Morag Williams

Author biography

Morag Williams

Morag Williams (1942-2020)

Our Society suffered a significant loss with the passing of Morag Williams in February 2020. A former President and Fellow of our Society, Morag Scott grew up...

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Morag Williams

Articles by this author

Morag Williams

Rosa Gigantea - George Watt, including ‘On the Trail of Two Knights’ by Girija Viraraghavan

Botany, Recent

TDGNHAS Series III, 84 (2010), 1(3.44 MB)

Abstract

The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser of 14th October 2009 published an article by retired Langholm General Practitioner, Tom Kennedy, which began: ‘A NEW rose with Langholm connections has been cultivated in India and it is hoped that it may one day be planted in the Rosevale Street garden in the future.’ (More of this garden in Langholm later.) He might have added that across Dumfries and Galloway and in Grampian there are other sites which would welcome the opportunity to plant this tender and beautiful rose because of associations with Sir George Watt and involvement in attempts at its propagation in Scotland. The following article appeared in The Indian Rose Annual, XXVI, 2010, the magazine of the Indian Rose Federation, founded in 1979. It appears by kind permission of Girija and Viru Viraraghavan, recognised as celebrated ‘Rosarians of the World’.

Morag Williams

Rosa Gigantea – ‘Sir George Watt’ Part II: Including ‘Sir George Watt’ Escorts ‘Banaras Dawn’ to Scotland by Girija Viraraghavan

Botany, Recent

TDGNHAS Series III, 85 (2011), 1(3.42 MB)

Abstract

Readers of the Transactions issue LXXXIV 2010 will recall the story of Rosa Gigantea ‘Sir George Watt’, which ended on a note of hope that the rose might be grown successfully in Scotland. There was great despair at the lack of success of the various packages which had been sent from India at considerable cost by the ever-hopeful Girija Viraraghavan and her husband, Viru. In Scotland, Richard Baines at Logan Botanic Garden in the West of Dumfries and Galloway remained just as optimistic and willing to keep trying to achieve success. After two failed attempts Morag Williams perhaps planted the seed of an idea in Girija’s mind, which lay dormant because there did not seem to any possibility of its happening. She said that the main reason for the lack of success seemed to be the time taken by these tender cuttings to reach their destination in Scotland and receive attention. If only someone travelling from India to the UK could bring them by air it would improve the chances of success. Better still, if a rooted plant, instead of cuttings, could arrive by this means there would be greater hope of a successful outcome. Even so, such a move would provide another hurdle to overcome: a plant would require certification to travel. There follows in Girija’s own words the second instalment of the journeying of the Rosa Gigantea ‘Sir George Watt’ from India to Scotland, which first appeared in January 2011 in The Indian Rose Annual XXVII 2011. Girija has kindly given consent for publication in the Transactions.