Skip to content
May 22, 2017 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Gardeners’ Question Time – report of a wonderful evening fundraising for polio

Canapes before Question Time

Canapes before Question Time

Gavin (Lord Hamilton) welcoming guests (in front of Apley Park)

BBC host Paul Shuttleworth & Rotary Club organiser Christopher Mackrell

BBC host Paul Shuttleworth & Rotary Club organiser Christopher Mackrell

BBC Radio Shropshire’s Paul Shuttleworth

BBC Paul Shuttleworth

BBC Paul Shuttleworth fielding questions for panellist (seated) David Wassell MBE

Gavin & I (Lord & Lady H) with Apley Farm Shop's General Manager John Wesley

Gavin & I (Lord & Lady H) with Apley Farm Shop’s General Manager John Wesley. (I’d just got out of the car after a very slow 3 hr journey ! No time to change…)

Panellist Head Gardener Phil Allen

Lord Hamilton leading the first group in the Walled Garden

Phil Allen guiding the second group in the garden (it was about to start raining !)

Apley Farm Shop’s General Manager John Wesley managing the barbecue

Gardeners’ Question Time on Friday night, 19 May, raised over £1000 towards the eradication of polio. Fab news is that there are now only 3 cases of polio recorded worldwide, so we’re now in the end-game.

The evening was well attended & beautifully organised by the Telford Centre Rotary Club. It began with guided tours of Apley Walled Garden followed by drinks & canapes in the Creamery Cafe at Apley Farm Shop. Phil Allen has done the most remarkable job of getting the gardens looking fabulous again, including the exposing of 1 of the dipping ponds (blogged on 23 March).

Huge thanks firstly to the Rotary’s Christopher Mackrell who wonderfully masterminded the whole evening. Also of course to our panellists David Wassell MBE, Dave Cope of Nobridge Nurseries & Phil Allen, Head Gardener of Apley Walled Garden. Also to the sponsors, including Nock Deighton, Addison Wines & MFA. Our own Apley staff were of course fab & essential. After the event at 10pm, one cafe staff member Shaun then went to work as a Special Constable until 5:30am.

BBC Radio Shropshire’s Paul Shuttleworth was a brilliant host. If you couldn’t be there on the night, it will be broadcast on his programme on Sunday morning 28 May, 12-1pm.  The Shropshire Star & Steve Watts took photographs – some of Steve’s are right here.

I picked up Michael Coombes, 85, on the way, who is the son of the last assistant Head Gardener & who lived in the Orangery, which then became known as Gardener’s Cottage. It was wonderful he was able to be there on the night & see the garden again.

The questions included one about camelias, clematis, scarifying lawns, lawn fertilisers, growing huge pumpkins, tea compost, white fury growth on an old apple tree, leylandii to hide a neighbour’s campervan, planting thousands of crocuses at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, slugs, ants, getting rid of mare’s tail, asparagus & compost heap maintenance.

I made a few notes of some of the answers: For slugs, use pheasants & other slug eating birds to your advantage. For ants, remember they are natural scarifiers. Mare’s tail is good for cleaning saucepans ! Recommended asparagus varieties were Mr Gimlin & Jackman’s Purple which are both all-male varieties, to be harvested after only 2yrs. For compost maintenance, never put anything on the heap which is suffering from an unknown disease. Identify the disease first. If you have to put grass clippings on the heap, put it in layers & lay carpet, cardboard or a roof on top to keep the temperature high.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: