Miller, Philip 1691-1771

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Miller's father was a market gardener in London and Miller himself is reported to have had a small florist garden. It is also reported that the Chelsea Physic Garden was actually established on the site of his father's garden. Whether his father was gardener to the apothecaries' may be open to question but Miller's companys garden at Chelsea was put in charge in 1722. Johnson (History of Gardening, 1829) states that Miller was particularly suited to the nature or state of horticulture of his time. Extra plants of all kinds and from all places were being imported and "hothouse" and conservatories were being rapidly constructed to contain these plants.

He published in 1724 The Gardener's and Florists Dictionary or a Complete System of Horticulture. This may have been the production of several gardens. However in 173l, he published a greatly improved edition entitled, The Gardener's Dictionary containing the Methods of Cultivating and Improving the Kitchen, Fruit and Flower Gardens. The 9th edition was edited by Professor Martyn in 1792.

This book surpassed all those of the 18th Century as any language and was translated in Dutch, French, and German. It was the only book that was a standard reference for a century in both England and America. In the 7th edition (1759) he adopted the Linnaean system of classification. The edition enlarged by Thomas Martyn (1735-1825), Professor of Botany at Cambridge University, has been considered the largest gardening manual to have ever existed. Miller is credited with introducing about 200 American plants.