ADVICE & TALKS
FRIDAY - ALL DAY
The Pest Clinic
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
British Flowers Rock!
Ben is an award winning 4th generation grower at Crosslands Flower Nursery which was established in 1936 in West Sussex and is one of the last flower nurseries in the UK 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 2022! 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.