John Blanchard obituary

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My person John Blanchard, who has died aged 92, was an adept connected astir each facet of the genus Narcissus, but peculiarly connected the breeding, raising and instauration of miniature daffodils, whose flowers are little than 50mm across.

He was calved astatine Wilverley, the household location successful Blandford, Dorset, to Douglas, a solicitor, and Phyllis (nee Reade), a housewife. He attended Blandford grammar schoolhouse and Bryanston schoolhouse earlier going connected to survey instrumentality astatine Cambridge University. After nationalist work with the Intelligence Corps (1948-50), helium joined his begetter successful the instrumentality steadfast Luff and Blanchard, wherever helium practised until helium retired successful 2015.

John Blanchard was the president  of the RHS narcissus and tulip committee   for a decade
John Blanchard was the president of the RHS narcissus and tulip committee for a decade

His begetter was already a breeder of good miniature daffodils and John began exhibiting and hybridising daffodils with him, earlier doing truthful unsocial from 1954. A cardinal publication helium made was to participate each the miniature classes astatine Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) daffodil competitions and shows, contempt astir ever being the lone entrant. This kept the miniature classes live until they became fashionable galore years later. He volition beryllium remembered successful peculiar for a angiosperm helium named Crevette, arsenic it was the archetypal miniature that featured orangish successful its cup; hitherto each flowers of that ilk had been white, yellowish oregon green.

John met Eve Burnard astatine a tennis nine successful Dorset wherever they some played tennis and badminton to region modular successful the precocious 1950s. They joined successful 1961.

He joined what was past the RHS narcissus and tulip committee successful 1965, and was its president from 1984 to 1994 and an honorary subordinate of its successor, the bulb committee, until helium died. For overmuch of this play helium was progressive successful the enactment of related committees dealing with Narcissus classification, amusement schedules, works trials and the Daffodil, Snowdrop and Tulip Yearbook. He was besides a subordinate of the RHS council, and was awarded its highest accolade, the Victoria medal of honour successful 1997. An progressive subordinate of his section Alpine Garden Society (AGS), helium was a well-known talker and a respected justice of daffodils, different bulbs and alpines. In 2012, the AGS gave him the Kath Dryden grant successful designation of his work.

The miniature daffodil named Crevette by John Blanchard - the archetypal  with a hint of orangish  successful  its cup
The miniature daffodil named Crevette by John Blanchard - the archetypal with a hint of orangish successful its cup Photograph: none

He besides made galore hunting trips to Spain, Portugal, France and Morocco, the homes of taxon daffodils. They formed the ground of his book, Narcissus: A Guide to Wild Daffodils (1990).

In summation to his involvement successful horticulture, John was a railway enthusiast, acting arsenic treasurer for the Great Dorset Steam Fair, arsenic good arsenic president of the Blandford Rotary Club.

Eve died successful June 2022 and helium is survived by his 4 sons, Peter, Daniel, Stephen and William, and 5 grandchildren.

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