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Amherst [formerly Tyssen-Amherst], Alicia Margaret [married name Alicia Margaret Cecil, Lady Rockley] (1865–1941), garden historian, was born on 30 July 1865 at Didlington Hall, Didlington, near Mundford, Norfolk, fifth of the seven children (all daughters) of William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst (1835–1909), landowner, and his wife, ...

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See Ballard, Stephen

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Batey [née Lever], Mavis Lilian (1921–2013), code-breaker and garden historian, was born on 5 May 1921 at 20 Crebor Street, Dulwich, London, the only daughter and younger child of Frederick (formerly Fred, later Stanley Frederick) Lever (1887/8–1971) and his wife, Lily Elizabeth, ...

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Brailsford, Mary Ann (bap. 1791, d. 1852), originator of the Bramley's Seedling apple, was baptized at Southwell, Nottinghamshire, on 20 May 1791, the eldest daughter of Charles Brailsford (d. 1812) and his wife, Elizabeth Dickinson (d. 1837). In 1809 the family moved to ...

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See Grieve [née Law], Sophia Emma Magdalene [Maud]

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Christie, Isabella Robertson [Ella] (1861–1949), traveller and gardener, was born on 21 April 1861 at Millbank, Cockpen, Edinburgh, the second child and elder daughter in the family of one son (d. 1872) and two daughters of John Christie (1824–1902), a Scottish coalmine owner, and his wife, ...

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Drake, Sarah Anne (1803–1857), botanical artist, was born in Skeyton, Norfolk, on 24 July 1803, the daughter of John Drake, farmer, and his wife, Sarah, née Forman (or Freman). She grew up in Norfolk, where she formed a friendship with Anne Lindley, the sister of ...

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(Maria) Theresa Earle (1836–1925) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Earle [née Villiers], (Maria) Theresa [known as Mrs C. W. Earle] (1836–1925), horticulturist, was born at 45 Cambridge Terrace, London, on 8 June 1836, the eldest daughter of Edward Ernest Villiers (1806–1843), younger brother of the fourth earl of Clarendon, and his wife, ...

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Ekins, (Emily) Helen (1879–1964), horticulturist and educational administrator, was born on 9 November 1879 at Market Place, St Albans, the only daughter of Arthur Edward Ekins, pharmaceutical chemist, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Childs. She matriculated from St Albans high school, where she was one of its original pupils. During the following ten years she undertook voluntary work; but in her spare time she grew plants for market, winning in the process a number of prizes at local flower shows. This experience awakened in her what was to become a lifelong interest in horticulture....

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Field [née Lowinsky], Xenia Noelle (1894–1998), prison reformer and horticulturist, was born in Secunderabad, India, on 25 December 1894, the daughter of Thomas Hermann Lowinsky (d. 1932), general manager of the Hyderabad–Deccan mines, and his wife. Xenia's unusual Christian names reflected the fact that her mother liked the sound of Russian words and that she was born on Christmas day. A year later the family returned to ...

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Finnis, Valerie Margaret Steriker [married name Valerie Margaret Steriker Montagu Douglas Scott, Lady Montagu Douglas Scott] (1924–2006), gardener and photographer, was born on 31 October 1924 at Wyke Cottage, Crowborough, Sussex, the younger daughter of Steriker Finnis, a paymaster commander in the ...

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Margery Fish (1892–1969) by Valerie Finnis, 1960s © Valerie Finnis/National Portrait Gallery, London

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Fish [née Townshend], Margery (1892–1969), gardener and author, was born at 16 Eastbank, Stamford Hill, London, on 5 August 1892, the second of the four daughters of Ernest Townshend (d. 1926), City of London commercial traveller in tea, and his wife, ...

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Gilbert, Mary Ann (1776–1845), agronomist and promoter of allotments, was born on 29 February 1776, at Lewes, Sussex, where she was baptized on 29 March 1776, the daughter and only child of Thomas Gilbert 1740–1782 and his wife, Ann née Cossum c.1749–1807...

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Grieve [née Law], Sophia Emma Magdalene [Maud] (1858–1941), herb grower, was born on 4 May 1858 at 75 Upper Street, Islington, London, the daughter of James Law, a warehouseman, and his wife, Sophia Ballisat. Nothing further is known of her early life. She went to ...

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Griffiths [née Rogers], Amelia Warren (1768–1858), phycologist and seaweed collector, was born on 14 January 1768 in Pilton, north Devon, the elder daughter of John and Emily Rogers. On 10 March 1794 she married the Revd William Griffiths, vicar of St Issey, Cornwall...

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Hardy [née Evanson], Carolyn (1930–2016), gardener and charity administrator, was born on 16 June 1930 at Pear Tree House, Richmond, Yorkshire, the daughter of Captain (later Major-General) Arthur Charles Tarver Evanson (1895–1957), of the East Surrey regiment, and his wife, ...

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(Grace) Beatrix Helen Havergal (1901–1980) by Valerie Finnis, 1960s © Valerie Finnis; collection Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Library

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Havergal, (Grace) Beatrix Helen (1901–1980), horticulturist and teacher, was born on 7 July 1901 at Roydon Manor House near Bressingham, Norfolk, the second of three children of the Revd Clement Havergal (1858–1941), vicar of Bressingham, and his wife, Eveline Mary Barrett (1869–1931). The children had a happy life despite friction between their father, an eccentric and repressive character, and their artistic and romantic mother. In 1902 the family moved to ...