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The RHS Desk Diary 2012
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Augusta Innes Withers (c.1791-1876) Mrs Withers (nee Baker) was employed by the Horticultural Society in the 1820s, to continue its project of depicting fruit varieties; she also drew the 152 plates for John Lindley's Pomological Magazine (1828-30). In 1830 she was appointed Flower and Fruit Painter to Queen Adelaide, and later continued that role for Queen Victoria. Among the other published works which she produced illustrations were the Botanical Magazine, Bateman's Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala (1837-43), and Henderson's Illustrated Bouquet (1857-64). Caroline Maria Applebee (c.1799-1854) Caroline Maria Applebee lived in London; nothing so far is known of her family, but she seems to have lived, or at least spent time, in Essex; her drawings, now held in the RHS Lindley Library, are dated between 1808 and 1852. Barbara Cotton (fl.1810s-20s) There is little documentation about Barbara Cotton or her career. She lived in Newport Pagnell and exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1815 and 1822; in 1822 she was also hired by the Horticultural Society to depict fruits, and made eight drawings now in the Lindley Library art collections. Cynthia Newsome-Taylor (1906-83) Cynthia Newsome-Taylor, born in Batley, trained as a fashion designer, but turned to book illustration in the 1940s. She married the gardening writer Peter Hunt (1917-1978), and illustrated his books 100 Best Shrubs and 100 Best Herbaceous Plants (1963), as well as various books by Arthur Hellyer and Richard Gorer. She was given a one-man show at the Hunt Library in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1967. Lydia Penrose (1787-1842) Little is known about Lydia Penrose; what information we have was provided by her great-grand-niece Winifred Penrose Foster, who donated her ancestor's album of paintings of Devonshire wild flowers to the RHS in 1957. Margaret Meen (1749-1824) Margaret Meen exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1775 to 1805, and died in 1824. In 1790 she published two parts of a folio work, Exotic Plants from the Royal Gardens at Kew, comprising eight plates in all. Nelly Roberts (1872-1959) Nelly Roberts was the first orchid painter hired by the RHS, taking up the post in January 1897, and making portraits of award-winning varieties for more than fifty years, retiring in 1953. She was awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal on her retirement. Vera Higgins (1892-1968) Vera Cockburn began her career as a scientific officer at the National Physical Laboratory, where she met her future husband William Higgins. She wrote and translated various books on cacti and succulents, as well as The Naming of Plants (1937). For some years, during the Second World War, she was Editor simultaneously of the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society, the Bulletin of the Alpine Garden Society, and the Cactus Journal. She was a member of the RHS Picture Committee for over a quarter of a century, sometimes exhibiting her own drawings at the Society's shows.

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