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ORCHID KING: Blue plaque placed on St Albans address celebrating famous horticulturalist

 Published on: 16th June 2023   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

A blue plaque has been placed at a St Albans address where a world-famous horticulturalist had his first shop.

On Saturday, June 10, a special ceremony saw the commemorative item placed on the wall of 21 George Street, where in 1875, Frederick Sander opened a business selling seeds.

German-born Sander would later become known as ‘The Orchid King’, with him eventually acquiring four acres of land to house his ever-growing collection.

Eventually, his business would become the focus of orchid culture in Europe, with more than two million plants being handled in two decades. Sander would also become notable for his monthly publication on orchids, titled Reichenbachia.

Attending the ceremony were Sander’s descendants, including great-granddaughter Anne Sander, as well as St Albans mayor councillor Anthony Rowlands and head of the city’s Blue Plaque organisation, Professor Tim Boatswain.

This new plaque is the eighth to be put up in the city since the organisation was formed in 2019.

Professor Boatswain said: “Frederick Sander was an exceptional self-made man. Probably not known to many Albanians, it is most fitting we can draw attention to his remarkable achievements with a blue plaque.”

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