Frank Kingdon-Ward gardens.

Where his collections were sent and his memory lives on in the plants.


Frank's collections were sent to many different gardens in the UK and all over the world. These are some of the gardens that still celebrate their links with KW, and where you may still see some of the plants that he brought back.

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

Frank's association with the botanic gardens at Edinburgh goes back further than that with Kew. It was in no small part thanks to Isaac Bayley Balfour, director of the Gardens, that Frank got his very first solo expedition. (See biography part 3) and so large numbers of herbarium specimens were sent to Balfour by Frank as an integral part of his collecting. RBGE also has many documents pertaining to Frank, such as letters to Balfour.

Link to Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh official homepage

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

As well as having plants collected by KW, Kew holds many documents of Frank's including large numbers of his letters to his sister Winifred donated by my family some years ago. It was felt that they would be more safely stored here and archived properly.

Link to Royal Botanic Gardens Kew official homepage

Ness Botanic Gardens, The Wirral

As the first sponsor of Frank's expeditions Arthur Kilpin Bulley can lay claim to a large slice of the credit for his career. His firm, Bees Seeds, received most of the seed bounty from the 1911-12 and 1913-14 expeditions to Yunnan in Western China. Prior to that it was Frank's colleague and competitor George Forrest who provided the stock. The gardens grew along with the seed company. In 1948 after Bulley's death, his daughter gave the gardens to Liverpool University which has managed them ever since.

Link to Ness Botanic Gardens

Rowallane

Begun in the nineteenth century by The Rev. John Moore, it was his successor Hugh Armytage Moore to whom Frank was introduced by his new wife Florinda. From then on many of Frank's plants were brought to Rowallane and added to the beauty of this already flourishing garden. It is now a National Trust property.

Link to official National Trust Rowallane site

Highdown Gardens

Now run by Worthing borough council the gardens were created by Sir Frederick Stern. Many of the plants were collected by Farrer and Wilson but many of Frank's most treasured seed was sent to Stern who was one of only a very small number of people who successfully germinated the Carmine Cherry, which is discussed in depth in "Pilgrimmage for Plants" 1960.
Tragically this tree which would now be fully grown at perhaps in excess of forty feet in height was destroyed in the great storm of 1987 which swept across the south east destroying huge numbers of trees in its path.

Link to Highdown Gardens official homepage

Mount Stewart

Frank's first wife, Florinda Norman-Thompson, was a well connected member of the aristocracy with her own hybrid rose named after her by Dickinsons of Newtownards. She soon set about introducing Frank to wealthy gardeners such as Hugh Armytage Moore at Rowallane, and to Lady Londonderry who had a garden at Newtownards. Mount Stewart is now also owned by the National Trust and houses specimens collected by Frank including Rhododendron magnificum KW 213.

Link to the National Trust homepage for Mount Stewart

Map of Gardens.

A google map showing the locations of those gardens already identified as having some connection with Frank. There may well be others including some in Australia and New Zealand. Information is always welcome


View Gardens connected with FKW in a larger map