History of Plant Science

A brief history of plant biology

After the fall of the Empires in Europe including The Romans, people were left to fend for themselves. Many people became frightened and turned to religion and superstition, moving away from science and 'enlightenment'. This period of time was called The Dark Ages & The Middle Ages (410-1,300 CE). The Dark Ages were where historical documents and scriptures were few and far between, 'dark' meaning without history. Many people moved out into the country to rebuild their lives after the fall of most civilisations in Europe. This was during the time where the Jutes Angles and Saxons took over Britain. These people created regional kingdoms such as Northumbria, Wessex and East Anglia. The majority of people left were 'peasants' and religious orders. Order became chaos. The Catholic Church was the only organisation left. During these times it flourished and became the new equivalent to a government. Since there were no rulers or empires, the church took over region by region. They did this by comforting a broken society. Frightened people conformed and created a new society.

The church expanded all over Europe including Britain. The church invented titles such as the bishops, which ruled their region or county like a Mayor. Churches became the centre of towns as well as cities. Later the church created kings and queens of countries to deal with the influx of law and order issues. For many hundreds of years Kings and very few Queens worked very closely with the church and ruled their kingdom, until Henry VIII during the early Tudor period. To briefly mention his influences, he required a divorce. However, the church did not believe in them so with his power he disillusioned the church and created 'The Church of England' which was fully protestant, people who believed that you did not require material goods to worship God) and created parliament which shared power over the land. Many countries followed and disputed this new system and wars begun.

Going back to The Dark Ages the most popular type of garden was The Monastery Gardens. The Catholic Church was the only organisation left which taught education, religion and had infirmaries. These gardens held fruits, culinary & medicinal herbs, vegetables would have been grown in additional to fibrous plants, dye plants and ornamental flowers such as lilies & roses for church altar decoration. In the sixteenth century St Benedict of Nursia decreed gardening to be worthy and virtuous which increased popularity to many other regional kingdoms. St Benedict of Nursia created the first blueprints for an efficient and worthily garden which was followed by all monasteries. St. Gall’s plans for a proposed monastery layout that was created circa 816-836 CE. The plan included detailed drawings for the monastic gardens including a kitchen garden, physic garden, cloister-Garth and a cemetery orchard. The plants found in these gardens were meant to be grown in the first raised, rectangular beds, which were separated by narrow pathways.

A good example of this type of garden was called Mosteiro dos Jeronimos located in Lisbon, Portugal. It had a monastic cloister which contained a central fountain, surrounded by a covered walkway. This design was based on the Roman peristyle garden and was commonly used throughout Europe. These types of monasteries were self supporting communities who grew very powerful with huge estates and extensive trade routes. They used their wealth to create beautiful buildings, books and other treasures to glorify their god and were also international centres of literacy and learning as well as more practical subjects like horticulture and agriculture.

An example of one of the first royal gardens was called The Queen Eleanor’s Garden in Winchester. Today it has been reconstructed next to The Great Hall, in Winchester. The original garden had a large fountain in the centre with several water channels pasting through it. It also contained flowering lawns, long winding pathways. A trellis was constructed around the garden with a trelliswork tunnel covered in climbing roses and honeysuckle species. We can learn a lot about these types of Dark Aged gardens from the 'Books of Hours'. These contained religious texts to be used at different times of the day and year, and were often richly illustrated with scenes from daily life, including gardens. Across Europe garden styles were similar, showing that people and ideas moved around freely.

Some gardening problems have not changed since Medieval Times. In 827 CE Walafried Strabo’ a monk at Reichenau Monastery in Germany, wrote 'Hortulus' along Latin poem about gardening. He complains about the problems of killing nettles and asks. Quid Facerem, 'What shall I do?' Some of his writings deal with the cultivation of herbs and vegetables. He describes “raised planning beds” a gardening method that lasted into the eighteen century.

Just after The Dark Ages followed The Middle Ages were history started to be recorded again. Both these periods are referred to as “Medieval Times” where castles were constructed. I have combined The Dark & Middle Ages primarily due to their similarities. One major different between the two periods are The Castle and Pleasure Gardens were invented during The Middle Ages compared to The Dark Ages were Monastery Gardens were in fashion. Gardens during this period were enclosed and rectangular with raised beds or borders, many flowers (usually dug from the woods), tufted seats, basic trelliswork and a few carefully placed trees. These types of garden were only for the royalty or the rich. The Italians lead the way for Castle Gardens with The Heaven on Earth otherwise known as a Pleasure Garden, which was located in Rocca Borromeo, Italy. It was constructed on a hill for defence purposes as well as to have good views from the garden. In the centre of this garden was a miniature mound were a tufted seat stood, this was where the owners could relax and appreciated the borrowed landscape. The walls had trellis built on them to growing fruits such as Pears. Carefully placed trees such as Apples were planted around the garden.

