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Author Topic: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died  (Read 10865 times)

Maggi Young

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Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« on: August 09, 2010, 09:55:21 PM »
It is my sad duty to tell you of the death, this afternoon 9th August 2010, of the great plantsman Jim Archibald.
His wife and fellow plant hunter, Jenny has their family with her at this very sad time and I know you will all join with us in sending our condolences to them.

Jim had been ill for some time and in spite of early signs that treatment was succesfull, latterly his health had been failing.

There can scarcely be a single person with an interest in alpine plants and bulbs who is not growing plants derived from the world wide seed collections of the Archibalds , either directly from seed from Jim and Jenny's seed business JJA Seeds, or from that seed grown on by a multiplicity of nurseries across the world.
 The extent of their travels and the scope of their seed introductions is quite enormous.  Both with a great eye for a good plant and the determination to travel far and work hard to collect seed, Jim and Jenny made a formidable team.

Jim  could court controversy with his forthright opinions,often expounded in their seed lists but this was to be expected of an opinionated Scotsman..... it's in the job description really!
 From the 1960s Jim was sending seed and sometimes live material by airmail  to that great Aberdeen grower, the late Harold Esslemont, who had tremendous respect for Jim's considered approach to planthunting and for the fine plants found and also for the teamwork displayed by Jenny.

An example of live plants sent to Harold  is the Saxifraga named for  his friend,another giant  in the plant world, Per Wendelbo, Saxifraga wendelboi.
Another "Archibald plant"  is  Muscari mcbeathianum, named for another Scot, Ron McBeath...... the list could go on and on.
The Archibalds had Dionysia archibaldii named in their honour... befittingly it is one of the  gems of that genus.

I can think of no better way to recall the contribution that Jim and Jenny have made as plantsfolk  or to introduce them to anyone who knows nothing of them than to suggest that you read the chapter in Bobby Ward's book "The Plant Hunter's Garden: The New Explorers and Their Discoveries".
The chapter is titled " What are seeds but dreams in packets" and this could surely sum up the work of Jim and Jenny.

Many people will have had the pleasure of hearing Jim give talks on their work, inspiring the audience with tales of their exploits and it had been hoped that Jim would be well enough to give a talk at the Alpines 2011 Conference in April next year. Sadly this cannot be but still there are those thousands of plants growing around the world, giving joy to thousands of gardeners and Jim's legacy as the inspiration for so very many of the Plant Hunters that have followed in his footsteps to keep his name alive.
Jim and Jenny were a couple with firm friends and admirers in all corners of the world and all will feel Jim's loss and sorrow for Jenny at this time.

For Jenny and their daughter and son, of course, their  loss is of a dearly loved husband and partner and a loving father : we can only hope that the family can take a little comfort in knowing the level of respect and admiration in which Jim is regarded by so many.

Jim will be sadly missed.


I take the liberty of posting this photo of Jim and Jenny , taken by Bobby Ward



 and this photo is of Jim Archibald with Michael Kammerlander and Ian Young at an SRGC Discussion weekend a couple of years ago....





« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 02:16:34 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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ashley

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 10:21:42 PM »
What very sad news.  My thoughts go to Jenny and family.
Thank you for this warm tribute to Jim on behalf of us all Maggi.
Ashley Allshire, Cork, Ireland

Hillview croconut

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 10:46:58 PM »
Vale Jim, all my kind thoughts to Jenny, and end to a glorious era, the likes we will never see again, Marcus

Lesley Cox

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 11:55:27 PM »
I'd like to put on record my own deep sorrow at Jim's passing. I was privileged to meet him and Jenny in New Zealand just a few years ago at an NZAGS Study weekend and remember vividly the wonderful lectures he gave, the advice and experiences shared with such generosity.

I and so many others who have rock-gardened for many years have perhaps been a part of a golden age when new plants were available quite freely and our gardens were enriched with treasures beyond price or monetary value. Many recent indications are that this age is ending or has already done so and Jim's death seems somehow, to confirm this.

