestions for finding this book in Canada?

Comments are now closed for this book.

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