Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild - botanist and gardener
Born in Paris on 17 December 1839 into the well-known family of bankers, Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild's interest in gardening was stimulated from an early age. His mother Charlotte (1807-1859) was a keen gardener and gave each of her children a plot of ground at the family farm of Neuhof, just outside Frankfurt, where she had set up a dairy, complete with a Derbyshire dairy maid.
‘To these [plots] we attended with much zeal and gravity, though were it not for the assistance of the gardener it may be questioned whether they would have produced anything but weeds,' Ferdinand later wrote .
Providing small garden plots for one's children to encourage healthy physical activity and to educate them in the natural world, appears to have been part of Victorian life. At Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, Prince Albert Edward, Ferdinand's future close friend, was also made to garden by his parents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.