THE Cornwall Garden Society (CGS) has announced that two of its lectures next month will be delivered by the head gardener of some spectacular and renowned gardens in the New Forest.
The two CGS February lectures will be delivered by Tom Clarke, who is the Head Gardener at Exbury Gardens in Hampshire. Created just over 100 years ago in the golden age of woodland gardening, Exbury spans over 200 acres in the New Forest and is home to one of the greatest woody plant collections in the UK. It even has its own miniature steam railway to take visitors around the spectacular collection of woodland, herbaceous, contemporary, formal and wildflower gardens in their unique riverside location.
As for Tom, he says he wished to pursue an outdoor career from an early age and, upon leaving school, he studied as an apprentice with the National Trust at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire, where he helped to restore a Victorian walled garden.
Following employment at other historic settings, Tom came to Cornwall and joined the garden team at National Trust’s Trelissick. There, he encountered many of the plants that are now a major feature of his working life – rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias – and he has travelled to the Himalayas three times to witness these plants growing in the wild, with the support of the CGS.
Exbury: The First 100 Years will be his subject on Tuesday, February 8, at 7.30pm at The Alverton in Truro, while Managing a Unique Plant Collection in the 21st Century will be his theme on Wednesday, February 9, at 2.30pm at St Mellion International Resort in Saltash.
These lectures are free for CGS members to attend, but non-members are welcome to attend to find out more about the society and donations are gratefully received.
The CGS is a charity that exists to encourage and improve the science, art and practice of horticulture in all its branches; share knowledge about gardening and Cornwall’s rich garden heritage; and conserve the county’s natural environment. The society is affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and its Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.