The 1940s

British Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) builds experimental glasshouses in the grounds of its HQ in Surrey where research into the nutrition of hydroponically grown crops, and especially the Nutrient Film Technique takes place, leading to Solufeed ‘F’.

Lord Astor arranges to hand over his house and estate at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire, to the National Trust. His gift includes the monetary endowment needed for its upkeep.

Exbury House in Hampshire is requisitioned by the Admiralty and Mrs Lionel Nathan de Rothschild and her son, Edmund are asked to clear it in 48 hours. When Edmund returns home from active service after the war, he begins the enormous task of restoring the gardens to their former glory.

The New Towns Act passes into law requiring landscape masterplans to be prepared – driving the growth of landscape architecture.

Harvey Frost buys the original nursery on the present Frosts Garden Centre Woburn Sands site. He starts the business as a wholesale nursery, concentrating on growing tomatoes and chrysanthemums.

Developed during World War Two, the herbicide 2,4-D is introduced for weed control.

One of the first truly pink irises is shown at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Bred by plantsman, breeder and head of the East Anglian Art School Sir Cedric Morris, the iris is named the ‘Strathmore’.

The inaugural meeting of The National Begonia Society of England and Wales is held and the annual subscription set at 10 shillings and six pence.

After returning from serving on HMS Fleetwood, John Taylor, founder of Arden Lea Nurseries, begins growing a wide range of flowers and vegetables on his one-acre of land to sell at markets in Lancashire. In time, his son Duncan joins the business which has supplied bedding plants to Booths Supermarkets for more than 20 years.

The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act creates a National Parks Commission which during the 1950s oversees the establishment of 10 national parks.

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