Born at Cupar, near Edinburgh, Scotland, Robert Buist trained in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Edinburgh and then worked at Elvaston Castle. In 1828 he emigrated to Philadelphia and began as a gardener for Henry Pratt at Lemon Hill. Soon he established a business at 12th and Lombard streets. Eventually his enterprise outgrew these rooms, and he moved his establishment to West Philadelphia, purchasing some 119 acres at 67 Street and Elmwood Avenue. Here he had the luxury of space to erect greenhouses. Following his retirement, the business was supervised by his son, Robert Buist, Jr. (1837-1910).
Robert Buist became a member of the St. Andrew's Society in 1836. He later served as vice-president of the Horticultural Society and was one of the owners of Mount Vernon Cemetery, for which John Notman, another emigrant from Scotland, designed the gate.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
- St. Andrew's Society
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