An example of a commonly used garden was The Hortus Conclusus or as walled garden. These garden structures were simple and geometrical, like Roman and Persian gardens. They were rectangular, surrounded by stone or brick walls which created unknowingly a micro-climate, or trellis, wattle or picket fences for the less well off and contained many varieties of plants, grown for beauty and usefulness. Grass covered mountains (view mounds) were popular and raised banks also flat lawns of wildflowers/grass. The gardens of the wealthy were places of pleasure, for games, reading, dinning and even holding court. Towns were developing at this time, with open spaces for everyone: ponds, streams, orchards and small gardens, as well as private gardens. Houses were often close to the street and had long gardens behind them for growing fruit and vegetables as well as keeping some animals. This pattern can still be seen in the high streets of many old towns throughout Europe. One of the most well-known plagues was the Bubonic or Black Death. The Bubonic is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe's population, reducing the world's population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million, in 1400 CE. This was thought to have started in Central Asia; it had reached the Crimea by 1346 CE. From there, probably carried by fleas residing on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships, it spread throughout the Mediterranean and Europe. This encouraged villages and towns to be enclosed and houses to be built in rows. This affected horticulture due to the fact that many people wanted to be enclosed in a small place for protection against the plague, and reducing the amount of room for plants.

Botanical gardens were established as early as the tenth century Alphonso X of Castile between 1252 to 1284 had an Arabic horticultural works translated. His sister Eleanor, who was a keen gardener, married Edward I of England and imported gardeners from Spain to help her create a garden at Kings Langley in Hertfordshire. Religious orders were important landowners and were known for creating gardens for culinary and healing purpose, herbs were grown as a part of the infirmary. Cloister gardens were often found in monasteries. A direct descendant of the Roman courtyards, where a colonnaded walkway surround an area if rectangular lawn, cloisters were used by monks and nuns for walking, reading and as places of quiet contemplation:

  • 800 CE – Charlemagne writes Capitulare de Villis setting out style for estates and listing plants that should be cultivated.

  • 1066 CE – The Norman invasion of England.

  • 1095 CE – First crusades to the Middle East.

  • 1237 CE – Roman de la Rose was started and finished forty years later. It is the most famous literary celebration of gardens at this time and was translated into English by Chaucer.

  • 1300 CE – The climate became much warmer in Britain until this point.

After the fall of The Roman Empire, the philosophies of Islamic culture spread westwards, encouraging learning, gardening, fruit growing, craftsmanship and the arts. The gardens of Persia were considered to be representations of heavenly paradise and Greek and Roman botanical works were translated into Arabic, updated and expanded. In this way the horticultural wisdom of the ancient Christian and classical world was preserved and expanded. Through the Arabic conquests of Spain and the Mediterranean, Arabic horticultural influences found their way into Western Europe. Moorish Spain in particular became centres of plant collections or botanical gardens.

The Renaissance (French for rebirth) was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Florence in the Tudor period and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historic era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not uniform across Europe, this is a general use of the term. Latin scholars focused almost entirely on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural science, philosophy and mathematics, Renaissance scholars were most interested in recovering and studying Latin and Greek literary, historical, and oratorical texts. Broadly speaking, this began in the fourteenth century with a Latin phase, when Renaissance scholars such as Petrarch, Coluccio Salutati (1331 CE – 1406 CE), Niccolò de' Niccoli (1364 CE – 1437 CE) and Poggio Bracciolini (1380 CE – 1459 CE) scoured the libraries of Europe in search of works by such Latin authors as Cicero, Livy and Seneca. By the early fifteenth century, the bulk of such Latin literature had been recovered; the Greek phase of Renaissance humanism was now under way, as Western European scholars turned to recovering ancient Greek literary, historical, oratorical and theological texts. With the end of the medieval times and the beginnings of the renaissance, gardens became larger and castle gardens were replaced with unfortified buildings. The house and garden became an integrated as a whole. The change is illustrated by Chenonceaux and Courance; two french gardens built in 1530 CE and 1620 CE respectively. The former beside a lake in irregular with a somewhat haphazard overall design. The latter has a central courtyard and vista; the garden is related to the house.

