WE love hearing readers’ stories about the horticultural exploits of their family, so we were thrilled when John Bryan contacted us about his wife’s great-grandfather, Peter Bryant Westcott.
Peter, who was born in 1867, lived in the village of Braunton in Devon and was a keen gardener who also ran his own market garden. This was something of a first for the Westcotts who were a family of keen seafarers, but from an early age Peter knew that horticulture was the career for him.
His first job was in the garden at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, where he earned the princely sum of £1, a shilling and fourpence a month.
He learned a lot while he was there and when he returned to Devon he set up a market garden in Barton Lane, Braunton, near to where he lived in South Street, and on this plot of land had a bungalow and greenhouses built.
John said: “Peter had a particular passion for tomatoes and before long, he had created a new variety which he called ‘Devonia’. This became popular within the local area and was well known for being a ‘classic round red tomato with an excellent flavour’.
Grow well in the south of France
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