My dear Henry
I meant to have written to you before you went abroad, but you were half way to Ancona before I heard even of your intention The Receipt you gave me for Varnishing Garden Sticks has as far as six months trial goes answered perfectly and so pray disseminate the knowledge of it throughout the country and even make Uncle Wm <1> try, if you think the Florentines are civilised enough to mix the materials: but as Willm wrote me word the other day that they mowed their grass with a pair of Scissors I am afraid they must be very backward in their education
Mr Nash <2> the architect has a most delightful garden here & such, [sic] a delicious gardener, to whom I will introduce you if you ever honour us by coming to Cowes, & I think you wd find somethings worth seeing in it Do not forget that we shall be very happy to see you if you want a little trip this summer and you will find Kit <3> here till the 15th of August when he sails for the Mediterranean. There is a Steam pacquet from Southampton & it is only an hour & a half passage to Cowes & that you wd not much mind after going to Corfu We should be glad too, to hear something of Uncle Wm & his way of life, so a visit wd be very acceptable to us on both accounts. I enclose a bit of Galium altai <4> wch I have just received from Moreton <5> I dare say it is pretty out of doors but it is rather withered now however I shall dispatch a piece to Florence to take its chance.
Your affate cousin
In a printed catalogue of the Plants found in this Island, I found Pulmonaria Virginica<6> amongst those said to grow in a wood between this & Ryde Wm will not be convinced of this. What do you think?
Henry Talbot Esqre
1. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (17951865), botanist, art collector & diplomat.
2. John Nash (17521835), architect.
3. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (18031890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFTs Welsh cousin.
4. Galium is native to the Altai region of Siberia so this is a possible meaning. Other forms are native to England, one of them, known as Ladies Straw, was traditionally used as a red dye.
5. Moreton, Dorset: home of the Frampton family.
6. The Pulmonia family is commonly known as Lungwort. P Virginica is native to North America but by the time of this letter it had been long established in England. So it is possible that it could be found in the Isle of Wight but perhaps unlikely in a non-garden setting.