Seabrook On ... Great work being done by youngsters

We hear much about the lack of young people entering our industry yet when I get out and about the number of enthusiastic youngsters is really encouraging.

Working with some of the Westland-sponsored Rising Stars, who are growing planted containers for the grow your own display at Chelsea, I am being presented with original ideas and well-thought-out submissions.

Hannah Parker of Monkton Elm Garden Centre has a very detailed GYO container with a wide range of herbs, Kathryn Crouch (Haskins) picks up the companion planting theme with her apple chutney pot, Sam Clark (Cowell's) will put on a show of edible flowers and Will Clark (Barton Grange) has eye-catching petunias on a stem.

Working for the Garden Centre Association Chelsea display, Becky Sydenham (Bents) is full of enthusiasm for the giant watering can that promises to be the crowning glory on this exhibit. Then there is Ben Gregory (Wyevale Nurseries) bringing back new plants from the West Coast of America and elsewhere.

Speaking to Ian Le Gros, site manager at Hyde Hall, it is reassuring to hear a number of his department heads are coming through from apprenticeships. Matthew Oliver was growing vegetables on his allotment as a teenager and will now be working on the new vegetable and fruit garden at Hyde Hall, not to mention attempting to break the outside record for pumpkins with the Thompson & Morgan £1,250 single seed.

The visiting speaker at our local gardening club was Andrew Hellman, an American from Missouri who has been at Hyde hall for 10 years - a very engaging young man who held his audience's attention with detailed information on prairie planting.

Children are being engaged at schools where garden clubs attract their interest and younger infant and primary schoolchildren delight in growing flowers and crops to eat. Perhaps if we shone a light on these success stories more youngsters would be attracted to horticulture.

Peter Seabrook is a gardening writer and broadcaster


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