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INTRODUCTION.

K E W is popularly known as a great botauical institution possessed of a garden wherein is grown the most comprehensive collection of plants ever brought together in any country. Her influence in science and commerce has long been acknowledged as pre-eminent among botanical establishments. Kew is also a great training school for horticulturists, but the important part she plays in horticulture has not hitherto been generally recognized. The Kew Guild will, we think, go a long way towards showing how much Kew has done, and continues to do, in the development of scientific horticulture, not only in the British Empire, but in all the civilized countries in the world. Our Journal will reveal the whereabouts and positions of all living Kewites, as far as they can be ascertained. Kew " graduates'' are everywhere : as directors, curators, superintendents, head gardeners ; as botanists, professors, Fellows of the Royal Society, the Linnean and other great scientific societies ; wherever botany or scientific horticulture is encouraged, there Kewites are sure to be found. Looking at the facts this is scarcely to be wondered at. Kew has employed a large staff of gardeners for at least one hundred years. These have been selected young men whose previous training and progress gave promise of their developing into first-class gardeners. Their term at Kew has been limited to about two years, for reasons which will be obvious. A well stocked library of books on botany, horticulture, and kindred sciences ; courses of lectures upon subjects useful to horticulturists ; daily employment in the care and cultivation of the collections of plants in the gardens,—these advantages could not fail to have a powerful influence in the training of the young men who enjoyed them. Kew as a garden of any pretensions was founded in 1759 by Augusta, Dowager Princess of Wales, the mother of George I I I . Its area then was nine acres and it was superintended by William Aiton, a young Scotchman, who had been trained by Philip Miller in the Apothecaries' garden at Chelsea, the Kew of that period. Under Aiton's management and with the aid of Sir Joseph Banks, the Garden increased in size' and interest, until by the end of the century it was " famed throughout Europe for the great collection of plants it contained." We may therefore reckon that Kew has been a great training school for gardeners for about one hundred years. In 1840 there was a strongly expressed desire throughout the country that the Garden, which at that time belonged to the Eoyal Family, and B2

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Profile for Kew Guild Journal

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