During these years, at the beginning of his work in the new garden at Palé, Thomas Ruddy only writes sporadically in the diary. It is obvious that he was working hard; in June 1870 he reports having been ‘ill with debility’ . There were also the responsibilities of a new wife and baby. This was the first post in which Thomas was responsible for laying out a new garden entirely.
Unfortunately, Thomas gives no detail about the layout or development of the gardens. The Robertson family planted vines in the hot-houses in January and February 1870: Mr Dean, Mr. Robertson’s nephew also planted a vine – TR comments that Mr. Dean had been a very kind friend in many ways.’
It is here that Thomas mentions William Pamplin for the first time, in early 1870 undated:
Another gentleman, who I now name for the first time, Mr. Pamplin, has been a most interesting friend during the last year. Mr & Mrs Pamplin have got a house in the village where they have lived for some years. I knew him by name when I first went to the garden as Mr. Pamplin the publisher of the ‘Phytologist’ He is a good botanist, so that we had rambles together.
May 20 Friday Mr Pamplin and I went to Pont-y-Glyn where we found the toothwort. We both enjoyed ourselves very much.
On 22 June, Wednesday Mr. Ellis of Brynbwlan and I went to the town of Barmouth, for the first time to me. I enjoyed myself exceedingly, and found many seaside plants new to me.
During last month [June] I became very ill with debility. I have been very faint and weak. I have brought it on by over-work – I have been so anxious to make Palé nice and satisfactory , both to Mr. Robertson and myself. Dr. Hughes ordered me to the sea side, so that my wife, baby and myself left here for Towyn on 22 August, Monday. Towyn is a quiet, nice watering place, so that we had a pleasant time of it, but I was too weak to enjoy myself much. We lodged at the farmhouse of Tyddyndu with John Roberts, an acquaintance of Mr. Ellis. [ Mr Ellis shown in 1881 Census as farmer of Brynbwlan – where TR lodged before moving into his house in Palé gardens.] During my stay I botanised along the seaside from near Aberdovey to the river Dysini, and a good deal of Towyn Marsh. I found many plants new to me too numerous to mention. We stayed for a week which gave me much strength.
My wife and I went to the sale at Aberhirnant on the 28 September, Wednesday. I thought it a beautiful locality.
24 & 25 October I was with Mr. Dean at Chester buying trees at Eaton Rd Nurseries. Mr. Dean and Mr. Joshua Dean, who also went, were very kind to me. I felt much better when I got back.