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 Societys 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
societys initial symposium. He served the society in key
positions including Journal Editor and Registrar for waterlilies
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
During his remarkable 45-year horticultural career, Philip
won prestigious recognition as UK Garden Writer of the Year,
Quill & Trowel Awardee from the Garden Writers 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.
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