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GEORGE

NICHOLSON.;

THE retirement in July last of Mr. Nicholson from the Curatorship of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, on account of impaired health, was received with universal regret. " Mr. Nicholson's services to Kew are well known. To him in great measure is due the present efficient condition of the Arboretum . . . Kew still hopes to retain the benefit of Mr. Nicholson's botanical experience now that he has been relieved from the pressure of administrative duties'' (Kew Bulletin). The following account of Mr. Nicholson's career was published in The Garden, vol. xlviii. (1895) :— " In dedicating this, the forty-eighth volume of The Garden, to Mr. Nicholson we do but express the general feeling of the horticultural world towards the important national establishment of which he is the distinguished practical head Mr. Nicholson was born in Kipon, Yorkshire, in 1847. His father was a nurseryman, and with him he received his early training. He afterwards worked in the nurseries of Messrs. Fisher and Holmes, Sheffield, Messrs. Low and Co., Clipton, and at La Muette, Paris. In 1873 he entered the Civil (Service as Clerk to the Curator at Kew, and in 1886 he was appointed Curator in succession to the late Mr. John Smith. The ideal curator of such an establishment as Kew must be a man of varied acquirements, both practical and scientific; he must also possess considerable administrative ability. Mr. Nicholson probably is the nearest approach to this ideal that Kew has possessed since Aiton's time. He combines great ability with a varied knowledge of and sympathy with botanical science. He is a first-rate British botanist, and has written various papers of interest in this department; his knowledge of plants of all kinds is exceptional, whilst in his own special department, that of hardy trees and shrubs, he is the first authority in this country. " T h e earlier volumes of The Garden contain numerous valuable articles upon, and monographs of, cultivated trees and shrubs from the pen of Mr. Nicholson. He edited the Dictionary of Gardening, published ten years ago, and now universally acknowledged to be the best encyclopaedia of plants. The preparation of this work involved great labour and care, and it could only have been conducted to a successful issue by a man of Mr. Nicholson's knowledge with the resources of Kew to assist him. He was elected an Associate of the Linnean Society in 188b' on account of his useful botanical work, and in 1894 he was awarded the Veitchian Medal in recognition of his services to gardening. He was delegated to serve as a judge in the horticultural department of the Chicago Exposition of 1893, and to inspect, in the interests of Kew, the Arnold Arboretum and other important gardens within reach in the United States. His notes and observations as the result of this visit are embodied in a paper entitled ' Horticulture and Arboriculture in the United States,' published in the Kew Bulletin for February 1894. Mr. Nicholson, by his urbanity and readiness to assist and advise the young men under him, contributes much towards their success whilst at Kew and afterwards." He is now a Fellow of the Linnean Society, and has been awarded the Victoria Medal of Horticulture.

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