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Nigel Wright, Rhododendron specialist

  • Nigel Wright, Rhododendron specialist

I am saddened to announce that my father Nigel Wright died on Sunday 7th April. For over 35 years his specialist Rhododendron nursery in Eggesford, Devon, has been a delight for gardeners looking for Rhododendrons. He was a collector in the true sense, with over 400 varieties growing in his 7-acre rectory garden. When visiting the house, whether family, friends or customers, a tour of the garden with him was always included. Nigel's enthusiasm for Rhodos was so infectious (which he well knew) it was all but impossible to leave without plants!

In many ways my Dad was the inspiration for this web site. Any trip to Devon would always culminate in a walk round with a spade and wheelbarrow for free plants to take home with us. For 25 years, he and my mother, June, also opened their garden under the National Gardens Scheme and latterly staged fabulous open air performances including a Winter's Tale and The Mikado. In this way many, many people have been able to enjoy the garden and the Rhododendrons, some of which are now so large they are positively Himalayan!

Nigel will be deeply missed by all who knew him and most of all by June, his wife and partner of 70 years, his love for whom was the only thing to surpass the Rhododendrons.

A Service of Remembrance for Nigel will be held at noon on Friday 26th April at All Saints Church, Eggesford. Family, friends and gardeners are all welcome.

Comments (9)

  1. Grower

    Caroline Jenner

    When I was a small child, my father gave me a handful of tulip bulbs and a corner of a flower bed. The results were almost guaranteed and delighted me; I was hooked. There hasn’t been a year since then that I have not nurtured seedlings and filled my clay pots to bursting. My father enthused to anyone who would listen about the wonders of the Rhododendron plant. Most people visiting his magical garden would drive off with a boot load. His plants have travelled far and wide and can be found on the banks of estuaries and in grand estates, as well the smallest of gardens (eg mine!). And with them, a touch of his passion. They will be a lasting memorial to him.

  2. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    Jeremy, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your Father, please pass on my best wishes to your Mother. Hopefully he will have left a lasting legacy, in all those wonderful plants: not to mention instilling you with a love of plants!

  3. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    Caroline and Rachel - thank you. Such good words ... and that's the thing. Once discovered, pleasure in plants becomes a lifetime's love of growing things. If only more could find it these days.

  4. Grower

    Charlie Armour

    I'm very sorry to hear of your sad news. Like others have mentioned, your dad's love of plants will stay with you forever. I was taught at Bicton College by a genial and avid plantsman, Dick Fulcher, who I'm sure you will know of as he is also from Eggesford. These unforgettable people probably don't know how much they have influenced peoples lives but I for one am very honoured to have spent time with one.

  5. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    Thank you Charlie. Indeed we do know Dick Fulcher, who for many years had the national Agapanthus collection at Eggesford, just up the road from my parents. He and my father often shared their enthusiasms for plants. You are so right. A passion for plants is one of those things, like fishing, learning to draw or riding a bike that stays with you for life. People who are good at sparking that interest are special indeed.

  6. Grower

    Charlie Armour

    I need to work on that trait. Both my children (albeit teenagers) refuse to have anything to do with the allotment, bar a little time for harvesting strawberries and peas 😂

  7. Grower

    Jim Edwards

    There's nowt like your dear Ol Dad, mine passed in 92. He's still with me in everything I do

  8. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    Thanks Jim - I know for sure you're right.

  9. Grower


    So sorry to belatedly hear of your sad loss Jeremy. I agree with Jim's sentiments.

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