All Kew Guild members, spouses and friends are cordially invited to join us for a day or the weekend in hopefully sunny Devon.
With visits to Torre Abbey, Haytor surroundings, Dartmoor National Park,
The Garden House Buckland Monachorum, Dartmouth Steam Railway,
Dartmouth Harbour river cruise and Coleton Fishacre
Please note that there is a limited number of places available for these visits so booking is essential.
Once applications are received, those that have been successful will be advised directly by email
with the final programme details of the events.
Closing date for applications 14th June 2017.
Please click here for the booking form and information. Devon weekend May 2017
Dear Kewites and Friends,
I just cannot believe that it is almost five months since I sent everyone copies of the Christmas newsletter, as I have said before, “Where does the time go?”
The Guild Committee has met a further two times since Christmas and along with a number of day to day issues to keep us occupied, our most important piece of work has been the submission to the Charity Commission of our application to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). These arrangements, aimed at the Kew Guild being able to meet the present legal requirements of the Charity Commission, were agreed as long ago as the AGM in September 2015. They have been an ongoing issue for the subsequent Presidents and particularly Bob Ivison, who has been the lead committee member on this issue. Earlier in the year the submission was finally made and then a response was received from the Charity Commission that was far from positive, which left your committee in doubt as to whether they were going to be able to take this matter forward.
Given this, at the February meeting of the Trustees it was decided that to take this matter forward, we needed help from specialist solicitors who were experienced in dealing with the setting up of trusts and the creation of their constitutions. This proved to be an inspired decision and I am glad to be able to report that our response to the Charity Commission’s queries, which was put together with the aid of the solicitors, has been very favourably received. The Charity Commission has indicated that with some minor changes to wording in our submission, they would be happy to accept the Kew Guild’s application for CIO status. A report on these matters will now be placed before the Trustees at their meeting on the 1st June 2017 and it is expected that we will then be in a position to finalise our application and agree it with the Charity Commission. It will be almost two years since the matter was first discussed at an AGM and I must offer my thanks to the past Presidents and again, Bob Ivison for all the sterling work that they have put into this project to bring it to fruition.
This year’s Kew Guild’s programme of events is now well under way with two of the visits already having been undertaken. In February we visited Bennington Lordship Gardens, near Stevenage, for our annual “Snowdrop” start to the year. Well over twenty members braved a cold, but dry day and enjoyed a landscape of superb snowdrops of all sizes. Many of us were taken by the flower sizes of some of the newer hybrids and one that really caught the eye was Galanthus Sarah Arnott, an absolute star! In true Guild style the cold late morning visit was combatted by a visit to a local hostelry for lunch and the pleasure of sitting by a blazing fire.
In April we visited Guernsey, on a trip that came about when Raymond Evison received the Honorary Fellowship of the Kew Guild at last year’s Guild Dinner. Raymond kindly offered to host a trip to Guernsey in 2017 to visit his Clematis nurseries and local private gardens – an offer that I wasn’t going to miss out on. I worked with Raymond on putting together a four day visit and I must say as we planned the visit I wasn’t sure what the take up of the package would be like and initially we planned only 15 places. I needn’t have worried, the Guild members were just as excited about the proposals as I was and within 24 hours we had reached our maximum number for the visit of 24.
The visit itself was a great success and we visited a number of superb private gardens along with an eye opening tour of Raymond’s Clematis nursery, where we toured the whole of his production side, where plants were being grown for the European and American market. We were also very lucky to see the “secret” side of his business, where we were allowed to inspect the new Clematis cultivars for 2017 which are planned to be released at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. The Clematis fans amongst us Guild members are really in for a treat this year, but I can’t tell you any more, as we were “sworn to secrecy!!”
The real success of the event was the weather, as we had four days of beautiful clear weather without a cloud in the sky. I was so impressed with Raymond’s links to the weather Gods, as I was told that the previous week had seen Guernsey blanketed in fog. I was amazed how much “earlier” Guernsey was to mainland Britain and when promised banks of flowering Bluebells, I was to say the least, a little sceptical. But there they were, along hedgerow banks stuffed with early wild flowers and in one garden a magnificent Paulownia tomentosa, in full flower.
