Lecture: Mike Nelhams – Gardens of the Mediterranean

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:01 AM

Mike Nelhams was an early recruit of RHS Wisley’s two-year horticultural certificate in the 1970s, where he spent weeks ‘frozen to the top of a ladder’ learning how to prune apple trees properly at commercial speeds.

He then worked at Tresco Abbey Gardens on the Isles of Scilly for a year, before being asked to stay on for a further 18 months of tree work. This was followed by five years at High Beeches in Sussex.

In 1984, Mike received an invitation from the owner of Tresco Abbey Gardens, Robert Dorrien-Smith, to return as Head Gardener and he has worked there ever since.

Being taught to do things in the right way without shortcuts at RHS Wisley has characterised Mike’s horticultural career and he adopts the same approach with his students today.

Join us at the Penventon Park Hotel, West End, Redruth at 2.30pm

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Upcoming Events

  • Day trip by coach to Bickham House, Exeter and Cadhay House and Garden, Ottery St Mary, Devon

    At Bickham House, we will discover seven acres of colour co-ordinated borders, mature trees, a fernery and a water garden. There is a formal parterre complete with lily pond and a walled garden full of vegetables and flowers. A palm tree avenue leads to a summerhouse.

    Cadhay Garden provides a tranquil setting for the magnificent Elizabethan manor house built in 1550, a tour of which is an option. Full of colour, the garden includes a 120ft herbaceous bed planted with cottage garden plants. There are clematis, roses and lilies as well as two medieval fishponds. The walled garden has been transformed into allotments.

    To download a booking form for this day trip, please click here.

  • Self-drive visit to Kestle Barton, Manaccan; The Potager, High Cross, Constantine and Tregonning, Carleen, Breage

    Self-drive visit to Kestle Barton, Manaccan; The Potager, High Cross, Constantine and Tregonning, Carleen, Breage

    Run by Karen Townsend and Ryya Bread, Kestle Barton is a restored ancient farmstead and gallery above Frenchman’s Creek. The garden was created in the south-facing mowhay by James Alexander-Sinclair whose plantsman’s scheme of gauzy swathes of herbaceous plants and sweeping grasses surround a space for sitting and dreaming. Beyond is the meadow with its ever-changing carpet of wild flowers and adjacent orchard.

    During lunch at The Potager, Mark Harris will describe how this charming haven emerged from a bramble-choked wilderness.

    Andrew and Kathryn Eaton’s sculpted grass meadow at Tregonning takes in panoramic views from Carn Brea to Helston. There are leaf-shaped beds, a stream and pond, a summerhouse, carp pond, fernery and packed vegetable garden.

    To download a booking form for this self-drive visit, please click here.