To Emma Gärtner 14 July 
Down Bromley Kent [Hartfield]
I have received & am grateful for your extremely kind letter. After an absence from home of a fortnight I found on my return the memoir of your honoured Father1 (which I have not had time to read yet, as I was obliged to leave home again immediately on account of the illness of one of my children) & the two Engravings.— I value much that of your Father & the expression of countenance is most intellectual & delightful.—
You generously offer me a collection of your Father’s specimens of Hybrid plants. The offer is a most valuable one; but I do not collect plants, & I am not likely to have time to experimentise much myself, on Hybrid plants.— If on reflexion you should still think that a collection of these plants would be well bestowed on England, I would suggest your giving them to the Herbarium at the Royal Gardens at Kew near London.2 The Collection is under the care of Sir William Hooker & of Dr. Hooker & is by far the best collection in Britain; indeed I believe one of the very best in the world. I asked Dr. Hooker & he said if presented, the collection would be much valued & taken care of for perpetuity.
Should you think of this, I would advise you to consult some German Botanists, & see whether my account of Kew is not correct.
Pray believe me dear Madam, with much respect & gratitude | Yours very truly obliged | Charles Darwin
Thanks for memoir of her father [G. Jäger, Zum Andenken an Dr. C. F. von Gärtner (1851)] and engravings.
Declines gift of CFvG’s collection of hybrid plants. Suggests Kew Herbarium.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2866,” accessed on 24 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2866