James Veitch (1868-1907) was a member of the Veitch family who were distinguished horticulturists and nursery-men for over a century.
In October 1891 he embarked on a tour of inspection of the great Botanic and Public Gardens maintained by governments around the world, as well as visiting many private horticultural establishments, to see whether the Veitch gardens might be enriched by further additions. He set off by way of Rome and Naples to Ceylon, thence overland from Tuticorin to Lahore. He continued to Calcutta and on to the Straits Settlements. In Penang he visited the Botanic Gardens, whose curator Charles Curtis was formerly employed by James Veitch & Sons as a plant collector, before moving on to Singapore where he visited the Botanic Gardens. He then visited Johore, before returning to Singapore in February 1892, when he climbed Bukit Timah (the highest point on the island) with Walter Fox, curator of the Gardens.
He then travelled to Buitenzorg, West Java where he visited the Botanical Gardens. He also explored the crater of Kawah Papandajan (volcano), and visited Lake Bagendit near Garoet. His travels then took him to Japan, where he met Charles Sprague Sargent of the Arnold Arboretum, and they undertook a joint plant collecting expedition including ascending Mount Hakkoda together. After visiting Korea, he reached Australia in 1893. However he found Australia disappointing and wrote that it was easier to collect seed in Japan where there was cheap labour. Later he visited the North Island of New Zealand, before returning to England in July 1893.
A series of letters on the gardens visited during the journey was printed in the Gardener’s Chronicle (March 1892 – Dec 1894), and privately printed collectively as A Traveller’s Notes in 1896.
First edition, 4to, x, 219pp., large folding map, 9 photogravure plates, numerous illustrations throughout, original light blue bevelled cloth boards lettered in black, original eggshell blue plain dustwrapper, in original card box (stained, cracks to joints), a fine copy.
Stock ID: 98144