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Patricia D. Knight, "The Botanical Obsession: Plants and Porcelain "

Patricia Knight is member of the Garden Club of Los Altos. She was born in England and has a degree in English and European History. She emigrated to Massachusetts with her husband in 1960. Always a keen gardener she gained a landscape certificate in Boston. She is also a long time member of the San Francisco Ceramic Circle and the Western Horticultural Society. She is a fan of new technology and is the webmaster for both WHS and the Garden Club of Los Altos

Her plant interests include Mediterrean climate plants and the drought resistant plants of Australia and South Africa. Having drawn a spray of blackberries to pass her art exam at Oxford at the age of 16 she came to understand the challenge of botanical drawing and the attention to detail it entails.

In her talk she will review the role of botany in the 18th century. The outcome of explorations and the part played by North America will be discussed as well as the work of the great scientists, Carl Linneaus and Georg Oeder.

The changing landscape of the great estates, the research at botanical centers such as the Chelsea Physic Garden, and the popular interest in horticulture led to books illustrated with botanical prints by Georg Ehret and to the Botanical magazine published by William Curtis. As a result botanical decoration became fashionable and this will be illustrated with examples from Meissen, Chelsea, Derby, the Royal Danish porcelain factory and on the profusion of botanical wares seen in the 18th and early 19th centuries.