Nurseryman of Lavender Hill
By Thomas Rutter
Former Horticultural Trainee at the Garden Museum, Thomas became curious about William Pamplin when he discovered his diaries in the Museum’s Archive. The full article ‘William Pamplin: Nurseryman of Lavender Hill’ appeared in The London Gardener journal (v26).
William Pamplin (1765-1844) is today not a name known to most. Yet he was once a celebrated nurseryman acquainted with some of the leading lights in the horticultural world. Pamplin’s diaries, donated to the Garden Museum Archive, cover the period 1827–1841 and paint a vivid picture of the life and times of a Regency nurseryman.
On the expiry of his lease on the Pine Apple Nursery in c.1826 on the Kings Road, Pamplin moved his enterprise south of the Thames to what Robert Sweet described as ‘the more airy and healthy situation of Lavender-hill, in the Wandsworth-road, at a pleasant distance from London, and where the choice herbaceous, and other plants, may be expected to thrive much better than nearer the smoke of the metropolis’.
Pamplin’s diaries describe not only his growing and purveying of plants but document a range of activities that suggest that metropolitan nurserymen were imaginative and resourceful at a time of great horticultural extravagance…