(1693/4–1764), English nurseryman whose business in Fulham, London, using part of Mark Catesby's garden, specialized in North American plants, having acquired in 1713 some of Bishop Compton's American collection. Philip Miller regarded him as one of the ten leading nurserymen in London. In 1730 Gray joined in the publication by the Society of Gardeners of the Catalogus Plantarum Officinalium and in 1755 he published his own Catalogue of Trees, Shrubs, Plants and Flowers. Gray's interest in American plants continued. Miller inspected his custard apple (Annona reticulata) and the newly arrived (1734) Magnolia grandiflora, reputedly the first specimen grown in England. In 1763 Gray published Catesby's Hortus Britanno-Americanus, which included the author's own engraving of the tree, drawn in the garden of Admiral Sir Charles Wager, a keen gardener. Following the death of Gray the nursery continued for nearly a century, closing in 1810.
From The Oxford Companion to the Garden in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Lifestyle, Home, and Garden.