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Author Topic: Brian Halliwell, plantsman, author and plant hunter has passed away.  (Read 3085 times)

Maggi Young

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Brian Halliwell, the  well-known plantsman, author and plant hunter passed away on 22nd March 2014.

The announcement, published in the Halifax Courier on 28th March 2014  reads:
BRIAN HALLIWELL :  On 22nd March 2014, Brian aged 84 years passed away peacefully at Overgate Hospice.
He will be sadly missed by friends and family. Brian's career involved a world wide travel in his search for wild plants, particularly alpines which Brian was a highly respected expert. He met many interesting people who have remained loyal friends. The Funeral Service will be held at St Jude's Church, Savile park, Halifax on Monday 7th April at 10.00am. Followed by committal at Park Wood Crematorium, Elland. Family flowers only please, but donations if so desired to Overgate Hospice c/o Lawrence Funeral Service, Bell Hall, Halifax. Tel 354094.


Already respects have been paid to the newspaper site by former students of Brian's at Kew.
I have posted this message to the site:

The world of plants is saddened by the news of Brian's death- those of us in the Scottish Rock Garden Club held  him in great esteem.
His knowledge was shared by his teaching and his books and this will be his legacy to us all.
Our condolences to all his family.

Margaret Young

SRGC Hon. Vice President
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

ranunculus

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Re: Brian Halliwell, plantsman, author and plant hunter has passed away.
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2014, 05:32:08 PM »
So sad to hear about Brian's passing.  Always a good friend to the East Lancashire Group and a personable companion around the benches at our northern shows. He has been a notable absentee at events for a number of years and, with the quite recent passings of Frank Tindall and Jack Brownless, we have sadly lost another of the 'alpine' characters and another fount of knowledge and horticultural wisdom.
Cliff Booker
Behind a camera in Whitworth. Lancashire. England.

Maggi Young

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Re: Brian Halliwell, plantsman, author and plant hunter has passed away.
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2014, 05:38:17 PM »
Brian Halliwell, AHRHS, had a long and distinguished career ; he was Assistant Curator of the Alpine and Herbaceous Plant Department at Kew Gardens until his retirement in 1989. He also worked at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, The Botanic Garden in New Zealand and took part in many plant-collecting expeditions, especially in the far east. He is the author of 3 books.

This  rather endearing photo  was taken by  Diane Clement and shown in the Forum in 2008 - it  is of Brian at the Cleveland Show in 2008 - resting his eyes after a busy morning amongst the flowers

Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Maggi Young

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Re: Brian Halliwell, plantsman, author and plant hunter has passed away.
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2014, 06:37:27 PM »
Brian made his mark on the world of plants other than alpines, of course -
From an online news article from the Buckingham Advertiser,  17th October 2008
"In the 1980’s, a lush foliage plant appeared that was to change the face of gardening tradition – its name was  Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’.

“The plant that launched a thousand Heuchera”, as it became known, ‘Palace Purple’ took the world by storm. Never before had a humble North American perennial caused such a stir, with a unanimous shift of interest from flower to foliage.

Renowned for its rich foliage colour, rather than flowers, ‘Palace Purple’ was raised from wild-collected seed by Brian Halliwell, curator of the herbaceous and alpine collections at Kew, and named to commemorate the original royal palace built in 1631, long before the species was introduced to the UK. "

Chosen by the  Perennial Plant Assciation as Plant of the Year in 1991


Heuchera 'Palace Purple' - photo by Jerzy Opioła from Wikimedia
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 06:39:13 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Lesley Cox

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Re: Brian Halliwell, plantsman, author and plant hunter has passed away.
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2014, 10:52:22 PM »
Thanks Maggi for this notice. I am truly sorry to hear of Brian's death. For many years he lived in New Zealand and had a very close association with NZAGS and gave talks to many groups including the Otago Alpine Garden Group. Many people here will be saddened to hear of his passing. We all learned a great deal from him and are the richer for that.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

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Re: Brian Halliwell, plantsman, author and plant hunter has passed away.
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 12:08:59 AM »
Many plantspeople in New Zealand are sorry to learn of Brian's passing as he spent three years in New Zealand in the early 1960s as propagator in the horticultural section at Lincoln College, Canterbury. During that time he was a stalwart supporter of the Canterbury Alpine Garden Society (which was later to become the New Zealand Alpine Garden Society), lecturing, writing many articles for its Bulletin and in 1963 establishing the Society’s seed exchange. The Society expressed its appreciation of his efforts by awarding him Life Membership.

When Brian returned to the UK, he became not only a mainstay of the national Alpine Garden Society, lecturing, writing and judging at shows, but also his local West Yorkshire Group which I joined in the 1980s. A typical bluff Yorkshireman, he called a spade a spade, and we novices trembled if he came to critique our plant or our attempts at a piece of writing for the local newsletter which he edited. On the other hand you knew that a rare compliment from him was really worth something.

