Octavia Hill’s Geranium

This is an Octavia Hill geranium. She was one of the the founders of the National Trust and died 100 years ago.

Octavia Hill was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire in 1838, the eighth daughter of James Hill, a prosperous corn merchant and former banker. Her mother set up an infants school, which also opened in the evenings for adult education.

Unfortunately her father eventually went bankrupt and suffered temporary insanity. As a result of this she moved with her mother to Finchley where her love of the countryside developed.

Octavia became known as a conservationist, social reformer, writer and teacher.  She organised a window box campaign for urban areas and created the first large scale inner city housing estates near the Elephant and Castle, among other notable achievements.

The geraniums are from ‘Delamore’ who will be donating a small percentage of the sale proceeds to both the National Trust and to Octavia Hill’s birthplace in Wisbech’s South Brink. It is a Grade II listed building and of architectural and historic interest. It is now a museum run entirely by volunteers.

The geranium itself is a very intense red and hopefully it will encourage others who have access to plants and gardens to share their good fortune as well as to support the National Trust.

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