One of 1n specimens of the rose in the UK will be planted near his grave by celebrity gardener Matthew Biggs, from ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’, to commemorate Kingdon-Ward’s life. Representatives of the rose breeders, the RHS and several of Kingdon-Ward’s descendants will join Biggs at the event in Grantchester, Cambridge, on February 10, 2016.
Originally bred in India by Girija and Viru Viraraghavan, the Kingdon-Ward rose is descended from Rosa Gigantea, described in one of Kingdon-Ward’s many plant-hunting journals. Bud wood from the Kingdon-Ward rose was flown to England and propagated by David Austin Roses, who have donated this plant.
Kingdon-Ward spent 50 years exploring the Himalayas and collecting plant specimens that were introduced to English gardens. From his first expedition in 1909 to his last in 1956, Kingdon-Ward only paused from planning, executing and reporting on his Himalayan journeys during the two World Wars.