February 2022: Melanie Aspey on the Rothschild Legacy in Horticulture

The talk was given by Melanie Aspey, a CABAHS member who has been the Rothschild archivist for 28 years. Providing photographs and documentation from the Rothschild archives, she said the Rothschilds are best known for banking, their art collections, philanthropy and wine, but many of them have also had  a keen  interest in horticulture reaching back to Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), the founder of the dynasty, who lived in the Frankfurt Jewish Ghetto.

After the defeat of Napoleon, thanks to their support for the allies, the Rothschild family was able to lobby for the retention of the right for the Jewish Community to buy real estate outside the ghetto. Mayer Amschel’s son, Amschel, considered that building a house would be too ostentatious, but a garden would better serve their needs. Instead he established a garden which he subsequently opened to visitors and for charitable purposes. He spent vast sums on plants, some of which (and Melanie showed one of the plant sale receipts from the archives) he imported from England. Later taken over by the Nazis and bombed by the allies, the garden fell into disrepair but parts have recently been renovated.

Continue reading February 2022: Melanie Aspey on the Rothschild Legacy in Horticulture

Hadlow College Shooters Hill

Hadlow College, which has a campus on Shooters Hill right opposite the start of Eaglesfield Road, has been placed into Educational Administration. The Greenwich Campus is a Horticultural Skills Centre and provides half day and day courses throughout the year. Last year I did 5 or 6 half day courses, known as Tasters, and learned so much in a relaxed, friendly environment amongst other avid growers.

At £10 for a half day and £30- for a full day course, they are incredible value for money.

I have come away from all the Taster Courses (except one) loaded down with planted up bulbs, cuttings and/or seeds. The one exception was a theory rather than practical session and I was loaded with leaflets and notes from that taster.

In short, if we are not to lose this brilliant resource (and how about getting a course for someone as a birthday or Christmas present) then we need to support the college by paying a tenner to learn – hands on – innovative ideas and techniques from highly qualified interesting Horticulturists.

They only need 6 people to make each course viable. Maybe I will see people I recognise on 12 December for the Winter Gardening Course!

Introduction to Horticulture Courses:

  • Winter Gardening, 12 December 2019, 1 day, 9:30 – 15:30, £30-

Taster Courses:

  • Planning Your Spring Beds, 11 December 2019, ½ day, 9:30 – 12:30, £10-
  • Grow Your Own Herbs for Health, 11 December 2019, ½ day, 13:00 – 16:00, £10-

For full details of courses available or to book one of the courses, please visit https://www.hadlow.ac.uk/courses/search?mode=PartTime&keywords=horticulture

The Winter gardening course link is here:https://www.hadlow.ac.uk/courses/course/QGPSCIHWG-Introduction-to-Horticulture-Winter-Gardening

or Email shortcourses@hadlow.ac.uk or call 01732 853 993.

Juli F