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First edition, first impression of this lovely book on alpine rock gardens by Kew Gardens President and prolific horticultural writer Harry Higgot Thomas. Written for beginners, it covers everything one would need to know about designing and caring for rock gardens, with chapters on each of the flowers best suited to them and also sections on moraine gardening, bog gardens, and rock pools. A beautifully designed book lavishly illustrated with 12 colour plates in addition to 64 black and white plates and line drawings throughout.
Author Harry Higgot Thomas was the son of Owen Thomas, the head gardener at Chatsworth House and Drayton Manor. After a brief and unhappy stint as a banker he followed in his father's footsteps by training at Windsor, Baron de Rothschild’s gardens at Cannes, Ferrieres-en-Brie, and finally at Kew Gardens. His first professional posts were at Veitch's Nursery in the King's Road, London, and then at Windsor as foreman of the Royal Gardens. Around this time he began writing gardening articles and in 1900 became sub-editor of The Garden under Gertrude Jekyll. In 1907 he took over editorship of The Gardener (later Popular Gardening) and remained in that role for the next forty years. His first book, The Book of the Apple, was published in 1902 and his writing career remained strong well into the 1950s. Thomas served as President of Kew Gardens between 1953 and 1954, and in 1949 he was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour by the Royal Horticultural Society, which his father had also received.
Cassell and Company, Limited, 1914. Octavo. Original dark green publishers cloth attractively blocked with a colour image of rocks and flowering shrubs across the upper board and spine, titles and top edge gilt. Tipped-in colour frontispiece and 11 plates with printed tissue-guards, 64 black and white plates, engravings throughout the text. Cloth fresh and bright with only minor rubbing at the extremities, spotting to edges of text block and light scattered spotting to contents, free endpapers tanned. An excellent copy.
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