July 23rd: Veitch exhibit

Our current window display (from July 23rd 2012) features botanical books, in keeping with the week's special Veitch Exhibit by Caradoc Doy. The centrepiece contains two rare begonias: the early long-stemmed protoypes collected overseas by Veitch plant-hunters, and from which the familiar modern short-stemmed begonias derive.

From Monday 23rd to Saturday 28th July, The Topsham Bookshop is hosting a presentation by horticulturist Caradoc Doy to commemorate the legacy of the Veitch Nurseries of Exeter and Chelsea.

Caradoc will be on duty all day to answer any questions.

This year is the centenary of the 1912 International Horticultural Exhibition organised by Sir Harry Veitch, the precursor of the Chelsea Flower Show; and Caradoc was one of the members of The Veitch Team at Plant Heritage, which staged a Veitch exhibit at this year's show in May.

Hortus Veitchii
James Veitch & Sons were central in international botanical expeditions that found some 1500 plants to introduce to British garden collections. Their 1906 reference work, Hortus Veitchii is an important botanical work of reference containing details of over 1,500 plants introduced by the nurseries of James Veitch & Sons including information on the plant hunters who found them, where they were found and many other important details. In addition, this book chronicles the details of many of their plant collectors as well as the early hybridization work carried out by their pioneering staff

The Topsham Bookshop display will feature information boards on the Veitch nurseries and its work, memorabilia, an original copy of Hortus Veitchii,  copies of other classic Veitch publications, photos of the Veitch holdings at Kew, classic illustrated botanical magazines, and more. Caradoc's 2006 centenary facsimile reprint (normally priced at £95) will be on sale at £35, continuing the special offer from the Chelsea Flower Show.

It will be on show during the shop opening hours: 10.30am-5pm..

See caradocdoy.co.uk for further background.