The talk was given as a personal view of the history of the gardens. It was full of fascinating information such as Timothy was the sixteenth Horti Praefectus, the first was Jacob Bobart the Elder in 1641 just before the country descended into Civil War in 1642. One of Bobart's achievements was to catalogue all the plants in the garden which means that we know that only one of those plants still lives in the garden, a large yew tree.
We were told that the 'mission statement' of the gardens is carved in stone over the main gate "To promote learning and glorify the work of God", no matter what your position on religion may be, to promote learning is a fine objective and to glorify plants and therefore all the wildlife and eco-systems that they create makes it a statement that I think many can buy into.
The talk took us through the various Horti Praefectus and professors that have influenced the garden as it was developed through the centuries. There were lots of amusing anecdotes all clearly underpinned with a clear deep abiding love of botany/horticulture and considerable knowledge.
We had a very entertaining and informative evening, which ended as usual with tea and cake.