Allotment challenge

Secret Sunday show garden number 2!   This time I was involved in creating a contemporary allotment based on the idea that all things in the garden were either edible or provided medicinal value to science. We wanted to display planting companions that would not only look good together, but would also grow well together. […]

A tour with Roy Lancaster

The day consisted of a visit to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens for a tour, (where Roy was the first curator in the 1970’s) before heading back for a tour of his own garden. This was proceeded by a vast spread of cake; freshly made and presented by Roy’s wife! I probably just lost you there […]

A visit to Wales Botanics

This week I headed over the border to visit my grandparents. It wasn’t long before the topic of conversation swayed to what I planned to do during my stay. A few ideas were discussed before we banked on going to the National Botanic Garden of Wales. It’s been around 10 years since I previously visited when […]

Coastal retreat – a treat for a day

The weekend just gone has been a coastal extravaganza! I teamed up with fellow trainee and friend Jamie Butterworth to help him build an expression of a coastal garden for the RHS Secret Sunday show for August. (Yeah it’s a kind of a shout out, but trust me he doesn’t need it!) Unlike many show […]

Bedding update

So it’s been a little while since the bedding went in, with moderate successes. Unfortunately the stock of Solenostemon we purchased had been pinched back too late and shortly after planting began to show symptoms of stress and root rot. These were removed and replaced with a mix of different Solenostemon as we were unable […]

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

I have spent a large part of the week at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. It’s great to be involved in the largest flower show in the world! I spent press day (Monday) helping the school kids set up their scarecrows for exhibition. It was great to see how excited many of them were […]


This week I completed my final practical assessment for the Wisley diploma. The preparation and build up has been quite intense, but I feel that the pressured environment you may put yourself under to achieve success is important to do from time to time. There are many challenges you may face in horticulture and I […]

Know your weeds!

During the last week I’ve been trying to memorise and retain 60 different weeds for today’s identification test. Here at Wisley we are regularly tested with plant identifications, usually fortnightly, and although it can sometimes feel all too much like hard work with everything else going on, the botanists do try to make it fun! […]


Since the beginning of May I have had the pleasure of working with a vast array of alpine plants. The collections here at Wisley are divided into areas of origin or requirements in the various service houses, before being put out on display. One plant which really took my fancy was Physoplexis comosa. The tufted […]

Top Terrace Bedding Design

I’ve just spent the week with two of the other trainees I live with, implementing our bedding design into reality on the top terrace bedding panels! Since successfully winning the mini competition amongst the trainees at the start of the year, the three of us have worked hard at find growers and nurseries to produce […]