Rosemary Isabel Baird Verey

Rosemary Isabel Baird Verey, garden designer and writer, was born at 3 Mansion Row, Brompton, Gillingham in Kent, England on 21st December, 1918. She was the youngest of four siblings. Rosemary was educated at Eversley School in Folkstone before going on to University College London to read Mathematics and economics. In 1939 she married the architectural historian, David Cecil Winter Verey (born 1912/13, died 1984). Together they had four children: Charles (born 1940), Christopher (born 1942), Veronica (born 1947) and Davina (born 1949).

In 1951 the family moved to their family home at the late-17th century Barnsley House, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire. It was at this house that Verey's love for gardens flourished. Her interest in garden history was supplemented by her collection of rare gardening books. The house's conventional 1930s pleasure garden was slowly transformed. Her designs were based on geometry with alleys, paved walks, which contrasted with open spaces.

After Verey's husband's death in 1984, she began to visit the United States of America, designing, lecturing, and encouraging young landscape landscape architects. She was a designer in demand having created gardens for patrons including the Prince of Wales and Elton John.

Roasemary Verey's publications include: The English Woman's Garden (1980), The Scented Garden (1981), The Garden in Winter (1988). In 1994 she was awarded the Garden Writer's Guild lifetime achievement award, and in 1999 she was presented with an OBE. Verey died on 31 May 2001 and left her plans to the New York Botanical Garden, and her manuscripts and archives to her family.

Sources:

Hobhouse, P., ‘Verey , Rosemary Isabel Baird (1918–2001)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005) < http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/75986 > [accessed 8 October 2007]

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