The following is a book review from the Yak by Margaret Hodgson:
"Judith Walker, MBCSLA, RPP, was born in Vancouver, BC, and educated at the University of British Columbia and the University of Washington. She works as a landscape architect and planner in both private and public practice. Through her gardening experiences, she met Mary Greig, the main focus of this book. She has skillfully captured the story of Mary Greig and her husband, Ted. With the assistance of many people, she has compiled an enjoyable story of their life together, their experiences of moving to Canada, their venturing into the nursery business (Royston Nursery), their family and wide circle of friends, and Mary’s dedicated labour involved in the successful propagation of the Royston Rhododendrons.
The editor, Dr. Clive Justice, notes at the beginning of the book that the Rhododendron Species Foundation had published excerpts from the manuscript in 2015 under the title of Mary Greig and the Royston Rhododendrons by Judith Walker, p. 123 of Rhododendron Species, Vol 10. The book includes nineteen chapters in which the author describes their first meeting and how she began working with Mary in her gardening tasks. The writing style is relaxed and the author had added much interest by including direct quotes from Mary Greig, which are all in bold type. An entire lifetime is described chronologically with Mary, her mother and siblings arriving from England in 1911. Her father had arrived in Canada some months ahead of the family.
The story also recounts Ted’s arrival in 1919, meeting the Simpsons, starting the Royston Nursery, the years of work there, Ted’s failing health, the closing of the nursery and the connection with Alleyne Cook to start the transfer of the rhododendrons to Vancouver.
The very useful Index is arranged in two major sections by People and Plants, the latter of which includes all the names of various plants mentioned in the book, but even more to the heart of the matter, a very good list of all the rhododendrons mentioned in this very readable book."
A Garden for Life: Mary Greig & the Royston Rhododendrons by Judith Walker, MBCSLA, RPP
Edited by Clive L. Justice, PhD (SFU) FCSLA Gold Medal ARS.
164 pages, 103 photographs and documents, nineteen chapters, plus Editor’s Preface, Acknowledgements and Index. Softcover.
Copyright 2015 by Judith Walker, and BC Bigleaf Maple Books, Vancouver, BC.
This book will be for sale at the VRS monthly meetings.