Letter from J.D. Hooker [Joseph Hooker] [to William Robinson]

Scope and Content

Written from Royal Gardens Kew [Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew], [Surrey]. Manuscript

He thanks Robinson for ‘The Subtropical Garden’; he was not aware he owed the ‘Hardy Plants’ to Robinson’s attention or he would have thanked him sooner; he considers the series valuable and is glad that the rapid issue of a succession of such works answers to the public and author; he is anxious to establish ‘wild spots’ in Kew, but his time is taken up with correspondence, with India and the Colonies, and with the scientific centre so that he depends on his foremen for such matters; nowadays neither gardeners nor foremen know anything about plants; an accomplished flower gardener should know the names of hundreds of species of plants and have many other skills (enumerated), but all they learn is to bed out plants; this presents an insurmountable obstacle to progress; ‘I can direct, Mr Smith can control; but his and my duties in administration and as controllers, are overwhelming’; they can do little without intelligent gardeners; he hopes Robinson’s books will improve things; he asks Robinson to accept his ‘Students’ Flora’; he hopes they will meet at the Linnean; at Kew he is usually in the garden 11-1 and 4-6