Obituary: Anthony Huxley

Click to follow
The Independent Online
OF ALL his books, Anthony Huxley took greatest pleasure in Plant and Planet (1974), writes Mark Griffiths (further to the obituary by David Wheeler, 4 January). 'Darwin's Bulldog', TH Huxley himself, would have devoured this superb natural history. It led a generation of would-be botanists through the plant kingdom's tangled groves, myself among them.

I finally met its author when I became editor of the last publication in which he was involved, the New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening. As editor-in-chief, Anthony stood back from the making of the book, preferring to nurture its development with counsel and a wealth of ideas and contacts. Still more precious than the hoard of his knowledge was the gift of his friendship - especially at time when the task of completing this mammoth work seemed scarcely possible.

Anthony's life embraced horticulture, garden history and botany; it mirrors the dictionary in scope. He found in the garden a symbiosis between his love of the arts and his profound respect for nature.