Letter from E.A. Bowles to William Robinson

Scope and Content

Written from Myddelton House, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire. Manuscript

He thanks Robinson for the reprint of ‘Farewell to Journalism’ and will prize it; he often means to write to him but is either busy or weary; he would like to visit Robinson when the days are longer; he has had a trying year as his father died, so he has not travelled much; he feels unsettled as he has a life interest in Myddelton House and cannot sell it, but his income is insufficient to keep up the estate; it is not a show garden, just a collection of all he can grow that is interesting or beautiful, which he distributes to others who wish it; he thinks some of the glass houses must be pulled down as they are costly to maintain; the beds and shrubberies are crammed with good plants and need attention, and he wishes he could turn it into a wild garden like ‘dear, good Kingsmith’s’ but it is not suitable for that; it is sad to watch it go back; now the war is over he could work with tulips and seedlings again, but labour [costs] would cripple him; he is delighted with the pruning of a large yew, following Robinson’s lead; he illustrates the tree before and after with an ink sketch; many plants (he names privet, buddleia and others) have suffered in the snow in a way he does not recall happening before last March; he had a letter from Farrer [Reginald Farrer] who was to set out for Upper Burma yesterday, an inhospitable place with wild inhabitants and largely untouched by collectors; when he was last in Edinburgh Balfour [Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour] and Farrer were looking for a destination for plant hunting and they all looked at maps of that district; it should link the flora of China and the Himalayas, and the plants should be hardy; he hopes Grove [Arthur Grove] and Wanench[?] will come to examine the bulbs of a new Chinese lily that has done well with him, the result of Farrer’s last quest; he sends greetings to Nurse [Mary Gilpin] and Dr Wallis