Memorial Garden for the Plant Collectors of the 1800’s

Memorial Garden for the Plant Collectors of the 1800’s.

The inspiration for my current thoughts came from a trip to Portugal in the autumn of 2014. It started with ideas of making a tree collection, but also to commemorate the men of Scottish birth who found trees and plants in the wild and documented them.

A memorial to men like David Douglas and George Forrest who made their mark on the world by identifying important tree and plant species. The more I read of the exploits of these men and others I realized that they and I had something in common. A relationship with the royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh which had been an important starting point. The other point of similarity is that we all had to leave Scotland and go out into the world to find fame and fortune.

During the Victorian era the world had opened up for the plant collector as transport had developed to the extent that men of science could get to see the world as never before.

Celebrating David Douglas

David Douglas was born in the village of Scone near Perth. His most celebrated discovery was the Douglas Fir which is the most important tree of the American forestry industry to this day. He identified some 240 species of trees in North America and later died in tragic circumstances in Hawaii at the age of 37. The most notable species he named and introduced to cultivation are: Sitka Spruce (Christmas tree in UK), Sugar PineWestern White PineLodgepole PineMonterey PineNoble Fir. Over 80 species are named douglasii  in his honour and some Douglas Firs were planted near his graveside in Hawaii.

from the series 18th Century Plant Collectors by Robert Kean 

Scot Plants Direct at Hedgehogs Nursery, Crompton Road, Southfield Industrial Estate, Glenrothes, Fife KY6 2SF