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The documents, some shown left, included manuscript articles for her gardening column in the Observer for August 1956 to February 1958, article proofs and a number of letters from her readers including one from the then Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.

The collection had been modestly estimated at £1500-2000 but the bidder for the Observer and Guardian Newspaper Group had to go to £9000 to secure their piece of history against determined competition – although, this being a charitable event, there was no extra outlay in the form of buyer’s premiums.

All in all, the 21 lots raised a very satisfactory £22,000 for the National Trust.