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Historical Profiles

This section contains articles about people who were involved with the creation, maintenance, conservation and recording of the historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes in the United Kingdom.

Ellen Ann Willmott - a true genius of the place

Ellen Ann Willmott, described by her contemporary Gertrude Jekyll as being ‘the greatest of living women-gardeners’, is today known mostly for her Genus Rosa as well as for the clandestine efforts she undertook in introducing the sea holly, ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ into the gardens she visited. Dr Susan Gordon investigates the remarkable life of this Victorian genius of the place.

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Ernest Wilson - explorer and plant hunter

Ernest Henry ‘Chinese' Wilson was a botanist, explorer, photographer, plant collector and writer active in America, Western China and England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He gained the nickname ‘Chinese' from the many plants in China he discovered and later introduced to the West. Dr Susan Gordon highlights the legacy, life and travels of this Gloucestershire-born adventurer.

Read more: Ernest Wilson - explorer and plant hunter