Discussion in 'Paphiopedilum' started by weiweidc, Oct 20, 2018.
Who was he?
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Date of Birth: 1877
Date of Death: 1952
Period Active Earliest Date: 1920
Occupation: Head Gardener
Head gardener at Bodnant to Lord Aberconway between 1920 and 1947, F.C. Puddle made a vital contribution to the breeding of white hybirds. Puddle created Paphiopedilum F.C. Puddle in 1935, a flower which has become in turn created over 1000 new hybrids. F.C. Puddle was the father of Charles and the grandfather of Martin Puddle, both of whom became head gardners at Bodnant.
As an aside, check out Bodnant. It is still going strong and has recently been voted the most beautiful garden in the UK. There is plenty of competition.
Frederick Charles Puddle – lacking abilities as a tradesman, he was a grower, a lesser profession, from a young age, had a greenhouse by age 15 in which he grew champion mums; trained with Veitch; head grower at Scampston Hall for St. Quintin before moving to Bodnant in 1920 and growing for Charles McLaren, Lord Aberconway. William St. Quintin had a tremendous collection, but did not exhibit at the RHS; his greenhouses were enormous in comparison to McLaren’s. St. Quintin’s plants were sold to Low’s at his death in 1919. Once at McLaren’s, Puddle made every attempt to get back his grexes, particularly the white ones, but only found a single seedling of each of his white grexes: Albion, Astarte and Snowdrift (Astarte x niveum). Low’s had an Albion (the AM/RHS plant) awarded in 1922. Certainly McLaren would not have held money back from the project, and would have been able to purchase part or whole of the Low’s Albion AM/RHS; the fact that there is no reference to it in the 1920s orchid press may hide a dirty little secret: that Puddle purchased Albion ‘AM/RHS’, renamed it ‘Bodnant’, and had it awarded an FCC/RHS in 1923. In addition to white paphs he bred rhodies and fuchsias, clivias, and streptocarpus. He retired in 1947 after receiving the Veitch Memorial Medal for service to horticulture; I believe his grandson currently manages the gardens at Bodnant.
I might add that these anecdotes appear (or will) in the Orchid Digest; Part II of The History of Extant Complex Paphiopedilums has been submitted and will hopefully appear soon...Puddle and Aberconway will in part III...
Thanks to everyone for the info. It's very inspiring to know the background of the plants. I understand this old plant is still being used for hybridization
Thanks for posting this classic!
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