When your message arrived I had just left the office and the UK behind for a
couple of weeks and have only just returned to read the sad news about Monroe
I only met Monroe once, when I was researching and photographing Aroids -
Plants of the Arum Family - in 1984 I think it would be. He very kindly
allowed me to visit his wonderful collection and I remember being almost as
fascinated by his puns as his plants. I also remember being pretty nervous
as I had been forewarned about the likelihood of a ticking off if he didn't
take to me, or if I stepped out of line! In fact he was perfectly charming
and I enjoyed every minute of the visit and only wished I could spend longer
and get to know him better.
But the continuing debt I owe to Monroe is his book The Cultivated Aroids.
It was already out of print when I first became interested in aroids in the
1970s but fortunately RBG Kew had a copy and I arranged for a photocopy of
every page. (I never did find a copy so I still consult my photocopies to
this day.) Monroe's book, together with Cecil Prime's Lords and Ladies were
the only books I could find on this amazing family of plants, which started
me on the track that led to Aroids - Plants of the Arum Family.
So Monroe's work really was an inspiration and is something I shall always
With kind regards,