I send all good wishes to Jenny and her family. I doubt if ant plant collector/introducer has been held in greater affection or respect by those whose lives he and his plants touched.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

ArnoldT

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 01:07:28 AM »
I didn't personally know Jim Archibald, but  feel like I got to know through  his seed list.  I kept all of them.  My condolences to all his family.
Arnold Trachtenberg
Leonia, New Jersey

Ezeiza

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 02:10:18 AM »
Sad day for all plant lovers. I had the chance to meet them here in Buenos Aires. You could speak with them for weeks on end. The immense research work they have done over the years can not be possibly measured.

Our condolences to Jenny and the children.

Alberto Castillo
Alberto Castillo, in south America, near buenos Aires, Argentina.

Rogan

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 09:18:59 AM »
I was thinking of them just yesterday when I snapped this picture of a 'petuniod' Narcissus grown from their seed:   :'(
Rogan Roth in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
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fermides

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2010, 09:51:27 AM »
Very sad news indeed.
A great loss to all the gardening community, especially the Rockers.
He will be remembered as Rogan has pointed out whenever we see "his" plants.
Condolences to Jenny and the children.
cheers
fermi
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arillady

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 10:07:55 AM »
So sad to hear this news. May his seeds grown by gardeners around the world be reminders of a fine plantsperson.
My heartfelt sympathies to Jenny and family.
Like Arnold I have kept all the wonderful seedlists.
Pat Toolan,
Keyneton,
South Australia

Ragged Robin

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2010, 10:39:05 AM »
Quote
I can think of no better way to recall the contribution that Jim and Jenny have made as plantsfolk  or to introduce them to anyone who knows nothing of them than to suggest that you read the chapter in Bobby Ward's book "The Plant Hunter's Garden: The New Explorers and Their Discoveries".
The chapter is titled " What are seeds but dreams in packets" and this could surely sum up the work of Jim and Jenny.

Through his own words quoted in this book, whilst in the field, one can get a feeling for the strength of character and love of what he is observing of a great Explorer and Seed Collector.  Thank you Maggi for posting this link and introducing me to the magnificent and dedicated contribution Jim and Jenny Archibald have made through their life's work. What an amazing partnership and legacy. My thoughts are with Jenny and her family at this time.

Lucky are those who have cultivated dreams, like Rogan, from their seeds.
Valais, Switzerland - 1,200 metres - Continental climate - rocks and moraine

David Nicholson

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2010, 12:20:16 PM »
Sad news indeed, a wonderful plantsman who will be sadly missed. My sympathies to the family.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
more enthusiasm than skill-but learning

Otto Fauser

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2010, 02:53:12 PM »
Goodbye Jim,
   my kind thoughts and love to Jenny. Jim will live on in my garden with so many of his rare and choice introductions . We first met in London in 1961 at the International Rockgarden Conference and kept in touch ever since . what a pleasure it was to meet Jim and Jenny a few years ago in Christchurch , NZ.

                 Otto.
Collector of rare bulbs & alpines, east of Melbourne, 500m alt, temperate rain forest.

alpines

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2010, 03:17:58 PM »
Sincere condolences to the Archibald family. Jim will go down in the annals of the great plantsmen of alpine gardening. A true loss to a worldwide community.

Alan & Sherba
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www.KentuckyFlora.com

Darren

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2010, 03:34:51 PM »
Very sad news. My condolences to his family. Like many of you I have lots of plants from Jim & Jenny's seed offerings and will remember Jim whenever I look at them.
Darren Sleep. Nr Lancaster UK.

Luc Gilgemyn

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Re: Sad news: A plantsman lost to us - Jim Archibald has died
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2010, 05:00:53 PM »
Such sad news !
Couldn't add anything to all the above !
My sympathies to his family and countless friends !
Luc Gilgemyn
Harelbeke - Belgium