Exbury: The First 100 Years and Managing a Unique Plant Collection in the 21st Century

The Cornwall Garden Society’s (CGS) February lectures will be delivered by Tom Clarke who is the Head Gardener at Exbury Gardens in Hampshire.

Tom wished to pursue an outdoor career from an early age and, upon leaving school, he studied as an apprentice with the National Trust at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire where he helped to restore a Victorian walled garden.

Following employment at other historic settings, Tom joined the garden team at National Trust Trelissick. There, he encountered many of the plants that are now a major feature of his working life – rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias – and he has travelled to the Himalayas three times to witness them growing in the wild, with the support of the CGS.

Created just over 100 years ago in the golden age of woodland gardening, Exbury spans over 200 acres in the New Forest and is home to one of the greatest woody plant collections in the UK.

Exbury: The First 100 Years will be his subject on Tuesday 8th February at 7.30pm at The Alverton in Truro whilst Managing a Unique Plant Collection in the 21st Century will be his theme on Wednesday 9th February at 2.30pm at St Mellion International Resort in Saltash.

These lectures are free for CGS members. Non-members are welcome to attend to find out more about the Society and donations are gratefully received.

The CGS is a charity that exists to encourage and improve the science, art and practice of horticulture in all its branches; share knowledge about gardening and Cornwall’s rich garden heritage, and conserve the county’s natural environment. The Society is affiliated to the RHS and its Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.

For further information about the CGS, please visit cornwallgardensociety.org.uk, follow @CwllGardenSoc on Twitter and @CornwallGardenSociety on Instagram, or like www.facebook.com/cornwallgardensociety

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Upcoming Events

  • Day Trip by Coach to National Trust Greenway, Galmpton with Ferry Trip on the River Dart

    Enjoy a scenic return boat trip between Dartmouth and Greenway, which Agatha Christie called “the loveliest place in the world” and is now in the care of the National Trust. 

    There will be ample time to explore this much-loved house and productive walled garden with its 120ft-long peach house, vinery, allotment and softly-planted borders, all of which thrive within its protective walls. 

    Pause to relax in the informal garden and enjoy glimpses of the river from its woodland walks.

    The booking form is available to download here or in hard copy, upon request, from the organiser.

  • Self-drive Visit to Minack Theatre Gardens, Porthcurno and Boscrowan, Penzance

    Enjoy a guided tour of the Minack Theatre Gardens with Jeff Rowe and Claire Batten, who have won multiple medals at RHS Chelsea for their specialist exotics, and discover what makes these sub-tropical gardens unique. Learn about the challenges of gardening on a cliff-edge and the species that flourish in unusual climatic conditions, benefitting from the warmth of Cornish granite yet being treated harshly by the strong salt winds off the Atlantic.

    In complete contrast, we then head to Boscrowan, in a sheltered valley near Penzance, for a delicious lunch and a gentle amble around the gardens where the pleasures of herbaceous borders against a wooded backdrop; a wildlife pond; an original revolving Victorian summerhouse; a growing sedum roof, a cutting garden and a bring-and-buy plant stall with proceeds to charity await you.

    The booking form is available to download here or in hard copy, upon request, from the organiser.