Philip Miller’s Herbarium by Jacek Wajer – Chelsea History Festival

Date: 23-09-2022 Hour: 16:00

Event place: Chelsea Physic Garden

This year’s Chelsea History Festival will bring the past to life through a series of talks, tours and events. The immersive programme will reveal history in all its variety and demonstrate its ongoing resonance and relevance today.

To celebrate this year’s Chelsea History Festival, join Jacek Wajer, a curator at the Natural History Museum, to find out about Philip Miller’s work at Chelsea Physic Garden, his herbarium collection and how it is used today.

Phillip Miller (1691-1771) was Head Gardener at Chelsea Physic Garden from 1722 to 1770. Under his directorship at the Garden the number of plants cultivated in England almost doubled.

Miller’s most celebrated work was The Gardeners Dictionary, a practical guide to horticulture published in eight editions between 1731 and 1768, which included descriptions of over 4,500 species of plants, many of them new to science.

Throughout his long and illustrious career, Miller also gathered nearly 10,000 specimens of plants from all over the world grown at Chelsea Physic Garden. This impressive collection was purchased by Sir Joseph Banks at an auction in 1774 and is now part of the General Herbarium at the Natural History Museum.

The Speaker: Jacek Wajer. He is a Polish plant biologist (MSc in Plant Biology, Jagiellonian University, Poland, 2001 – 2006) with an interest in the history of botany and plant collecting, biological nomenclature. Currently, he is a curator in charge of Section II of the General Herbarium at the Natural History Museum. He is particularly interested in the influence of horticulture on the development of the museum’s botanical collections.

Jacek’s research is currently focused on the origin of the specimens collected by Philip Miller and other important 18th century gardeners in the museum’s collection.

Director’s choice:

It’s sometimes easy to forget that our four-acre site here at Chelsea Physic Garden has shaped the sciences of horticulture and botany for hundreds of years, and continues to do so. That’s why I’m thrilled to welcome Jacek Wajer from the Natural History Museum to the Garden to tell some of this story.

‘I’m very much looking forward to hearing how past and future come together through the lens of our special Garden.’

Sue Medway
Director, Chelsea Physic Garden

WHEN: Friday, 23 September 2022, 4pm – 5pm

WHERE: Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, SW3 4HS

TICKETS: £20.00 (Concessions: £18.00). To buy here

For British Poles readers, the National Army Museum is pleased to offer a discount code “SupporterCHF22” for the tickets.


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