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A Happy Ending

In 1803, a Dutch merchant by the name of Jan Teerlink collected seeds during his travels to the Cape of Good Hope, carefully tucking them in packets he placed inside his notebook. Unhappily for him, his ship was captured by the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars, and his notebook was seized, and passed from hand to hand until arriving at the National Archives where its seeds lay in a deep sleep for two hundred years. Last year a guest researcher from the Royal Dutch Library opened Jan's notebook, and discovered the seeds. The seeds were passed to the Millennium Seed Bank, a Royal Botanic Gardens project established to preserve seeds from 10% of the world's flowering plants. Gardeners there managed to wake up three of the seeds, and three sleeping beauties are flowering.

For the full story, see the GUARDIAN >

For details about the Brits’ irrepressible interest in plants and gardens,
look HERE >