Plant hunters in focus

PUBLISHED: 15:44 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:29 10 June 2010

THURSDAY, AUGUST 14: A FREE display charting the adventures of intrepid plant hunters opens at East Budleigh's Salem Chapel on Saturday. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Exeter and Chelsea firm of Veitch and Sons sent fearless plant hunters all over the world to coll

A FREE display charting the adventures of intrepid plant hunters opens at East Budleigh's Salem Chapel on Saturday.In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Exeter and Chelsea firm of Veitch and Sons sent fearless plant hunters all over the world to collect new species. This display from Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) offers visitors the chance to gain a better understanding of the influence of these collectors. The Global Gardeners display at Salem Chapel runs from Saturday until August 31. The chapel is open daily from 2- 5pm and admission is free. A variety of Veitch plants will be on sale during the exhibition. Accompanying talks will give an insight into the Veitch family, the plants they introduced and Victorian souvenir collecting.On Saturday, horticulturalist and Veitch expert Caradoc Doy will give a talk entitled The History of the Veitch Family and their Famous Plants.On Friday, August 29, Tony Eccles, RAMM's curator of ethnography, will give a talk called Victorian Souvenir Collecting and the Plant Hunters.Both talks are at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 and available in advance from Kathy Moyle on (01395) 445236.An Exeter City Council spokesperson said: "Today there is hardly a garden in the country that doesn't have a Veitch plant in it.""As well as the plants they collected, the travellers brought back objects as souvenirs from the countries they visited. The Veitch family donated many of these items to RAMM in the 1880s and they now form part of the museum's world cultures collection. These items provide a fascinating link between plants, collecting and empire.

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