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The ‘First Greens’ of Fishergate were botanists, nurserymen and gardeners!
Fishergate had a surprising role in the introduction to Britain of plants and trees from across the world, with Backhouses Nursery sometimes referred to as the ‘Kew of the North’. From the late 18th century, botanists were travelling the world and bringing back previously unknown trees, plants, bulbs and seeds. Pioneering nurserymen in Fishergate propagated these for wealthy landowners, who competed with each other to have the latest spectacular curiosities.
Rich businessmen who built new villas around York wanted their gardens laid out with elegant walks, shrubberies, flower beds and rockeries. They also had extensive vegetable plots and orchards to supply the family, with greenhouses and heated walls to provide fresh fruit throughout the year. As well as providing plants and trees, Fishergate nurserymen designed and built gardens and passed on their expertise to the estate gardeners.
Join Judy Nicholson of the Fishergate, Fulford and Heslington Local History Society and find out about the plant hunting, seed collecting and garden design work of the successful and tragic Rigg and Backhouse families.
In addition to Judy’s illustrated talk, enjoy a display of items relating to the Fishergate nurseries.
Refreshments will be available after the talk
About the speaker
Judy Nicholson is a very active member of Fishergate, Fulford and Heslington Local History Society and has built up extensive archives on the people, buildings and industries of the area.
Fishergate, Fulford and Heslington Local History Society
For more information about the Fishergate, Fulford and Heslington Local History Society (FFH) please visit the FFH website.