His interest in New Zealand and Australasian plants continued for the rest of his life, and he made several return visits here. He keenly followed the development of our Society, taking the time to write a long letter of congratulation on its reaching its 50th birthday in 2010. We owe a great debt of thanks to Brian and extend our sympathy to his family in their loss.
Middle of South Island, New Zealand

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Re: Brian Halliwell, plantsman, author and plant hunter has passed away.
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 09:47:58 AM »
Brian was a respected member of our local AGS group for many years. He edited our newsletter, usually having to write most of the articles himself, and was an absolute fount of knowledge about any plant you would care to mention, though he was a very quiet man, and wouldn't give an opinion unless asked. My condolences to his family.
MINIONS! I need more minions!
Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

www.dryad-home.co.uk

Maggi Young

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Brian Halliwell: remembrance of a fine plantsman
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2014, 10:15:46 AM »
Anne's  comments about Brian's work with his local AGS newsletter made me think that perhaps some newer members might not be aware of the fine contribution he made over the years to the SRGC Journal  - it's quite a list - and all of these journals are available to all to read on our website :

A Contrast, 56/190
Celmisia longifolia, : 61/296
Craspedia, 64/188
New Zealand Edelweiss, 45/325
Primroses, 63/115
Primula scotica, : 62/38
Raoulias in Nature, 48/212
Spanish Mountains in Summer, 61/247
Three Fuschias for the Rock Garden, 60/225
Wildflowers of the Fairest Cape - a review :107/126
Plant Fashions : 108/254
Unfashionable Genera : 109/396
Snowdrops and Snowflakes, : 73/351
Some peat garden plants from Japan, : 73/372
Tasmanian cushion plants, : 77/429
Dryas, : 87/151
Small Rowans, : 90/42

- a wonderful range, don't you think?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 10:33:29 AM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Maggi Young

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Re: Brian Halliwell, plantsman, author and plant hunter has passed away.
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2014, 11:25:13 PM »
 Pictures and words from Halifax Courier  6th April

"Savile Park’s crocus creator and Kew Royal Botanic Gardens curator, dies aged 84


Picture from Halifax Courier - Crocuses near the moor, Savile Park, taken by Ms Pat Hubbard

The man behind the annual beautiful blooming of crocuses in Halifax’s Savile Park has passed away at the age of 84.



Son of a master butcher, Brian Halliwell, was born in Halifax in 1929. He grew up in his family Manor Drive home and attended nearby Heath Grammar School.

After leaving school, Mr Halliwell trained at Halifax Parks Department and was responsible for establishing Halifax’s annual display of crocuses and for planting hundreds of trees in Shibden and People’s Park.

The horticulturist went on the work at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens before travelling south to work as an assistant curator at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, London.

During his 20 years at Kew, Brian oversaw ornamental bedding and the replanting of the Queen’s Garden.

Mr Halliwell potted (sic)  controversy in Kew’s subtropical planting in the parterre at Palm House when he planted a bedding scheme composed entirely of edible plants.

In the 1970s, he was responsible for amenity planting - helping pioneer mass planting of one plant and one colour per bed.

Mr Halliwell sought pastures new and worked in botany all over the world.

As a teacher to generations of horticultural students, Mr Halliwell taught gardener Alan Titchmarsh.

In retirement he continued to give talks to people interested in horticulture and wrote books on the subject including: ‘Three Centuries of Garden Lists’.

After a long and illustrious career in horticulture, he returned to his hometown of Halifax where he joined the local Antiquarian Society and Historic Buildings Society. Each year, he took pleasure in attending Halifax Choral Society’s performance of Handel’s Messiah at Victoria Theatre.

Mr Halliwell’s lifetime achievements include:

In 1989, before he retired from Kew, he won a gold medal at Chelsea Flower Show.

Upon overseas plant hunting expeditions in China, Japan and Tasmania, Mr Halliwell was responsible for many plants introductions including Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ named to commemorate the original royal palace built in 1631.

He spent eight years in New Zealand with Christchurch Botanic Gardens where he developed his interest in Alpine flora and lectured on this in Australia, Tasmania, Japan, North America and Europe.

Mr Halliwell tended the Bonsai collection of the Emperor of Japan.

He worked in Rothschild’s gardens in France.

The successful horticulturist became an associate of honour of the Royal Horticulture and served for many years as a Chelsea Flower Show judge - meeting the Queen on several occasions.

Part of his legacy is the recent establishment of a prize for the best student period plant portfolio as part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Diploma course in Garden History in association with the Garden History Society."


Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

 


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