Val Bott’s talk at Kellogg College in Oxford will look at half a dozen gardening families in Brentford and Chiswick. They improved, grafted and propagated new stock, including the Williams pear. Some wrote books, issued prints and promoted their businesses profitably while a few failed miserably. They supplied plants, bulbs and seeds to estates over a wide area of England in the late 17th and 18th centuries.

Some travelled many miles each year, visiting and advising clients and their gardeners, while others became contractors, designing and overseeing significant horticultural projects. There are some Oxfordshire connections: Thomas Greening (1684-1757), born at Great Haseley in Oxfordshire, had establsihed his nursery near the market town of Brentford by 1710, from where he obtained a series of significant aristocratic and royal contracts. His son, Robert, produced stunning designs for Kirtlington, with a naturalistic style that predated Capability Brown.

Full details on the Oxfordshire Gardens Trust website