With great regret we have learnt of the death of Kate Reade in November 2016.
A tribute to Kate from Malcolm Bradbury is printed below.
Older members of the Society will be sorry to hear of the death of Kate Reade in November, at the age of 93. Kate and her husband the late Major R H Reade were the proprietors of Carncairn Daffodils of Broughshane in Northern Ireland. Kate was very much the public face of Carncairn Daffodils and her daffodil trade stand was for many years a popular feature of the RHS Daffodil Show in London. She rarely exhibited competitively in London as she felt it wrong to compete with her customers and displayed her daffodils ‘as grown’ as she thought that potential buyers ought to see how her daffodils were likely to look in their garden. The Carncairn Daffodils catalogue was particularly popular with enthusiasts who wanted to buy older cultivars that were often unavailable elsewhere.
Kate hybridized on a small scale and selected seedlings variously as either potential show or garden plants. Her most successful show flower was arguably ‘Gin and Lime’ (1973) a reverse-bicolour trumpet that was very successful at shows for well over a decade and which had an RHS Award of Garden Merit from 1998 until its recent withdrawal. A controversial Carncairn daffodil was ‘Foundling’ 6W-P (1969), which though distinctive, attractive, fertile and very successful at shows was felt by many exhibitors and judges to not show sufficient of the key characteristics of N. cyclamineus. Carncairn Daffodils also grew on daffodil seed sent by daffodil enthusiasts and made selections from them, of which the most successful were two relatively small 2O-O seedlings ‘Bailey’ that did well at shows and ‘Rory’s Glen’ that proved to be a good parent. Both of these cultivars had been hybridized by the late Arthur Robinson.
In common with several other small scale hybridizers and nurseries that were then active, Kate made an important contribution to many enthusiasts’ enjoyment of their hobby.