As I am writing this newsletter Di and I am preparing ourselves for this weekend’s Guild trip to Compton Acres in Dorset and Exbury in Hampshire. This great visit has again been fully booked and I am especially looking forward to enjoying two of my interests at Exbury, one the family, Rhododendron and two, a ride behind their famous steam miniature railway. What better way to enjoy a visit to Exbury for an ageing gardener / steam buff, than to travel the over one mile track around the gardens watching Rhododendrons and Azaleas pass me by, whilst taking in the intoxicating aroma of smoke and steam.
If you haven’t been to a visit this year, there is still a chance for you as there are a further two trips planned in June and August when we visit Devon and Chatsworth respectively. But don’t delay, as on this years’ experience they are filling up fast – check the Guild website for details as they become available. I look forward to welcoming the stalwarts of the Guild’s visit along with those who have yet to try these very friendly and relaxed visits to superb gardens
– try us, it is a lot of fun!
Plans are now well underway for this year’s Guild Dinner in the Cambridge Cottage, Kew Green, on the 25th May and we have again managed to arrange free entry to the garden for all those that are attending the dinner. The guest speaker at this year’s dinner will be Richard Barley, the Director of Horticulture, Learning and Operations at Kew who, I am sure, will give Guild members attending the dinner, an up to date insight into the future management and development of the gardens. We will also be presenting Chris Beardshaw, of Chelsea Flower Show and Gardener’s World fame, with the Kew Guild Gold Medal. I look forward to this special evening in the Kew Guild calendar.
Finally, thank you for reading this newsletter which outlines the work of the Kew Guild and more importantly, I hope, reminds all the readers that there is much pleasure to be found in being an active member and enjoying some of the activities of this special organisation. I look forward to meeting up with many of you at one of the remaining visits this year or at the AGM on the 9th September.
With kindest regards,
Alan Stuttard, President of the Kew Guild
Student gardener at Kew 1893–95. Curator, Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya, Ceylon, 1895–1925. Horticultural and Agricultural Advisor, Abadan, Persia, 1926–27.
b. Baenlick, Glen Urquhart, Inverness, Scotland, 4 June 1869; d. Ealing, Middlesex, England, 19 November 1948
Hugh Macmillan was born on 4 June 1869 and had his early horticultural training at Dochfour Castle. He then moved to Wales where he worked under Andrew Pettigrew at Cardiff Castle. Around 1893 he went to Kew as a student gardener and gained experience in several departments. He left Kew in June 1895 to become Curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), a position that he held until 1912 when he appointed superintendent of all gardens in Ceylon. Throughout his time in that country he contributed greatly to improving horticultural practices that were relevant to the whole region.
In 1910 he published Handbook of Tropical Gardening and Planting with Special Reference to Ceylon. It became a standard text, so successful that it went to a 5th edition by 1962. He also contributed articles to the Journal of Tropical Agriculture and to local newspapers. On retirement from this position in 1926 he moved to Persia (now Iran) and became Horticultural and Agricultural Advisor to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company based at Abadan.
Around 1928 Macmillan returned to Britain, settling at first in Ickenham, later moving to Ealing. He had joined The Kew Guild in 1895 and remained a member for almost 40 years. He was a Fellow of the Linnean Society from about 1920. In 1943 he was made an Associate of Honour of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Desmond, R. (1994), Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists, Taylor & Francis & The Natural History Museum, London, p. 458–9.
Parsons, T.H. (1949), Obituary, H.F. Macmillan, A.H.R.H.S, F.L.S., Journal of The Kew Guild 6: 697.
Check out or new Archives and History page – Archives and History. We would like to thank our new Archivist, Astrid Purton, for her hard work so far…
KEWITES’ CONTRIBUTION TO WORLD HORTICULTURE
This compilation was suggested by Jim Mitchell, President of the Guild in 2012–13, and adopted by the Trustees as an ongoing project in 2015.
