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WALTER

IRVING.

who was elected President of the Guild for the year 1927-28, was born at Easton Park, Wickham Market, Suffolk, on August 3rd, 1867. His father was head gardener to the Duke of Hamilton, and it was under his tuition that our President received his first training in horticulture. After leaving Easton Park, he was subsequently employed at Sefton Park, Slough, and at the Grange Gardens, Old Windsor. From the latter establishment, Mr. Irving went to Messrs. Lee's Nursery, at Hammersmith, where he remained for about a year, proceeding later to the gardens at Belvoir Castle, where for three years he worked under the able direction of Mr. William Ingram, who imparted much of his knowledge of hardy plants to him. In October, 1890, Mr. Irving came to Kew, and in March, 1893, he was appointed to the charge of the Herbaceous and Alpine Department, in succession to Mr. Daniel Dewar. In June, 1922, a change in nominal status, gave him the rank of Assistant Curator. During such a long period of service at Kew, Mr. Irving has acquired an extensive knowledge of the British Flora, and his assistance to Members of the British Botany Club is well-known, and has often called forth appreciative remarks from those connected with this Society in their Reports, which are published annually within the pages of the Kew Guild Journal. MR. WALTER IRVING,

Under" Mr. Irving's guidance, the Rock Garden at Kew was entirely rebuilt, and in its present form, is the Mecca of many thousands of visitors to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, more especially during the spring and summer months of the year. Mr. Irving is the author of several interesting and instructive volumes, among which may be mentioned: " The Book of Unheated Greenhouses " ; " Saxifrages " ; and " Rock Gardening," while in addition he is a very frequent contributor to the horticultural press. Among Mr. Irving's hobbies may be included photography; and of later years, he has become the possessor of a first-class wireless receiving set, and is able to enjoy many pleasant hours of relaxation from this source. To those who know him best, Mr. Irving is of a very modest, retiring disposition, though he is always willing to place his extensive knowledge, gained as the result of his lifetime's work among hardy plants, at the service of others. His sterling qualities have endeared him to a wide circle of horticultural friends, in addition to the many who have known and served under his able guidance while at Kew. E.G.D.

Profile for Kew Guild Journal

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