The Italians followed The Renaissance movement, however they believed in harmony with nature compared to the french who believed that man was ruler of nature. Italian villas were built to escape from the hot, dusty towns during the summer. Wind and shade were also necessary because of the summer heat (closer to the equator). Many of the villas and gardens were therefore built on hillsides for example Villa Medici which had a possible Spanish influence, thus providing views. In France there was less requirements for shade because of the cooler climate. There was no need to escape from the towns to the hills. Gardens tended to be cut out of heavily wooded broad flood plains. These have a high water table and allowed for lots of water in their designs, however no head for fountains. The earlier usage of water would have been as a defensive moat.

There were no city states in France unlike Italy were power was centralised. Wealthy aristocrats owed allegiance to the crown. Gardens like Versailles and Vaux le Vicomte were designed for the use of hundreds of people. The scale of the gardens was much larger than those found in Italy. The Baroque style enabled royalty and aristocrats to display their power, wealth and authority which the Italians did not have. The strict class structure of France gave rise to many ceremonies and courtyards set aside for different classes of people. The Italians produced courtyard gardens, linked with a central axis, stepping down the hillsides. The garden and the house were of equal importance in the design. There was deep shade, bright flowers and patterns of low hedges. The French’s approach to gardens was ceremonial with central axis and divisions. The gardens were usually approached along a central axis, unlike the Italian gardens which tended to be approached from the side. The gardens were largely level, large open and open to the sky. Views were extended by cutting avenues through the surrounding woodland. This was not necessary in Italian gardens which were usually on hillsides.

The Italian Renaissance was the reinvention of the ancient Roman and Greek designs and styles. It began in northern Italy in the 14th century and spread through Europe and Britain unlike The French who just saw The Renaissance for their own gain. As The Renaissance spread through Europe it changed the way Europeans saw themselves and how they perceived the world. The movement made sure that gardens should overlook some picturesque landscapes or in a wide open plain and vistas. The greatest innovation was the use of terraces which turned the disadvantages of uneven ground into gardens most prominent feature. Wide staircases connected the terraces with their landings which were decorated with fountains, niches and statues. Raphael drew up the designs for The Villa Madama, situated in a high terrace, from which the views were magnificent (hilly-countryside borrowed landscape). The terraces were partly screened by a wall of shrubs; opening like windows. They framed part of the landscape and made it more interesting through different forms and textures. Below were three gardens: the first being circular, the second being square and the latter being elliptical. These were decorated with niches and flowerbeds; their straight paths intersected at a right angle. Statues and grottoes were features of Italian Renaissance garden such as the grotto at Castello which was dedicated to Orpheus. The garden of The Villa Lante emerges from a large grotto.

The Villa Lante near Rome, was constructed in 1566 the design as a whole was so important that the designer divided the villa into two, to achieve symmetry and a continuous axis. The garden ran down the hillside from a wooden grotto through more formal gardens to parterres and a pond with a fountain at the bottom. The Villa d’Este was constructed in 1580. Bigger than Villa Lante it was used by others rather than the owners. It was full of contrasts, the noise of fountains, the tranquilly of mirror ponds and the use of light and shade. Vaux le Vocomte in France, was designed by Le Notre for Louis XIV’s finance minister. It was very geometrical with both central and side axis. It was broad and tranquil having an ornamental moat. It was designed for the use of hundreds of people. Versailles was also design by le Notre for Louis XIV. His nobles were required to live most of the year there. The approach avenues were in the form of a goose-foot. The garden was very controlled and nature was subdued. The garden had along vista and was enlarged before the chateau. The vast scale of the garden required use of hundreds and perhaps even thousands of people. Baroque is the term given to the late renaissance period when all the arts were combined to produce dramatic effects. It is said to be derived from the Portuguese word for a rough pearl. This was believed that the world had some thing good to offer but it had to be refined.

