Following service in WW1 Euan Cox was a disillusioned young man frittering away his time at society parties and trying to avoid returning to his wealthy family’s business. By chance, in 1918, he met Reginald Farrer, one of Britain’s most famous plant hunters and garden writers, who invited him to join his next expedition to Burma. Unfortunately, Farrer died in Burma in October 1920 leaving Euan to manage their collection including several new rhododendron plants. Required to apply himself to serious study it was to define his true passion.
Glendoick the family estate in Scotland became the repository of many of the seedlings and Euan went on to become a well respected writer and magazine editor.
Although Euan never went on another expedition his son Peter embraced the adventurers’ life. Together father and son established a nursery at Glendoick in 1953 and then Peter was off to China, Turkey, India, Armenia and Tibet over the course of 47 years and 23 expeditions.
|R. huianum from Cox collection|
Peter’s son Kenneth Cox is the third generation to go plant hunting, most recently to Vietnam.. For the previous 3 years Kenneth explored one of the least known and most impenetrable parts of the Himalaya, where most of the mountain ranges are virgin plant-hunting territory. He is often called the “Scottish Indiana Jones”.
|R. ochraceum from Cox collection|
Glendoick itself has flourished under the care of the Cox family, benefiting from the various expeditions. It is now recognized as a world class centre for rhododendrons.
I cannot do justice to the adventurous lives of the Cox family or the scope of Glendoick.
For more info visit the website and read the books they have authored.