Caradoc Doy: Horticulturist
HM The Queen talking with Caradoc Doy at the Chelsea Flower Show, who was interested to know about Sir Harry Veitch and the history of the flower show. For further details click here
Topsham horticulturist Caradoc Doy, has recently returned from a successful exhibit at the Chelsea Flower, where he met H.M. The Queen and won a Silver Gilt medal for an educational exhibit on behalf of the plant conservation charity, Plant Heritage. He is now busy preparing to put on a special display about the Chelsea exhibit for one week only at The Topsham Bookshop. He will be exhibiting rare Veitch memorabila including original books and catalogues published by the famous Veitch nurseries of Exeter and Chelsea as well as some botanical prints and photos.
The Chelsea Flower Show exhibit was in tribute Exeter-born Sir Harry Veitch who eventually ran the famous nursery of James Veitch & Sons which started in Exeter and continued in Chelsea during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Sir Harry was an outstanding nurseryman, horticulturist and charity champion, for which he was knighted exactly 100 years ago this year; becoming the first man in gardening to receive a knighthood.
Also in 1912, he helped organise a one-off gardening show in London called the Royal International Horticultural Exhibition and helped secure the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea for this event. The show was a great success and led the Royal Horticultural Society to ask the Royal Hospital, Chelsea for use of the grounds the following year for The Great Spring Show; better known today as the Cheslea Flower Show!
The tribute display was put together with other volunteers from Plant Heritage. Plants introduced to Britain by the plant hunters working for the Veitch Nurseries of Exeter and Chelsea were used. Many of the wild plants we grow in our gardens not only came into Britain via Veitch but are now rare or extinct in the wild.
In 2006 Caradoc published the Veitch 'encyclopaedia' of plants, Hortus Veitchii exactly 100 years after it was first produced. Normally £95 per copy this special book is currently on special offer for £35 locally at The Topsham Bookshop and St. Bridget Nurseries, Old Rydon Lane, Exeter.
To see details of the special Veitch exhibit I put together at The Topsham Bookshop recently, please click here for more details.