Spring is in the air and the green fingered among us have the chance to learn the secrets of growing a successful cottage garden, thanks to expert Fergus Garrett.
Fergus, head gardener and chief executive at Great Dixter in Northiam, is donating a study day worth £100 as an auction lot when he gives a talk on Saturday, April 16, to support the Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group, Hastings.
The successful bidder will learn valuable techniques about succession planting at Great Dixter, a world-renowned centre for high-quality, cottage-style gardening. It is one of several lots offered during the event to support the group which aims to restore the park’s 100ft, 1930s greenhouse and establish it once again as a valuable community, horticultural resource.
Fergus, 50, who is married with two children and lives in Hastings Old Town, will talk about Succession Planting and Extending the Seasons. He will explain how gardening techniques used at Great Dixter can be used on a smaller scale in domestic gardens, answer questions, sell and sign books he has co-authored.
Fergus said of the greenhouse project: “It gives a focus for the community and it is restoring a very valuable part of the town’s history. It is a beautiful structure.”
Volunteers started work on the teak-framed greenhouse in 2013 and have so far cleared it of trees and brambles, installed cold frames and restored its paths. They have been granted a licence to work on the site by the owners, Hastings Borough Council, but they are seeking a long-term lease so that the project can attract much-needed grants.
Fergus’ talk will be held at Hastings and St Leonards Priory Cricket Club, Horntye Parks Sports Complex, Bohemia Road, Hastings. Doors open at 2pm, with a 2.30pm start. Tickets cost £7, including tea and biscuits, and are available the Eat @ the Park Cafe and Hastings Tourist Information Centre, Aquila House, Breeds Place, Hastings, tel: 01424 451111. www.greenhousealexpark.com