Joachim Conrad Loddiges ( 1738 - 1826)

Loddiges was the founder of the nursery was born in Hildesheim, his father Casper Lochlies was a gardener to a nobleman in Wrisbergholzen, near Hannover. Conrad trained in The Netherlands and emigrated to Britain at the age of 19 during the Seven Years’ War to take up employment as gardener for Dr J. B. Silvester in the suburban village of Hackney, north of London. When in his forties he married, he had not accumulated sufficient savings to expand a small seed business started by fellow German émigré John Busch, which he purchased, together with the good will of Busch’s clientele in 1771 and had fully paid for by 1777 by which time he began to write to people all over the world, urging them to send him packets of seeds collected from trips to native hills, valleys and plains. From these small beginnings, its initial catalogue appearing in 1777 the nursery business gained a specialist market in Britain, and was increasingly able to attract clients from estates and botanical gardens throughout Europe.

George Loddiges (1786–1846) The nursery rose to great prominence during the early nineteenth century under George Loddige, who published in his serial numbers of The Botanical Cabinet coloured plates of rare plants introduced into its hothouses and gardens from around the world, and built the largest hothouse in the world to display the best collection of palms and orchids in Europe. George Loddiges also linked the nursery into the scientific circles of the day, becoming a Fellow of the Microscopical Society (FMS), Fellow of the Linnean Society (FLS), Fellow of the Horticultural Society (FHS), and Fellow of the Zoological Society (FZS) in London, for he had wide interests in scientific subjects beyond botany, becoming particularly knowledgeable about early microscopy and one aspect of ornithology (humming-birds). Abroad the nursery’s influence spread to the imperial gardens of St Petersburg in Russia and the first Botanical Gardens at Adelaide in South Australia in 1839, by John Bailey who started with Conrad Loddiges in 1815. Herbarium specimens of Eucalyptus pulverulenta from Loddiges are in the Charterhouse School Herbarium dating from 1820.

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