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Kelway (and Son)
'Kelway (and Son)'  photo
Photo courtesy of scvirginia
Peony breeder   Listing last updated on 20 Jul 2024.
United Kingdom
KELWAY, James (November 2, 1815 Pilton, Somerset - May 17, 1899 London) founded Kelways Nursery at Langport, Somerset, in 1851. He was the bibliothecary of the Linnean Society during 1842-1880.
KELWAY, William (1839-1933), his son, joined the Business in 1864.
KELWAY, James (1871-1952), son of William
In 1933 Kelway & Son was bought by a local consortium. James Kelway stayed on as a Manager until 1952.

[From The Book of the Peony by Alice Harding, 1917, p. 47:] In 1864, James Kelway, of Somersetshire, made his first attempt in improving existing types. He commenced in a modest way with P. officinalis and P. corallina, but soon went into the growing of peonies on a very extensive scale. Twenty years later he catalogued two hundred and fifty varieties of which sixty-three were new single and forty-one new double varieties of his own raising. Through his energy in introducing and distributing improved forms Kelway did much to make the peony popular in England. Among his best productions are Baroness Schroeder (1889), Miss Salway (1905) and Kelway's Glorious (1909).

[From The Book of Tree Peonies, by Gian Lupo Osti, p. 22:] In England, in Kelway's Manual of Horticulture of 1897, twenty-nine new varieties were introduced, in addition to the ten listed previously, nine varieties had won prizes at the Royal Horticultural Society's exhibitions. Fifty varieties are listed in the Manual as bring grown in the nursery.

[From Visons of Loveliness, by Judith Taylor, 2014, p. 67, 69, 380:] In England, James Kelway (1815-1899) specialized in gladioli, delphiniums, pyrethrums, and peonies at his nursery in Langport, Somerset....The Lemoines did not keep records, nor did the Kelways.....Receiving a first-class certificate at the Royal Horticultural Society's show in 1885 for the first time was a sign that the peony had arrived in the United Kingdom...

James Kelway the founder of Kelways Nurseries, was born on 2nd November 1815 in Pilton, Somerset. His father William was Head Gardener on the Westholme estate, which was owned by Major Thomas Clerk, a senior figure in the East India Company. James was probably born in the gardener’s cottage, which is still there....In January 1851 he bought a small nursery in Langport, and in May he left Dillington and moved to Langport to set up on his own.
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