Oral history of British science
Rothschild, Miriam (8 of 16) An Oral History of British Horticulture
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Rothschild, Miriam, 1908-2005 (speaker, female)
Brodie, Louise (speaker, female)
Part 8: Miriam Rothschild [MR] was also looking after 49 Jewish refugees in the big house. After the War her husband wanted to farm and MR put the garden back as an Edwardian garden with Stanton's help. Then when Stanton went she scaled it down, had 5 gardeners then. A great deal of rebuilding was needed, and they lived at the cottage in the village for quite some time. She started the butterfly house again and turned the laundry into two laboratories. MRs first child died, which was a great sadness, then the others were born quickly after the War. MR is a good Jew but not particularly religious, only attended synagogue irregularly. George was a changed man coming back from prisoner of war camp. Wanted to live in town. At first, they compromised by living near Oxford where the children went to school. MR spent a great deal of time gardening. Gardened at Ashton at weekends. Spent 20 years in Oxford and came back to live at Ashton when the children had left school. She began to dislike her garden. Son took off the whole top floor of the house to make it more manageable. MR had started life as a wild flower gardener as a child. Remembers cowslips on the lawn. It was an intellectual decision that conservation had to start on the doorstep. She just let the grass grow. She taught herself with good botany books. Story of the box on the table full of dead grass.
Interview with Dame Miriam Rothschild DBE FRS, naturalist and entomologist.