Other Writing

One of the nicest thing to have happened is to have had a flower named after me. Above is the auricula ‘Patricia C-P’ bred by the well known hybridist DerekParson.

I have written several adult non-fiction books, the latest being Auriculas Through the Ages, published by Crowood.

The auricula is a flower which in the past was avidly collected by aristocrats (rather like the tulip) and my book is about its history. It took a long time to research and involved dabbling in botanical Latin and old French.  It is what publishers refer to as ‘niche’ (which means ‘don’t expect big sales’…) . The book is illustrated with 60 colour plates of these exquisite little flowers painted by the renowned botanical artist Elisabeth Dowle.  

The Cello and The Nightingale. I also edited the autobiography of the cellist Beatrice Harrison, and wrote a radio play and a stage play based on a broadcast at her home in Oxted, Surrey, where she played her cello in her garden with the nightingale joining in.

Beatrice was very famous in the early years of the last century as a classical performer. Elgar often chose her as soloist for his famous Cello Concerto in E minor opus 85,  and many composers wrote music especially for her. She reached a mass audience, however, when in 1924 she persuaded the BBC to come to her home in Oxted and broadcast as she played her cello in her garden with the nightingale joining in. It was the first outside broadcast of bird song and was relayed as far away as India.