To demonstrate Kew’s contributions to world horticulture in economic development, establishing botanic gardens and parks (both public and private), enhancing urban communities, provision of memorials, conservation and the media. This will take the form of potted biographies of Kewites, placed on a dedicated page on the Guild’s website.
For the purposes of this project, a Kewite is a person who has spent at least three months working, studying or volunteering at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (including Wakehurst Place), and its predecessor The Royal Gardens at Kew.
The scope is large but we hope that by steady additions it will become a significant resource showing the influence of Kew on horticulture and botany around the world. The accounts given here are concise; they are not intended as full biographies. In many instances the sources cited give further details, as well as other references. For the present, the fifty Kewites covered in Desmond and Hepper’s book will not be repeated here, since the biographies there are similar in scope.
The Kew Guild will welcome additions and corrections. These should be directed to Jonathan Rickards (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Alex George (email@example.com).
Major sources on Kew
Bean, W.J. (1908), The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Historical and Descriptive, Cassell and Co., London.
Blunt, W. (1978), In for a Penny: A Prospect of Kew Gardens: their Flora, Fauna and Falballas, Hamish Hamilton in association with The Tryon Gallery, London.
Desmond, R. (1995), Kew: The History of the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Harvill Press, London, with The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; paperback edition 1998.
Desmond, R. & Hepper, F.N. (1993), A Century of Kew Plantsmen A Celebration of The Kew Guild, The Kew Guild, Richmond.
Turrill, W.B. (1959), The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Past and Present, Herbert Jenkins, London.
The Journal of The Kew Guild (1893– present).
Assistant at Kew, 1899–1903. Foundation Professor of Botany, South African College, Cape Town, 1903–16. Instrumental in foundation of Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens, 1913. Collected widely in southern Africa. Studied Gnetales, especially Welwitschia and Gnetum.
b. Long Sutton, Lincolnshire, England, 28 Jan. 1870; d. Wynberg, Cape Town, South Africa, 3 Nov. 1916
Harold Pearson was born at Long Sutton, Lincolnshire, on 28 January 1870. After private schooling he worked as a chemist’s assistant and taught at Eastbourne, before gaining a Clothworkers’ and Leathersellers’ Exhibition that took him to Cambridge University in 1893. He was a Foundation Scholar of Christ’s College in 1896, Darwin Prizeman, and Frank Smart Student of Botany at Gonville and Gaius College in 1898. He gained a First Class in both parts of the Natural Sciences Tripos, then a BA in 1896 and an MA in 1900. A Worts’ Travelling Scholarship took him to Ceylon in 1897 where he studied high-altitude grasslands (Patanas), receiving the Walsingham Medal from Cambridge for this work. In 1898, he became assistant curator of the Cambridge herbarium.
Pearson was appointed to Kew from 1899 to 1903, first as Assistant for India, then as Assistant to the Director (W. Thistleton-Dyer). His interest in taxonomy expanded and during this time he contributed the family Verbenaceae to the Flora Capensis.
From Kew he moved to Cape Town in 1903 as Foundation Professor of Botany (established by Harry Bolus) at South African College. The first task was to plan a science block for the new department. Driven initially by a desire to study Welwitschia in the wild, he conducted extensive field work, especially in Namaqualand. His research on this plant (for which he received his doctorate in 1907) and the related genus Gnetum led to a new classification of the order Gnetales, not quite completed before his death but edited by A.C. Seward and published in 1929. His first expedition, in 1904, was cut short by an outbreak of war between the Germans and Hereros! He published an account of an expedition of 1907 in Kew Bulletin 1907: 339–360.
Pearson became the first editor of the Annals of the Bolus Herbarium, founded in 1914. A photograph of the staff of the herbarium appears in Gunn and Codd (1981) p. 96. He had a strong interest in economic botany, especially plants useful for fodder and cultivation. His efforts promoting the need for a botanic garden at the Cape came to fruition in 1913 with the establishment of the Botanic Garden at Kirstenbosch. Appointed an honorary director, he was involved in planning and laying out the garden.