The Civil war in 1649 turned English society on its head. In 1649 CE the House of Lords was abolished and many of the nobility went to live abroad. John Tradescant the younger also disappeared to go plant hunting and the culture of gardening was put on hold. With the restoration period in 1660, Charles II brought with him from his exile the French style of horticulture. The Italian renaissance gardens, such as The Villa d’Este, were big influences in Europe. However unlike the Italian landscape of the valleys, hills and terraces, the French countryside was flatter and densely wooded. French gardens in the 1600’s took over lost landscapes with great avenues stretching into the distant forests. They demonstrated power over nature with the clipping of trees, shrubs and fruit bushes, tall clipped hedges and the layout of great parterres. The French also developed the idea of the ornamental canal which also served a practical purpose of draining marshy ground. The French royalty activity encouraged Italian artists to migrate to France where some were employed to work on a variety of French royal gardens. When William III and May II came to the throne in 1689, they brought The Dutch influences of the gardens at Het Loo with them to Britain. During The Renaissance Partie Deux tulips Tuilpa sp. became highly popular and was named Tulipomania. It reached its peak in 1624 CE when fanatical collectors in were trading houses, businesses, ships and farms for tulip bulbs. The bubble burst in 1637 CE, causing bankruptcy and ultimately the loss of several Dutch colonies.

William of Orange from Holland became King of England as he had married James II’s daughter, Mary. Following from the new monarch The Dutch style reflected a more moderate protestant approach to design rather than the flamboyant French catholic style. Key elements include: simple bedding out parterres, often containing bulbs - a recent introduction, evergreen topiary in simple shapes such as pyramids and spirals, orchard laid out in geometrical patterns typically in a quincunx matrix, one placed at each corner and one in the centre of a square or rectangle, long and rectangular canals and finally the green or lawn usually dotted with clipped evergreen topiaries to complement each other. Garden architecture was exemplified by a tall pavilion such as Westbury Court or The Pin Mill at Bodnant. These structures provided a raised area from which to view the garden; as The Dutch gardens were notoriously flat. Though not new in concept, in Tudor gardens many have had a pavilion or banqueting hall on top of a mount, the folly was to heavily influence the 18th century English landscape style. The former royal residence Het Loo near Apeldoorn in the Netherlands was built in 1684 CE for the Stadtholder Willem (William of Orange) and his consort Mary II Stuart, who became King and Queen of England in 1689 CE. For over three hundred years, Het Loo was the summer residence of The House of Orange. The house itself was built in The Dutch Baroque style, great care was taken so as not to make it overly ornate. Willem wanted it to look stylish yet refined. In February 1689 CE, William and Mary were called to the throne of Britain by parliament, replacing James II, who was deemed to have failed the country in The Glorious Revolution of 1688 CE. As James II’s daughter Mary was the Heir to the throne. William was concerned that as a Stadtholder of the Netherlands he would be his wife’s consort; a Prince of the realm but not the King. Mary accepted the throne on condition that parliament make a one off decree allowing William to be King. Their rule was the only period of time in British history in which joint sovereigns with equal powers were allowed to reign. After Mary died in 1694 CE, William ruled alone until his death in 1702 CE.

The new King and Queen chose to live at Hampton Court. At this time the vast palace and grounds remained; largely unchanged since the time of Henry VIII, one hundred years previously. William and Mary set about redesigning the palace and commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to remodel the exterior and add new wings, starting with the south front of the building. At the same time they commissioned George London and his apprentice, Henry Wise to create a baroque garden around their new home. London was a renowned gardener and took inspiration for his deigns from Italy and France. At Hampton Court, London & Wise of created a privy garden for the King as well as using the long canal already installed for Charles II to create a spectacular parterre and walks leading away from the east of the Palace. Most famously, they created The Hampton Court Maze. The maze was plant in 1689 CE; it covered 1300 m squared and contains 800 m of pathways. It was possible that the design was replaced with an earlier maze panted for Cardinal Woolsey. It was originally planted with Carpinus betulus, although it had been repaired using many different genera.

During the start of The Nature Revolution and The English Landscape Movement (18th Century), classical architecture and Chinese architecture were joined by Gothic revival ruins in English gardens. This was largely the result of poet Horace Walpole, who introduced Gothic revival features into his house and garden at Strawberry Hill in Twickenham. At Stowe, Capability Brown followed the new fashion between 1740 CE and 1753 CE by adding a new section to the park, called Hawkwelle Hill or the Gothic promenade, with a Gothic revival building.

