‘Beautiful Roses’ (1903) by John Weathers.

‘Beautiful Roses’ (1903).

Two books: same title, same year, same author, same text.

Illustration by John Allen.

These two beautiful examples of the same book have been hiding on the shelves for some time and it is only recently, while I have been working on the illustration of the early rose books, that they have resurfaced. I was delighted when I became reacquainted because I love the 33 illustrations by John Allen. I am sure the text is worthy too but as you may know I am all about rose art and literature rather than rose cultivation.

John Weathers was not a great rosarian but he was extremely knowledgeable in the field of horticulture. He wrote several books including ‘A Practical Guide to Garden Plants’, ‘The Bulb Book’, ‘French Market Gardening’, ‘Commercial Gardening’, and ‘A Practical Guide to School, Cottage and Allotment Gardens’, as well as contributing to the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. I am also delighted to discover that he translated from German a similarly lovely book by Julius Hoffmann ‘The Amateur Gardener’s Rose Book’.

John Weathers worked at Kew Gardens before becoming Superintendent of the Middlesex County Council’s School of Gardening and a lecturer in horticulture. I have yet to research fully John Allen, the illustrator, but initially there does not seem to be any information available. Further work needs to be done.

More rose illustrations from the book ‘Beautiful Roses’ by John Weathers.

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