I WOULD just like to quickly introduce myself, if anybody didn’t read my gardening columns in the Bridlington Gazette and Herald.
I manage the Sewerby Outreach Project based in Sewerby Hall’s gardens – a wonderful environment to work in with students who all have a learning disability.
We have the greenhouses in the walled gardens where we grow and sell plants to the public. We also help the two resident gardeners as much as we can by maintaining borders and flower beds in the park.
We have planted up the big alpine bed in the park, the three in the walled garden and in a new project last autumn we planted up two hot perennial flower borders, which we hope will be lovely this summer.
I also have my own business. I teach horticulture, I have given over 170 talks on different aspects of gardening, guided tours around the Sewerby gardens, given advice on local radio and written for the Gazette and Herald on gardening for six years. And I grow and sell my own plants, usually at flower shows.
I remember some years ago I got teased by my colleague Sarah and head gardener Richard because I said I loved snowdrops and I get very animated talking about them.
I think most of us, when we see them, think that spring is not far away and it’s like our gardens are coming to life again.
I always go on the snowdrop walk at Burton Agnes every year. It’s wonderful seeing the little beauties. They have come through a really tough period of weather before Christmas – it’s like they have their own built-in antifreeze which protects them through harsh weather.
In the language of flowers, snowdrops mean hope and purity. They will grow in most soils, excelling in heavy, slightly chalky loam.
It’s a good idea to split them every three to four years. They establish far better in the greenhouse. When they have finished flowering you can plant them.
Planting dry bulbs are not that successful and are very slow to establish. Snowdrops are worth a lot of money and some gardens are putting security tags on them because thieves are pinching them and selling them.
A rare snowdrop went for a record £357 on Ebay the other week, which is an amazing amount of money for a snowdrop.
I think Richard loves them as well because he told me the Greek word for them means milk flower.
I am running gardening courses at Sewerby Methodist Church every Tuesday night from February 22 until May 3, 7.30pm to 9.30pm, costing £4.50 per session.
I will be covering lots of different topics on gardening. To book phone me on 403435. Thanks to the Sewerby group for their hospitality and I am so glad they enjoyed my talk on pests, disease and propagation I gave them the other week.
Gardening Tip – Grow early potatoes in a polytunnel or greenhouse if you have one, as you will get early crop.