Oral history of British science
Rothschild, Miriam (3 of 16) An Oral History of British Horticulture
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Rothschild, Miriam, 1908-2005 (speaker, female)
Brodie, Louise (speaker, female)
Part 3: The two Wars were periods of great grief. Grandmother died in 1915 which was the end of Tring. Miriam Rothchild's [MR] mother was Hungarian and most of her relatives disappeared in this War. Her father caught flu in the big epidemic, had a complication spent some years in a sanatorium in Switzerland, came home still unwell and died in 1923. Father was a full time worker in Rothschilds bank and had spent every holiday in Hungary where he built a house, and followed his interest in natural history. When MR was 10 she was given a plot as a garden of her own, about 15 foot square divided into 4, for vegetables, flowers, potatoes and a water garden. Story of tomato plant. She was passionate about the garden, worked in it every day. Mr Wright was the head gardener at Ashton, and unlike Tring, she worked with him and other gardeners. No weed was ever allowed to grow so big that it couldn't be taken out with a pocket knife. MR tried to grow mushrooms and gooseberries for her mother. Her father was a world class botanist and grew a collection of irises as well as orchids. Kew was allowed to take what they wanted when he died. Father also made a rock garden with native plants from different countries. He taught MR to press specimens, and she loved finding them, and was very observant and good at identifying them.
Interview with Dame Miriam Rothschild DBE FRS, naturalist and entomologist.