Donald Beaton

(1802—1863) gardener

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(1802–63), horticultural journalist. He was born into a Gaelic-speaking Highland family, learning English only in his twenties. While gardener at Haffield House, Herefordshire, he was launched on a journalistic career in J. C. Loudon's Gardener's Magazine. He became famous as the head gardener of Shrubland Park, where his experiments in ornamental bedding were described in his weekly articles in the Cottage Gardener and its successor the Journal of Horticulture. Probably the leading horticultural journalist of the generation after J. C. Loudon's death, Beaton had an immense influence on colour schemes for the mid-century garden, as well as being a pioneer breeder of bedding plants, especially pelargoniums. In 1852 he retired from Shrubland Park, whose garden was then redesigned by Charles Barry, leaving Beaton's maze as his only surviving garden feature. Beaton spent his last years in Surbiton, where an admirer provided him with an experimental garden that served as the source for his later articles.

From The Oxford Companion to the Garden in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Lifestyle, Home, and Garden.

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