Month: August 2017

Thomas Fairchild

Finding a peaceful half-hour to think about Thomas Fairchild in the early morning, an Aldbourne garden outside the window looking beautiful. Found this blog, and articles written this year about Thomas Fairchild – born Aldbourne 1667 – and the Vegetable Sermon this year at St Giles, Cripplegate.

6 December 2018 -update: the original blog on the Gardens Trust website has been moved, you can now find this article at https://thegardenstrust.blog/2017/06/03/thomas-fairchild/

The Gardens Trust

Thomas Fairchild (c.1667-1729); Department of Plant Sciences; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/thomas-fairchild-c-16671729-220972

Thomas Fairchild was one of the greatest horticulturists of the 18thc. But his contribution was not confined to his own age but extends right up to today. That might sound a bit over the top – and perhaps it is – but as you will soon discover I’m a great fan of this humble Hoxton nurseryman. Professional to his fingertips not only did his tiny nursery ground overflow with unusual plants, he fought to raise the profile and status of horticulture through the Worshipful Company of Gardeners,  was the first person known to have deliberately hybridized plants,  and the first to write about the pleasures and pitfalls of gardening in London in his book, The City Gardener.

Old St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch which would have been the church Fairchild knew. Part of the tower collapsed during a service in 1716 & the church…

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The Vegetable Sermon

6 December 2018 -update: the original blog on the Gardens Trust website has been moved, you can now find this article at https://thegardenstrust.blog/2017/06/17/the-vegetable-sermon/

The Gardens Trust

St Giles Cripplegate
David Marsh, June 2017

Thomas Fairchild, the 18thc London gardener and subject of a recent post, was more than just a great London nurseryman and striver for professional unity and strength, he was also highly  inquisitive – or what his contemporaries would have called “curious”. He combined his intellectual curiosity with a strong religious faith and in his will he bequeathed £25 to the churchwardens of St Leonard’s Church in Shoreditch for an annual lecture to be given on the Tuesday after Pentecost.  He specified two possible subjects:  “The wonderful works of God in Creation” or “On the certainty of the resurrection of the dead, proved by certain changes of the animal and vegetable parts of Creation,” and this has resulted in the event being sometimes nicknamed the “Vegetable Sermon.”

The Arms of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners from the 1616 Charter

After a somewhat chequered history it…

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