The most influential figure in the later development of the English landscape garden was Lancelot (Capability Brown) 'Yes this is capable' (1716 CE - 1783 CE) who began his career in 1740 CE as a gardener at Stowe under Charles Bridgman, then succeeded William Kent in 1748 CE. Brown's contribution was to simplify the garden by eliminating geometric structures, alleys, and parterres near the house and replacing them with rolling lawns and extensive views out to isolated groups of trees, making the landscape seem even larger. He sought to create an ideal landscape out of the English countryside. He created artificial lakes and used dams and canals to transform streams or springs into the illusion that a river flowed through the garden. He compared his own role as a garden designer to that of a poet. "Here I put a comma, there, when it's necessary to cut the view, I put a parenthesis; there I end it with a period and start on another theme”. Brown designed one hundred and seventy gardens. The most important were: Petworth West Sussex in 1752 CE, Chatsworth Derbyshire in 1761 CE, Bowood Wiltshire in 1763 CE, and Blenheim Palace Oxfordshire in 1764 CE. Descriptions of English gardens were first brought to France by Abbé Le Blanc, who published accounts of his voyage in 1745 CE and 1751 CE. A treatise on the English garden, Observations on Modern Gardening, written by Thomas Whately and published in London in 1770 CE, was translated into French in 1771 CE. After the end of the Seven Years War in 1763 CE, French noblemen were able to voyage to England and see the gardens for themselves, and the style began to be adapted in French gardens. The new style also had the advantage of requiring fewer gardeners, and was easier to maintain compared to the French.

Stowe evolved from an English baroque garden into a pioneering landscape park; the gardens became an attraction for many of the nobility, including political leaders. Stowe is said to be the first English garden for which a guide book was produced. Wars and rebellions were reputedly discussed among the gardens many temples; the artwork of the time reflected this by portraying caricatures of the better-known politicians of history taking their ease in similar settings. Stowe began to evolve into a series of natural views to be appreciated from a perambulation rather than from a well-chosen central point. In its final form the Gardens were the largest and most elaborate example of what became known as The English Garden. The main gardens, enclosed within the ha-ha (sunken or trenched fences) over four miles in length, cover over 1.6 kmsquared but the park also has many buildings, including gate lodges and other monuments. The gardens, created by Bridgman and then Kent, overlook a curve of the River Cherwell. Bridgman had laid out the layout of the garden, with meandering walks through the woods, and pools of varying degrees of formality. Kent's theme was to create and transform the natural landscape created by Bridgman into an Augustan landscape to recall the glories and atmosphere of ancient Rome. Thus the Roman Forum was to be recreated in the verdant English countryside. The garden is Daphne in little, Walpole told George Montagu: the sweetest little groves, streams, glades, porticoes, cascades, and river, imaginable; all the scenes are perfectly classical.

The expanding British Empire opened up far flung corners of the globe to avid gardeners and a sort of collector-mania spread throughout Victorian Britain. Avid botanists combed the globe for new and exotic plants to bring home. One of the results of this frenzy of collecting was another craze, bedding out plants. The concept of bedding plants was Aztec in origin but in the hands of Victorians enthusiasts it became a British passion. The bedding out “craze” resulted in a fashion for massed beds of vibrantly coloured plants laid out in intricate mosaic patterns. The Victorian age, the age of industrial revolution and squalid city slums, was also the age of a popular explosion of interest in that most British of occupations, gardening and not just as a private pastime. For the first time a concerted effort was made by authorities to provide extensive public gardens. There was a reason for this benevolent behaviour by the well to do. They believed that gardens would decrease drunkenness and improve the manners of the lower classes. Intellectuals and the upper classes also encouraged gardening as means of decreasing social unrest.

This era was also characterised as a long period of peace, known as the Pax Britannica and economic, colonial and industrial consolidation, temporarily disrupted by the Crimean War, although Britain was at war every year during this time. Towards the end of the century, the policies of New Imperialism led to increasing colonial conflicts and eventually the Anglo Zanzibar War and the Boer War. Domestically, the agenda was increasingly liberal with a number of shifts in the direction of gradual political reform and the widening of the voting franchise. The population of England had almost doubled from 16.8 million in 1851 to 30.5 million in 1901 CE. Ireland’s population decreased rapidly, from 8.2 million in 1841 CE to less than 4.5 million in 1901 CE. At the same time, around 15 million emigrants left the United Kingdom in the Victorian era and settled mostly in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The Victorian period also saw a profusion of public gardens and green spaces aimed at bringing culture to the masses. Some of the finest Victorian gardens are public parks, like The People's Park in Halifax. Taste in the later Victorian period varied between formal and the wild garden advocated by the influential writer William Robinson. Sometimes the formal and informal looks were combined in the same garden as at Sissinghurst Castle Kent and Hidcote, Gloucestershire.

