John Claudius Loudon [1783-1843] and his wife Jane Webb Loudon [1807-1858] are amnongst the most prolific and important horticultural writers in history. They believed that kn owledge was power and aimed to spread information about gardens and, indeed, all forms of natural history, as widely as possible. They were the driving force behind the rise of the amateur middle class gardener, and also the real professionalism of the 19thc head gardener.
John Claudius didn’t just write but was an inventor too, most importantly in greenhouse technology – which is not as boring as it sounds! He was also a social reformer, writing about agriculture, housing, public parks, and cemeteries amongst many other things. And he was the first real horticultural journalist. Jane worked with him on his encyclopedias, books and magazines but also wrote a series of book specifically aimed at giving women an understanding of botany and plants.
Their story is fascinating and will make you realise how much we owe to their non-stop work ethic and enthusiasm.