So here we go… Let me tell you something about myself.
My name is Claire and I’m a qualified horticulturist who studied at Bishop Burton College gaining distinctions in the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) exams. I went on to gain a 1st Class Degree in Garden Design and Maintenance.
During my time at Bishop Burton College I was awarded ‘Best Horticulture Student’ – twice!
As a student (mature) my small team achieved a Premiere Award Show Garden at Harrogate Spring Flower Show… That, by the way. is better than a Gold Medal, and to my knowledge hasn’t been achieved since.
I was then involved with the award-winning garden at St Anthony’s and the Boswick Institute in York which was opened by the Archbishop of York. This was to create a sensory garden with a priority for disabled access.
Since my graduation, I have designed many gardens across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. I became Horticulturist at Minster Plant Centre in Beverley in 2010, propagating 80% of the plants we stocked.
So basically I know plants, how they work and how to use them. Unfortunately, I also know what goes into their production… As a designer nipping in and out of nurseries buying plants I didn’t think much about what was involved until I went into the industry from a commercial growing point of view; It is quite horrific and I want to help to put a stop to it.
Below are photos showing a very small selection of the chemicals used in a commonly-used peat based mix. All of them are damaging to wildlife including watercourses… As a gardener you probably feel that you are putting something back into the environment; well, you are… you are ripping up peat bogs… poisoning the soil… and damaging our pollinating insects… As for the throwaway plastics involved with this industry… Need I say more?
I have had a dream to try and make a difference – however small – to my industry, and this year I have taken the plunge to go on my own (well me and my dog Poppy, who you will see on many photos – she has worked in the nursery industry all her life).