11 Oct 2015

Through Different Eyes.

The Holkham Walled Garden blog has had a number of contributors since its inception all of which are trained professional gardeners, however no amount of training experience or endeavour would be enough without the exceptionally valuable contribution of our ever burgeoning team of enthusiastic and friendly volunteers. 

With this in mind we recently asked our Volunteers if they would like to write a guest post.  I'm very pleased to say that not only do the Volunteers help keep on top of the plethora of garden tasks but they also now contribute to our blog, I must confess to being a little worried I shall soon be out of work.

Here is Jim Dowding one of our Longest serving Volunteers telling us about he got involved with the Walled Garden project.

"I was probably destined to become a Horticulturalist.  In the 1940's, even before I started school, I first learnt to take cuttings, train fruit and prune roses.  I even found out ways of combating pests and diseases in plants.  

Having had a career not in Horticulture I decided it was time to get some training in the subject.  I have been a professional gardener for over 20 years now. 

Retiring from full time employment and returning to Wells-next-the-sea I found I missed the companionship I once had so when Holkham advertised for volunteers to help in the garden I thought why not!. 

It was like putting on a pair of comfy slippers and that was over five years ago.  Over that time I have made friends from all walks of life who also volunteer.  Sure we do work but at our own pace, we have a laugh and social interaction with each other and visitors to the garden. 

There are lots of opportunities to learn new techniques from the staff who are a great bunch.

I was one of the best decisions I have ever made to volunteer in the garden I would recommend it to anyone."

Thanks Jim,

Here is a typical day in the life of a volunteer by Kate Chandler who joined us this year.

"Fantastic Autumnal Day. Golden sunshine but chilly in the shade. Lots of visitors and 2 new volunteers.
Today we removed some plants from the cutting flower "room" which are not used as such in the Hall. So for example Montebretia, which we divide and re-plant in another room.

We then have an informal demo on the planting of the bulbs for fox tail lilies,( which look like large spider crabs) before doing so.  If only I'd had that a few weeks ago before I planted the same bulb (which I'd bought at the Holkham Plant Fair) incorrectly!
Sandwiches sitting in the sun chatting with fellow volunteers and an informal lesson on how to take seeds for propagation from soft fruit such as tomatoes and chillies, followed by some dead heading and weeding.
Another lovely day as one of the team of volunteers at Holkham's Walled Garden."
Thanks Kate, I think that's a great description of a typical day.
Holkham walled garden are looking for more volunteers to help continue to raise the standards in the walled garden, so if you think you could spare a morning or a day to help it would be great to hear from you.
Here are just some of reasons to become a Holkham Volunteer.

Socials - Summer BBQ and other events for example our 'Bake off Competition' at the end of the month.

Informal Workshop/Demo's - One of our trained staff talk you through the seasonal gardening tasks, so far we have covered.  Summer Pruning Apples, Semi-ripe cuttings, Seed Saving, Seed Saving (Fleshy Fruits), Seed Sowing, Layering.

Plant of the Week *New* - Due to popular demand (We do listen to our Volunteers) we deliver a plant of the week sheet to help improve our Volunteer plant knowledge.

Gratification Work as part of a friendly enthusiastic team in an 18th century listed walled garden.

Attractive Benefits package.  Including a luncheon voucher amongst may other truly valuable perks.

If you would like to join the team please contact:
Dene Wood d.wood@holkham.co.uk or 07557200311 (please leave a voice mail if I don't pick up as I'm am often out of signal)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting! We like to hear from you.Please keep following the blog.