An Evening with Bob Flowerdew

Bob Flowedew starts speaking
He has a few visual aids

On Wednesday 22nd February 2017, the Burton & Rossett Horticultural Society was delighted to host the third annual "An Evening with..." horticultural celebrity event at Darland School Theatre Hall, Rossett.

This year's celebrity, Bob Flowerdew—Organic Gardener, Horticultural Lecturer, Writer, Columnist, Television and Radio presenter and a member of the prestigious Gardeners Question Time panel—educated and entertained an audience of approaching 250 Members and Friends with his talk "No Work Gardening", enthralling his audience by talking with no visual aids for over 90 minutes, followed after by a cheese and wine break, then over 60 minutes answering questions from the audience.

Bob in full flow!

Admitting that realistically he was promoting "less work" gardening, Bob regaled his audience with opportunities to take the effort out of Gardening such as:

  • Don't ask the experts - decide what you want such as wonderfully tasting vegetables, and work to that standard, not the standard required to win a Gold Medal at Chelsea.
  • Growing for Show or for the table - if you want to grow prize winning vegetables and plants that is great, you need to follow the experts' advice, but if you want good tasting fruit and vegetables, or good quality flowers, remember the experts are looking for the ultimate level of perfection.
  • Remember size isn't everything - taste and cooking quality are what most of us are trying to achieve.
  • Be aware not all tasks are necessary - such as tying up daffodil leaves, thinning seed sowings (just don't sow them so thickly), reduce weeding and watering with a good mulch, and grout paving to reduce weed growth.
  • Buy good quality tools, and look after them, keeping them sharp and well maintained.
  • Accepting there is a plethora of research showing there is little benefit in the strenuous effort in turning over vegetable plots every year.
  • And many other Golden Nuggets of advice too many to mention here.

In proposing a vote of thanks to Bob, Chairman John Whiteley thanked the BRHS Committed and Helpers for their hard work which made the event possible, the event's sponsor, Bellis Brothers Farm Shop and Garden Centre for their funding and support, and our audience who make the event possible.

To Bob Flowerdew, he said: "Bob - It's been a wonderful evening. We can only stand back and admire your obvious love of your subject, your life long dedication to gardening, your passion for your subject, your 'no nonsense' approach, and above all, your devotion to sharing your knowledge and experience. On behalf of the Burton & Rossett Horticultural Society, thank you so much for a wonderful evening."

Reports such as this can only capture a small snapshot of such a major event.

Next year the Burton & Rossett Horticultural Society will host their fourth "An Evening with..." celebrity event with Anne Swithinbank, horticulturist, broadcaster and writer, on Friday 9th March 2018.

If you would like to attend next year's event, for further information and tickets, you can buy tickets online now (click here), or please contact David Weir on 01244 571353 or Val Overson on 01978 853228.

Words by John Whiteley. Photos by James Hughes and Katie Darling.