The first in our spring series of gardening talks was given by speaker Matthew Smith of Brighter Blooms Nursery, Walton-le-Dale, Preston and what an excellent talk on bulbs it turned out to be! Matthew eloquently talked about his nursery and how it has developed over the years. He then went on to show some of his gold award displays at Chelsea.
Matthew is the founder of the Brighter Blooms Nursery and can be found at many flower shows all over the country. He has been a horticulturalist most of his life, starting at a very young age growing flowers and vegetables. Having worked for various nurseries and growing and selling his own plants during his teenage years he went on to university to study horticulture.
After graduating he started work for a landscape company that were establishing a new nursery and one-stop landscape shop. He worked here for 10 years gaining much experience in many elements of horticulture including running a flower bulb import and distribution business. This gave him the chance to develop an in-depth knowledge of all things bulbous and a passion for tulips started to evolve.
Matthew decided to go it alone and established Brighter Blooms in 2010, initially set up to be an online bulb supplier but now a well-established award-winning nursery.
Matthew saw that Zantedeschia (also known as Callas), was an unsung plant at flower shows. He decided to give it the attention it deserved and started to grow and exhibit them for the first time in 2010. In 2015, he exhibited at 13 flower shows including Chelsea Flower Show where he was awarded an RHS Gold Medal for his display of Zantedeschia. Matthew is very knowledgeable about Zantedeschia and he talked very enthusiastically, sharing good practise with members.
Matthew still has a passion for tulips and exhibiting them at the nursery is a more recent development. Look out for his tulip open weekend in April.
The photographs below show some of the many varieties he grows and sells. He was an engaging speaker and had our members very interested in all he had to say from how he got where he is today to tips and tricks for an outstanding (perhaps award winning) display of flowering bulbs.
Our next talk is on Wednesday 20th March 2019 and will be given by Paul King from North Fylde Photographic Society.
Steve Halliwell from Preston, gave us a fantastic tour of Holker Hall gardens through a series of outstanding photographs at our talk last week.
Holker Hall is a magnificent Victorian stately home with 25 acres of stunning gardens and an ancient deer park. Steve showed us pictures of fantastic trees and shrubs from the garden including many from the Asian sub continent as well as native UK trees. His knowledge and photography was awesome; we will definitely look to invite him back in the future.
Steve Halliwell is an author, public speaker and biographer, who has a depth of knowledge of local history and large gardens in the area. He is also known for his guide to Preston pubs!
Our next talk is DON’T GO TO SLEEP DURING WINTER on Wednesday 21st November 2018 at 7.30pm, given by double RHS gold award winner, Kevin Pratt from Hazel Grove.
We had a lovely sunny day for our visit to Yewbarrow House and Gardens on 19th May.
Set in the seaside area of Grange-over-sands in Cumbria, these stunning coastal gardens have expansive views across the estuary. They enjoy a micro climate more similar to that of Torquay in Cornwall than to its northern neighbours. Indeed, it is said to benefit from more hours of winter sunshine than Cornwall.
Started in 1999 by Jonathan Denby, who is said to have been inspired by renowned garden writers such as Shirley Hibberd, the gardens are set out in nine separate parts each designed to take into account the lie of the land, making the most of the free draining soil and emphasising the magnificent views.
We toured the first of these gardens to be developed, the Sunken garden, which has grown up around a
palm tree planted in the centre of the lawn. The Italian garden is filled with large exotic plants which we might not expect to find or be thriving on the coast of Cumbria. The Japanese garden displayed a circular pool as a centre-piece which has an infinity edge overlooking Morecambe Bay. We also took in the Palm House and the Maple Walk as we enjoyed the sunshine and gentle breeze from the estuary.
We enjoyed a cream tea on the Tea Lawn whilst we learned that work on the gardens have been ongoing for the last 20 years and is now preparing for the official opening for the NGS scheme.
On our return journey we called at Beetham Nurseries and Garden Centre. All enjoyed the day albeit a bit sun burnt!
For details of the Thornton Cleveleys Horticultural Society trips and garden talks, please see https://thorntoncleveleyshorticulturalsociety41.com/