Harry Hay

johannes-ulrich-urban@t-online.de johannes-ulrich-urban@t-online.de
Wed, 30 Mar 2011 15:28:00 PDT
Dear All,

Harry Hay was one of the great English plantsmen of our time. He was a
genius when it came to make difficult seeds germinate and it was very
respect inspiring to see him grow so  many difficult, rare and demanding
plants in his garden. I vividly remember this immense pleasure in his
face when he showed me his seed bench with some freshly germinating
rarities: "isn't it always wonderful to see this?".
I was introduced to him many years ago while I lived and worked in
England and have met him and his wife several times. He was of such a
friendly and generous attitide that I felt ashame not to have anything
to offfer in return, at least at the beginning. Later I offered to share
the most valuable seeds or plants with him because I knew that if
somebody would be able to grow them it would be him. And he would
distribute to like minded people without a hint of commercial thinking.
Plantspeople all over the world seem to share this passion and
generosity but I have always felt that English plantspeople are even
more special in this way. This very special attitude has marked me
deeply and I am very grateful to have met Harry Hay.
I have always admired Harry Hay's knowledge (no need to look at a label)
and also the sheer physical effort to keep up his private botanical
garden, at the same time only knowing all too well that I would never be
able to achieve such a state myself.
For the future of his collection I have no information. But the very
fact that he had distributed what he could lets me hope that most of his
valuable plant material survives somewhere.
I have to admit that by far not all the plants I got from him have
survived in my hands but those that did carry a label with his name on
it and are special plants.......

Uli from Germany

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