In Memoriam: John Bond
John Bond, the former head of the Gardens of Windsor Great Park in England, died Feb. 11, 2001, at the age of 68. Mr. Bond earned respect internationally for his skills, achievements and professional integrity built through his long horticultural career. He is especially remembered for his encyclopedic knowledge of plants - their names, origins, history and cultural needs.
After his National Service in the Military Police, Mr. Bond followed his father and grandfather into a horticultural career with stints at Bodnant Garden, Hilliers Nursery, Leonardslee Gardens and the Savill and Valley Gardens before moving to Windsor Great Park, where he spent twenty-seven years as Keeper of the Gardens. At Windsor Great Park he developed nine major National Plant Collections, which were planted to harmonize with the landscape design of the gardens and include the gardens' impressive magnolia collection.
Mr. Bond contributed greatly to the Royal Horticultural Society, sitting on its Council for fifteen years and serving on many committees. He developed a focus for the Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group of the RHS. He was an especially active member of the RHS Garden Committee. At Wisley he influenced the development of two plant collections, recently reintroduced Rhododendron species and Rustica Flore Pleno azaleas. At Ramster he was influential in its collection of hardy hybrid rhododendrons. He also played an important part in making Rosemoor an RHS Garden. The garden was a gift to the RHS from Lady Anne Berry.
The RHS awarded Mr. Bond with the prestigious Victoria Medal of Honour in 1981.