Harold Pearson was a member of The Kew Guild. He was a Fellow of the Linnean Society and of the Royal Society of South Africa, and in 1916 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. His early death from acute pneumonia followed a minor operation. He was married but had no children.
Pearson discovered a number of new plants. He is commemorated in the legume genus Pearsonia and in the names of four species. The Harold Pearson Chair of Botany was created at Cape Town University, to be occupied by the Director of the National Botanic Gardens.
Desmond, R. (1994), Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists, Taylor & Francis & The Natural History Museum, London, p. 542.
Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. (1981), Botanical Exploration of Southern Africa …, A.A.Balkema, Cape Town.
Henry Harold Welch Pearson, Dedication in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine vol. CXL, pp 346–348, 1914.
M.S. [Matilda Smith?] (1916), In Memoriam, Henry Harold Welch Pearson, Journal of the Kew Guild. 3 (XXIII): 377–378.
On a fine but cold Sunday in February, 23 intrepid Guild members including their guests met at the stunning spring garden of Benington Lordship the home of the Bott family. We were met by Richard Bott, the present owner, and were given an introductory talk and a short walk through the more formal areas of the garden to set the scene and get orientated for members to make their own way around this Edwardian Garden and old Norman Castle site.
After this introduction Members soon broke up into small groups to explore the gardens in more detail.
Benington Lordship is situated just four miles east of Stevenage in the picturesque village of Benington . The Lordship Gardens spread over seven acres, surrounding a fine Georgian manor house with remains of a Norman Castle and moat. We were able to appreciate this peaceful location, a haven for wildlife and unspoilt views over the surrounding Hertfordshire countryside.
Benington’s known history goes back to Saxon times when it was a fortified site used by the kings of Mercia. After the Norman conquest William the First gave the fortified manor to Peter de Valoinges and the remains of that Norman Motte and Bailey fortification are still clearly visible. The north wall shows some very well preserved flintwork laid in a herringbone pattern and is the only Norman stonework left in Hertfordshire.
The present red brick manor house was rebuilt after a fire in about 1700. In 1832 George Proctor built the magnificent flint gatehouse including the curtain wall and summer house. This romantic folly is the work of James Pulham who was famous for work using his “Pulamite Stone”. This secret mixture was a sort of cement that could be moulded to replicate stonework. Much of his work is now recognised as significant and a great deal of research is now being undertaken on other Pulham features around the county and the rest of the country with features in Buckingham Palace and Sandringham gardens.
In 1905 the present owner’s great grandfather Arthur Bott bought the Lordship and surrounding estate. He built the Edwardian extension on the west side of the house. This included the unusual Verandah which would seem to be a consequence of his work in India as an engineer.
By 1970 the garden was somewhat dilapidated and Sarah Bott with the help of Ian Billot and then Richard Webb spent the next 25 years restoring it to its current state. They have taken great care to preserve its Edwardian character and the informal way it enhances its historic surroundings.
The gardens are best known for the huge drifts of naturalised snowdrops that cover most of the moat and the grounds around the Norman castle and house and it is these we came to see and were not disappointed.
Two species make up this spectacular display, the single Snowdrop Galanthus nivalis, and the double, Galanthus nivalis “flore pleno” but over 200 named varieties are grown around the garden.
Although the tour was to view the extensive array of snowdrops we were also able to admire the Victorian Folly, the Kitchen Garden, the contemporary sculptures, carp pond, wildlife area and the Rose Gardens.
After the tour of the gardens we were able to warm up with a steaming bowl of homemade soup and a cup of tea in the small cafe, exchanging our thoughts on what we had just seen with before making our way back to the cars not forgetting to purchase some special ‘in the green’ snowdrop bulbs on the way out and our journey home.
Pamela Holt, 18th February 2017.
Kew gardener, 1888. At Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta, 1889. To Mungpu, c.1900. Superintendent, Government Gardens, Poona, 1903; Government Gardens, Saharanpur, c. 1906–20. Left India in 1923. Author with particular reference to Indian horticulture.
