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Margery Fish (also known as Townsend, Townsend)

Margery Fish (nee Townsend), gardener and author, was born at 16 Eastbank, Stamford Hill, London, on 5 August 1892, to Ernest Townshend and Florence Harriet. Townsend worked as a personal assistant to Lord Northcliffe and then was a secretary for six Daily Mail editors. She married one of her editors, Thomas Marlowe, in 1933, after he had retired from the newspaper. She later married Walter Fish and they bought a home in London. However, as the Second World War loomed in 1937, they sought a house in the country. After searching for the right house, Margery and Walter bought East Lambrook Manor, South Petherton, Somerset.

East Lambrook Manor was in need of restoration and repair. The couple worked tirelessly on the house and gardens. By the 1950s East Lambrook Manor became the cottage garden Margery Fish had dreamed of, full of flowers, and shady corners packed with hellebores, snowdrops, primroses, and epimediums.

Margery Fish died at South Petherton Hospital, Somerset, on 24 March 1969, and was cremated at Taunton crematorium. East Lambrook Manor was bequeathed to her nephew, Henry Boyd-Carpenter, who, with her sister-in-law and her sister-in-law's husband maintained the garden and extended the nursery. For many years the nursery was associated with hardy geraniums, another of Margery Fish's great loves and a species she brought to the public's attention as one of the best, trouble-free perennials.

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