ADVICE & TALKS

FRIDAY - ALL DAY

Near the Information Tent in ZONE A
ADVICE

The Pest Clinic

with entomologist Dr Ian Bedford

Come along and meet the Garden Show’s ‘Bug Man’ – Dr Ian Bedford who will be on hand to discuss plant pest problems and to advise on environmentally safe ways of keeping them under control without harming the environment.

The clinic will have specimens of some of the common pests that we find in our gardens which can be looked at under various magnifiers.   Ian will be able to examine samples of damaged plants and pest specimens that you might like to bring along and he’ll aim to identify them for you and discuss the environmentally safer options for controlling them.  Ian will happily discuss any concerns that you might have with managing plant pests within your gardens or vegetable patches

Something that’s very topical at the moment is encouraging wildlife into our home garden, and many of the well-known environmentalists (and book writers), have been telling gardeners to stop mowing their lawns and leaving borders to grow wild flowers However, many gardeners I speak to don’t want to replicate the countryside in their home gardens and want them to remain tidy and colourful.  However, the majority also would like to help our native wildlife and see it visiting their gardens. My advice is that gardens don’t have to be wild and unkempt in order to benefit the wildlife and can be just as effective and beneficial as the countryside in attracting vast numbers of species by just following a few simple steps.  I do this in my own garden and it’s teeming with life.

Dr Ian Bedford

SUNDAY 1:30PM

In the Round Tent in ZONE D
TALK

British Flowers Rock!

Ben Cross from Crosslands Flower Nursery

Ben is a 4th generation grower at Crosslands Flower Nursery which was established in 1936 in West Sussex and is one of the last flower nurseries producing cut flowers in a full colour range all year-round.

Ben’s British Alstroemeria is a very sustainable crop. His flowers are not sprayed with any chemicals after being harvested and go into recyclable, reusable boxes and arrive with customers the next day. No soil cooling techniques are used to force production and some flower beds are over 20 years old, still producing premium quality stems. Under 5% of the crop is replanted a year so sterilizing the soil is kept to a minimum.

The British Alstroemeria is known as a ‘Cool Crop’ and a ‘Dry Crop’ so doesn’t take much heat input or watering. Optimum heat at night through the winter is just 13°C via a biomass boiler and the crop is watered for just 20 minutes once a month in the winter and just 20 minutes once every 10 days in the summer unlike flowers grown in warmer countries that use a lot more water resource.

When Ben’s flowers have been picked they don’t go into big freezers, the cooling storage system at Crosslands is usually turned off between November and March. When the flowers need to be stored in warmer weather they’re only chilled at about 6°C instead of 0.5°C like most imported flowers. They are only stored for a couple of days before they are with the customers. They are a lot fresher than flowers that go all around the world. Most importantly all the stems are harvested at a ‘ripe’ big fat bud stage giving a bigger more vibrant flower unlike the imports that are harvested too tight in bud just so that more can be transported in boats and planes.

Ben also only employs local people and more importantly does apprenticeship schemes with local horticultural colleges and goes into floristry colleges to give his British Flowers Rock talks

Next to being a fulltime grower, Ben is an avid campaigner for British Flowers and takes any opportunity he can to spread the word that British Flowers Rock!

Ben won the Grower Award in 2019! And won the Gold Sussex Environmental award in 2020

Ben donated his blooms to St Richards Hospital and West Sussex care homes during the COVID 19 lockdowns.

You can buy Ben’s flowers by contacting him on his social media channels –  twitter and Instagram @alstroemeriaben and on facebook at Crosslands Flower Nursery.

Jules Simmons

It is with incredible sadness that we share the news with you that the wonderful and exceptionally knowledgeable Jules Simmons, the Garden Show’s fabulous Gardening Doctor and Environmentalist, has died after a short illness.

We along with so many others will miss her, her energy and enthusiasm however we know that the advice she gave to so many at our shows will be valued for many years.

Lance, her husband and constant companion at the shows, sends his best wishes to all and ask that we remember her vibrant, colourful and bright soul and be glad that we have known her. The Garden Show will be planting a tree at Broadlands, Firle & Stansted in her memory as trees were one of her many many passions. Her legacy of environmental care will live on.

As Jules is irreplaceable, there will be no Gardening Doctors advice stall at the show this year, however do remember that a lot of our plant retailers/growers have a wealth of knowledge about growing, and would be happy to offer advice.