GLENNY, George (1793-1874) Horticulturalist, prolific author and one of the founders of the Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Institution, Glenny was born in Hoxton and spent his early years in Hackney. He was apprenticed to a watchmaker but after seeing a bed of tulips in Walworth, he devoted himself to growing flowers. He organised flower shows in his own garden at Worton, Isleworth and at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Glenny, who was married twice and had nine children, earned his living more by his pen than by his spade, starting the first gardening newspaper in the country, the sixpenny Gardeners Gazette. A forceful and outspoken critic, he drew attention to the absurd restrictions on the public enjoyment and the neglected state of Kew Gardens. His show hall in Chiswick Lane bankrupted him in 1837, and he had to sell the Gazette and all the plants from his garden to pay his debts. After 1868 he moved to Gipsy Hill and the 1871 census shows him living at 12 Colby Road. He continued to write a weekly column on gardening for Lloyd’s Weekly until his death at 80. He is buried in West Norwood Cemetery.

Patricia Reynolds