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 Philip Swindells
1945-2007
 

Founding WGI Member and WGI Online Journal columnist, Philip Swindells was a prodigious horticultural writer, authoring 59 titles including three dozen books on water gardening. His books have been translated into 24 languages. Moreover, Philip wrote countless articles and delivered numerous presentations to gatherings around the world. He appeared many times on radio and TV in the UK and abroad. 

Philip in a shop window as the best baby.
Picture provided by Philip's parents.
He studied horticulture at the University of Cambridge Botanic Gardens in the UK. Later, Philip served as an innovative curator of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Harlow Car Gardens, Harrogate (in northern England west of York) where he hosted the 1989 International Waterlily and Water Garden Society symposium, the first one held outside of the USA. At Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA, USA, in 1985, he delivered a keynote address at the society’s initial symposium. He served the society in key positions including Journal Editor and Registrar for waterlilies and lotuses. 

Philip was a successful, much sought-after international horticultural consultant with many clients in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, and Australia.

In recent years, Philip divided his time mainly between Europe and Australia where he focused on water gardening for internet readers (GardenMessenger Yahoo, PondMessenger, SeedMessenger) while editing the International Water Gardener (including regional websites) and continuing to write for “hard copy” for various media. 

During his remarkable 45-year horticultural career, Philip won prestigious recognition as UK Garden Writer of the Year, Quill & Trowel Awardee from the Garden Writer’s Association (of America), and an IWGS Hall of Fame member. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture and the Linnean Society.

Prestigious fellowships and scholarships include Churchill Fellow (Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland), Nuffield Scholarship (East and West Coast, Hawaii, USA), Mary Helliar Scholarship (Czechoslovakia) and Soviet Academy of Sciences Fellowship (Russia [Moscow and St. Petersburg], Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). A linguist, Philip spoke French and Spanish and had moderate understanding of Dutch and Russian.


Philip at 11 years old, having just passed his grammer school exams. Picture provided by Philip's parents. 

His beloved wife Hazel and their five adult children Thomas, Bernadette, James, Sean and Frank survive him. Philip was born to Grace and Roy Swindells 10 September 1945 and married Hazel (nee White) 30 September 1972.

Philip passed away March 29, 2007. To see the page in his memory, click here.

Philip's Career Story

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