Oral history of British science
Rothschild, Miriam (1 of 16) An Oral History of British Horticulture
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Rothschild, Miriam, 1908-2005 (speaker, female)
Brodie, Louise (speaker, female)
Part 1: Miriam Rothschild [MR] was born at Ashton Wold, Northamptonshire, in 1908 and has lived there ever since. They stayed at Tring every winter into spring to keep grandmother company (Grandfather died when she was 5). MR remembers the extreme excellence with which every plant was presented. Mr Keane did all the decorations in the house, details of perfectly shaped and shiny leaves and flowers. MRs grandfather (Natty) and uncle Walter collected and grew orchids. Natty was put in charge of the farms and gardens aged 16 and had ability to select the right people to work for him. For the lawns in front of the house, the grass was grown through moss. Story of fresh eggs bouncing when thrown from top of house. There were decorative herbaceous borders, with blue spruces an outstanding feature. The water garden seemed sinister to a child, yews and rushes, led to the shrubbery and dogs cemetery. Story of a dog saving her father's life. Kitchen garden had greenhouses. Yellow Malmaison carnations, one flower per plant, had a wire loop to make every bloom perfect. MR thinks of them as painfully regular. Another greenhouse was for amaryllis. MR never saw a gardener there.
Interview with Dame Miriam Rothschild DBE FRS, naturalist and entomologist.