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The Planthunters Garden

This is a rare opportunity to celebrate the plant hunters who risked their lives to bring back exotic plants

Work has begun on a new garden at Warren House in Kingston upon Thames, the brainchild of author VKL Good who was inspired by the gardeners that have worked there for over 150 years and the famous Victorian plant hunters who worked for the Veitch Coombe Wood Nursery upon which the gardens partly stood.

Ms Good and Warren House have commissioned garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin to redesign the walled garden that will feature many of the plants that were brought back from around the world. Ms Good said “We wanted to acknowledge the skills of the Warren House gardeners over many decades who have maintained this garden for future generations to enjoy.”

The Veitch Nurseries and family were famed for sending out legendary plant hunters such as EH Wilson and William Lobb and introducing iconic plants, trees and conifers to Britain. Many are now instantly recognizable in European gardens and all started out being propagated in Coombe Wood when they were sent back by the plant hunters from distant countries.

Designer Fisher Tomlin said “This is a rare opportunity to celebrate the plant hunters who risked their lives to bring back exotic plants to Britain for a public that was hungry for new and unusual specimens for their gardens and parks. So this is very much a celebration of plants and gardening and we hope that garden visitors will be able to enjoy some of the rare plants coming from over 20 British nurseries”

Key plants in the new garden include a Davidia involucrata (the handkerchief tree), introduced by the Veitches after Ernest Wilson sent seed back from China in 1900, as well as a grove of 50 Acer griseum (paperbark maples) and a large collection of magnolias. Alongside the Veitch-inspired planting will be a spring flowering bulb meadow and extensive perennial borders.

The Veitch Garden will be open later in 2015 for special pre-booked tours. Please contact Warren House for further details.


Further Information

• V.K.L.Good was born in
London in 1965 and educated at Wimbledon High and 
Keele University where she read 
International Relations. She is a historical researcher and genealogist, and lives with her husband and two small children in Guildford. Her family owns Warren House where she is also a director.

• Warren House Conference Centre is recognised as one of the finest meeting venues in Britain. Dedicated to conferences and training, it also provides the perfect setting for private meetings, events and weddings. Warren House is a beautiful Grade II listed Victorian property with 4 acres of stunning landscaped grounds that was built in 1865 on land bought by Hugh Hammersley from the Duke of Cambridge. With guests including Prime Minister Gladstone, HRH King Edward VII and Winston Churchill through to many modern day politicians, celebrities and socialites, Warren House continues to play an important part in Kingston’s social , political and horticultural heritage. See for more about the history of Warren House.

• Fisher Tomlin & Bowyer provide design and horticulture services worldwide for which they have received a number of international awards. The garden for Warren House is one of a number of gardens that they have created for heritage settings.

For further information please contact:
• Fisher Tomlin & Bowyer - Andrew Fisher Tomlin on +44 (0) 7957 855457 Web:
• Warren House – Joan Middleton : tel. 020 8974 7116 web:

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