Bob Flowerdew in Ticknall

There was a full house when Bob Flowerdew came to talk to Ticknall Garden Club in the Village Hall on 13 October 2015. His visit had been eagerly anticipated and he did not disappoint. His talk had been teasingly entitled “Don’t Listen to the Experts”. He took to the stage to offer words of advice from his own experience and as something of an expert himself.

All experts in any field view life from their own standpoint and experience. In the gardening world the advice given often applies to an ideal world and does not match the reality of our own garden conditions.

The prize vegetable grower demands rich, loamy soil and careful nurturing. The commercial seed grower sells seeds that may be planted in Spring but cannot guarantee that they will grow. The plantsman sells grapes that can be grown outdoors but are unlikely to thrive. The commercial vegetable grower with huge greenhouses rears high cordon tomatoes beyond the scope of most. The traditionalist adheres to strict crop rotation dating from Victorian times. The scientist produces test results from the laboratory untainted by the vagaries of nature. The garden designer has his own tastes and favoured designs.

Bob Flowerdew outlined the pitfalls in listening to gardening advice but also gave practical solutions to some of the more unrealistic demands. His down to earth approach was hit with his audience. Only take advice from the experts that suits your own needs and situation. Good advice from a gardener who is an expert himself!

Photograph shows Bob Flowerdew with Min Bell, Chair of Ticknall Garden Club and Wendy Gale, Programme Secretary on the left and Barbara Presley on the right.

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