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Garden Centre

George Plumptre writes an appreciation of his friend Rosemary Verey, a leading contributor to Greenfingers and one of the great figures in 20th century British gardening...

When originally asked whether she would contribute monthly articles for the new gardening internet site she replied "well I don't use e-mail and I'm not sure how the internet works, but I'd love to take part as it sounds very exciting." For over a year she contributed a series of very personal articles, giving advice to beginners and written around her own Cotswold garden at Barnsley.

It was here, in the garden of Barnsley House, that her reputation as a plantswoman and garden designer was established. Over a period of some fifty years she created one of the most accomplished and admired English gardens of the 20th century. For much of the time her work was a partnership with her beloved husband, David, an architectural historian for whom Barnsley was the family home.

Although relatively small for a famous country garden, Barnsley contains numerous features that are especially admired: the formal knot garden and potager; the planting that continues throughout the year; and the various views and vistas along paths.

From her own garden Rosemary branched out into influencing and assisting others with theirs, first through a series of books that continued to flow for the rest of her life, and then as a garden designer. Her list of clients around the world, especially in Britain and the United States (where she was revered) was positively star-studded, headed by Prince Charles and Elton John.

Her contributions to Greenfingers, which did not start until she was eighty, and her continued work in the garden at Barnsley despite painful hip operations and regular ill-health in her last years, were testament to her indefatigable love of gardens and gardening that continued right to the end of her life.


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Other George Plumtre Articles
   Gielgud's Garden        Jilly Cooper
   Lady Salisbury        Rosemary Verey
   Royal Gardener        The Editor has His Say
   The Editor has His Say