Halecat Nursery Mark Third Anniversary with Special Display at Holker Garden Festival!
We are delighted to welcome back our good friends Abi and Tom Attwood, of Halecat Nursery, to this year’s Festival. This will be their third consecutive year exhibiting in the Horticultural Marquee and as preparations are now well underway, they give us an insight in to their plans for the 2013 show and how a late spring means the pressure is definitely on!
Tom comments; “Our display at Holker Garden Festival is very important to us. It’s not only a chance to be judged by our peers and let everyone know what we do but it’s also the first success we had as a business when we opened in March 2011.”
Discussing the couple’s pre-show nerves, Tom added: “This is our third display garden for Holker and we’ve never had the plants so far behind in terms of their growth. Because of the exceptionally cold winter spring is about five weeks late this year.”
“So our greatest challenge is making sure our show plants catch up as best they can. We rely on very basic technology, partly due to budget, but mostly because we want to produce plants that grow in normal gardening conditions. It means they are strong and healthy and will do well for customers here. Whilst we have unheated polytunnels and a cramped greenhouse which helps speed up growth, its sunshine that does the most good and that’s out of our hands.”
However Tom is undaunted by this as he explains:
“Normally we grow more plants than we need for the display garden. Some are just out-trumped by the sheer flower power of others. I have a feeling this year that we will look for different qualities in our selection and go for those that are strong on structure. Plants like Angelica, Rheum and Rodgersias, that rarely flower in time are often the space fillers in a display. This year they may be stars of the show.”
In the last two years Tom and Abi scooped the ‘large gold’ medal, with Carol Klein presenting them with their first award in 2011. The pressure is on to repeat a similar performance with their third display at the 21st anniversary event.
The couple is also celebrating their plant nursery’s third summer of opening at Halecat, Cumbria. It follows extensive work to breathe new life into the previously popular, but then disused, nursery. This is a rare ray of sunlight for an industry that’s been affected by the triple dip recession and as many successive wet summers.
The Holker Garden Festival in Cark-in-Cartmel, south Cumbria celebrates is a three day summer spectacle taking place from Friday 31st May to Sunday 2nd June 2013, showcasing only the very best of gardening, countryside, food and crafts and making it one of the most popular events in the summer calendar.
Opening times are from 10.00am to 5.30pm. Entrance to the Festival is £15.00 for adults and £13.50 for seniors/students; discounts for advance bookings are available online. Children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult. For more information or to buy advance tickets visit the website at www.holkerfestival.co.uk or call 015395 58838.