Inevitably, this passion for exotic plants created a reaction in favour of traditional British plants and garden forms, particularly the parsonage or vicarage garden. Strangely, the number of parsons who have had a strong influence on British garden history is quite high. The vicarage garden was a showpiece of one to three acres planted, not with colourful exotics but with a homogeneous mix of traditional plants, such as Wisteria. In 1840 CE the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew passed from crown control to the government which meant a transfer from enthusiastic amateurs to professional gardeners. Another Victorian garden phenomenon was known as The London Square. London squares were developed by 19th century property developers. Here, the houses backed onto a green space where children could play in full view of the houses. The squares were the focal point for a communal social life. This green space garden was run by a resident committee, funded by subscriptions from all the householders. As years went by and pollution increased, only the hardiest plants could survive, particularly the plane tree, which took over many of these squares. Examples of these London squares exist at Bloomsbury, Pimlico, Brompton, Kensington and Notting Hill.

Weston Park Gardens, which dates from 1671 CE is surrounded by 1,000 acres of parkland containing formal gardens, a 19th century Italianate parterre, to the south and west side of the house and leading to sweeping lawns, a hermit's cave, Tear Drop garden and the Rose Walk. Further on are to be found the Pleasure Grounds with a conservatory, Church Pool and Temple Wood where the Grade I listed Paine's Bridge and two of the park's other follies, also designed by him are situated. Weston Park Gardens houses a collection of rhododendrons and azaleas and many magnificent trees. The name Cannizaro has been associated with Wimbledon since 1832 when Francis Platamone, Count Sant Antonio, leaseholder of Warren House, succeeded to the Sicilian Dukedom of Cannizzaro. He left, but his wife lived on there for some years and the name stuck. Today’s park and gardens holds few memories of them. Its most outstanding features either predate their turbulent marriage or were introduced long afterwards. Today, Cannizaro House is a hotel while the grounds are a public park and gardens since 1987 it has been a Grade 2 listed English Heritage garden, boasting one of the country's finest collections of rhododendrons, azaleas and rare trees. It is also rich in wildlife. An open air concert festival is held there every summer as well as art exhibitions.

The estate dates back to the early 1700s. Famous 18th century residents included Thomas Walker, an intimate friend of Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole; John Lyde-Brown, governor of the Bank of England, who accumulated a classical sculpture collection, sold to Catherine the Great of Russia; and Henry Dundas Viscount Melville, Home Secretary and under Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger. Key Summary dates in Victorian Gardening Period: 1840 - The most popular plants for displays were chrysanthemums, dahlias and roses. James Pulham invents a cement that can be poured to form rockeries. 1841 - Victorian gardener Joseph Paxton creates the glasshouse at Chatsworth. William Hooker starts his role as the new director at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Alexander Shanks of Arbroath registered a pony-pulled mower that cleared the clippings in 1841 CE. Architect Decimus Burton builds the Palm house at Kew. The monkey puzzle Araucaria araucana is reintroduced after its first introduction in 1795 CE.

A brief timeline

    • 1845 CE - Glass tax is abolished, making greenhouses and conservatories cheaper and more popular. Conservatories, which made an attractive addition to the side of the house, were used for entertaining more than cultivating plants.

    • 1847 CE - James Hartley produces good quality sheet glass that's used for greenhouses.

    • 1848 CE to 1851 CE - Joseph Hooker brings back 28 species of rhododendrons from his expeditions to the Himalayas.

    • 1849 CE - Joseph Paxton is credited with bringing the first the giant water lily into flower at Chatsworth House.

    • 1851 CE - The Great Exhibition of London takes place in Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton.

    • 1854 CE - Veitch Nurseries starts to sell seeds of Wellingtonia.

    • 1859 CE - Charles Darwin publishes the controversial On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection. Darwin also wrote regular articles for Gardeners' Chronicles and devoted his later years to detailed studies of plants and the action of earthworms in the soil.

