‘On the 20th we went (from Oaklands, Purbrook) with Minnie and Sarah (Napier), and saw the beautiful gardens and grounds of Leigh Park, formerly Sir George Staunton’s, but lately sold to a Mr Stone.
The collection of tropical plants in the hot-houses is one of the finest that I have ever seen in this country (Kew excepted), both for the number of plants and for their beauty and vigour of growth. I noticed particularly a magnificent Allamanda, covering a great space, and loaded with gorgeous gold coloured flowers like those of an Echites; Nelumbium speciosum (Lotus flower), very fine, with many of its curious seed vessels; Victoria Regia in flower; Rice in flower; those grand ferns, Angioptoris erecta, and Asplenium marginatum, in high perfection, and many other beautiful ferns.’
Memorials of Sir Charles F.J. Bunbury (Diaries and Correspondence), 1893
(Sir Charles, a well-known naturalist and diarist, was visiting Lady Napier, a relative of his at Oaklands, Purbrook. Lady Napier was the widow of General Sir Charles Napier who died at Oaklands, 29 August 1853).