Dates of birth and death unknown
Entered Kew on 8 June 1888, leaving the following March. He proceeded to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Calcutta where he served with the late G.T. Lane, Robert Louis Proudlock and H.J. Davies. He soon became assistant in the Government Cinchona Plantations at Mungpoo. In 1903 he became Superintendent of the Government Gardens at Poona. In 1906 he again transferred to take charge of the Government Gardens at Saharanpur, remaining there until 1920 when he retired from the Indian Colonial Service, returning to settle down in Wimbledon, England.
He wrote many articles with particular reference to Indian horticulture.
His drawings are at Kew.
Desmond, R. (1994), Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists, Taylor & Francis & The Natural History Museum, London, p. 323.
Dunk, E.G. (1942), In Memoriam, Amos C. Hartless, Journal of The Kew Guild for 1941, 89.
Burkill, I.H. (1962), Chapters on the History of Botany in India. IV. The Royal Gardens at Kew begin to guide the direction of Botany in India, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 59 (2): 357.
Kew celebrated its Grow Wild initiative being voted the UK’s Best Environment Project in the National Lottery Awards on TV in September 2016.
Staff and volunteers from Grow Wild were joined on the red carpet by celebrities such as John Barrowman, Katie Derham and many of Team GB’s National Lottery funded Olympic heroes, as they accepted their award.
Millions of TV viewers saw the project recognised for its inspirational work. Grow Wild is the UK’s biggest-ever wild flower campaign, bringing people together to transform local spaces with native, pollinator-friendly wild flowers and plants. Grow Wild is the national outreach initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Grow Wild celebrated its win of the Best Environment Project in the National Lottery Awards 2016 with staff from across Kew Gardens and local Grow Wild funded community groups from London.
After the Kew staff talks from the Director of Kew, Grow Wild had a surprise in store for their colleagues all across Kew Gardens. Inviting everyone to join them on board the iconic Kew Explorer, along with members of local Grow Wild community projects, they embarked upon a victory lap of the Gardens with the iconic National Lottery Award trophy! The first stop was The Great Broad Walk Boarders for another surprise – a glass of bubbly!
The celebrations are well earned – not only has Grow Wild had success in the National Lottery Awards this year, it has also funded hundreds of fantastic community projects and distributed over a million packets of native wild flower seeds for free.
Independent research conducted online and in focus groups by Forest Research (the research agency of the Forestry Commission) clearly shows the incredible impact that the programme has made all over the UK. Grow Wild has boosted community co-operation and inspired people to do something positive for nature where they live.
Guests who rode the Explorer with us included young volunteers from Stand Up Garden. Project participant, Liam, said: “We wanted to work on a project that gave us a connection to the community, get us off our phones and participate in something different. If young people help construct their local community, they care more and are less likely to ruin it.”
Richard Deverell, RBG Kew Director, said: “The really great thing about Grow Wild is that it allows us to visit people in every area of the UK, who would never visit Kew Gardens or Wakehurst. So we’ve connected wonderfully diverse communities, across the length and breadth of this country, with wild flowers, with biodiversity. They’ve been touched by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and that simply wouldn’t have happened without Grow Wild.”
Philip Turvil, Grow Wild Programme Manager, said: “Thanks to the National Lottery, over three million people have come together across the UK – changing lives and transforming spaces with wild flowers, all through Grow Wild projects led by Kew Gardens. This award is an incredible recognition; a horticultural thumbs up to all our wonderful groups and volunteers on the ground and online. More people are now growing the native wild flowers upon which so much of our lives depend for pollinators and colour.”
John Barrowman, who presented the TV show for the seventh year, added: “The National Lottery Awards celebrate the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects as voted for by the public. They recognise the legends behind these amazing organisations – ordinary people who do extraordinary things with National Lottery funding.”
Grow Wild was awarded Best Environment Project in the National Lottery Awards 2016 after gaining an absolutely incredible 23,493 votes. Thank you so much to everybody who voted!
Find out more
Find out more about Grow Wild at growwilduk.com and @GrowWildUK on Twitter/Facebook