Listen up. Garden History Matters. It does and these are. The aim and hope of this blog is to 'up' the profile of this fascinating and diverse subject. And along the way to share some of the remarkable, quirky, bizarre and human stories that make garden history so enjoyable.
Just to follow up on my last post concerning Sir Joseph Hooker and the fact Kew has made his correspondence available online, there are also some excellent movie clips about this remarkable man available online also.
Another great result from Royal Botanic Garden, Kew where a team have been digitising and now make available online the Correspondence of Sir Joseph Hooker. Hooker was true Victorian polymath who succeeded his father as the second Director of Kew, who was Charles Darwin's confidant, and who also plant hunted in Sikkim (and elsewhere).
This truly is a magnificent resource for garden and plant historians and botanists alike so do take a look at the website as it also has a whole lot more about the man and his work than just his letters.
There is even an article I wrote for Kew Magazine describing an expedition I made a few years back to north Sikkim to follow in Hooker's footsteps - a truly wonderful trip. Scroll to the bottom of the page and there you can also download the article and read it at your leisure.
Hooker had it on the nail when, in a letter to his father, he described the valley sides ablaze with Rhododendron flowers thus: 'The Mt sides here actually bloom white, scarlet, purple, pink, yellow no language can exaggerate their beauty.'
Hurry Up! Last year us garden historians celebrated the 400th anniversary of André Le Nôtre's birth. But the celebrations are going on and there is still time to catch an excellent exhibition 'Le Nôtre in Perspectives' on display at Versailles until 23 February next year.
All I can suggest is that you use this as the best excuse to visit Versailles and Paris this winter, and for a brief preview check out this interactive brief.