    • 1860 CE - Gnomes were introduced from Germany. Sir Charles Isham built a rockery in 1847 at Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire, which he filled with gnomes 20 years later. One still survives - who's insured for £1 million.

    • 1861 CE- The Horticultural Society becomes the Royal Horticultural Society.

    • 1865 CE - Joseph Hooker takes over from his father William Hooker as director of Kew.

    • 1870 CE - The Wild Garden by William Robinson promotes the idea of natural-looking planting schemes.

    • 1874 CE - The pesticide DDT is synthesised by Othmar Zeider. DDT is banned in 1972 CE.

    • 1887 CE - The council introduces the Allotment Act. The council makes land available at a reasonable rent for the public to grow plants on.

    • 1895 CE - The National Trust is founded by Miss Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley. The Trust was set up 'to act as a guardian for the nation in the acquisition and protection of threatened coastline, countryside and buildings'. The first women gardeners are employed at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    • 1897 CE - The Victoria Medal of Honour in Horticulture is established by the RHS. The medal is awarded to people who've made an important contribution to gardening, such as Alan Titchmarsh and Christopher Lloyd.

The history of plant science timeline

Profiles of famous plant biologists

Carl Von Linnaeus

    • Swedish botanist from Smaland

    • Changed the botanical system with the genus, species and cultivar system

    • He was a lecture of botany

    • 1735-1778 – lived abroad to form his system of nature

    • He became professor of botany in 1740

    • He classified plants, fungi and animals during a period between 1750-1760

    • He collected and classified plants, animals and minerals

    • He published Specie Plantanum Genera Plantanum System Plantaum

    • After his death The Linnaeus Society was setup which is the equivalent of The Royal Horticultural Society to horticulture. Also the University of Linnaeus opened.

David Douglas

    • Born in 1799 and died in 1834

    • He was scottish and worked as a gardener and a traveller in the highlands of Scotland

    • 1823-1827 he created and published Journals during my travels in North America

    • The Douglas fir, spriea, water-hemlock, aster and maple were all named after him

    • He introduced over two hundred North American plants to Britian

    • He had an accident death in Hawaii aged 35

    • After his death The David Douglas Society was setup to keep his work and horticultural practises alive.

George Forest

    • Born in 1873 and died in 1932

    • He made several major expeditions

    • He introduced hundreds of new species such as Pieris japonica 'Forestii', as well as many Clematis, Chrysanthemums, Iris and Jasminum.

    • Born in The Falkland, Scotland

    • He went to The Kilmarnock Academy were he was a apprenticed chemist and learnt the mechanical uses of plants

    • He worked in at Edinburgh Botanical Gardens

    • 1905 went to Yunnan hear Tibet with 17 other collectors

    • 1932 he completed the bulk of his work

William Kerr

    • To prosecute his work in consequence of some evil habits he had contracted as unfortunate as they have new to him

    • He died in 1814

    • William was a Scottish gardener and plant hunter

    • He sent back to Kew gardens as the virgoruous shrub at the first asserted greenhouse the Kerria, named after him.

    • He brought back 238 new plants to Europe

    • He lived at Hawick, noted by Sir Joseph Banks in 1804

    • He was sent to Colombia in 1802 to be superintendent of their botanical gardens where he later died

    • His most famous plant discoveries include:

    • Euronymus japonica

    • Lilium lancifolium

    • Naidina domestica

Sir Joseph Banks

    • Banks left Oxford for Chelsea in December 1763. He continued to attend the university until 1764, but left that year without taking a degree

    • Banks was promptly appointed to a joint Royal Navy/Royal Society scientific expedition to the south Pacific Ocean on HM Bark Endeavour, 1768—1771

    • A foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1773

    • On 30 November 1778 he was elected President of the Royal Society

    • Bank’s was a major supporter of the internationalist nature of science

    • In March 1779 Banks married Dorothea Hugesson, daughter of W. W. Hugesson, and settled in a large house at 32 Soho Square

David Bruke

  • Famous Quote I am off again if I make a good meal for someone I hope I shall give full stratification

  • He lived mainly in Kent

  • He was a widely travelled plant collector at Guiana, Burma and Colombia. He joined Veitch as a gardener at Chelsea. In 1880 wanted to travelled accompanied by Charles cutis to Bomeo

  • He collected stoves, palms and orchids

  • He rediscovered insectivorous plants

  • In 1896 last voyage to the celebe islands

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