A real horticultural hero

I know we all probably have a horticultural hero. Often family members are gardeners from the past.But then you hear a story that makes you think there are hero’s among us.

Those of you who have read my missives over the years will know my gardening ethos as being very pragmatic. By that I mean I dont get upset if things dont work. When trees fell on my greenhouse etc I just think… ok.. how do we solve it. When plants die (they do) I dont have tears I just think ok.. thats part of gardening.

But of course pragmatism has a limit.

Do you remember the lady (Melanie Lewis) who had one of the National Collections of aeoniums who appeared on Gardeners World and could pretty much name each one by sight. Forget her collection… she is clearly a national treasure herself.


Well imagine a power cut knocks out the heating to some of your greenhouses and you lose around 700 plants including some extremely rare cultivars. 😱 And then work out the cost of replacing and getting heaters to prevent any further issue like this will cost maybe £5-6,000. I think that’s where my pragmatism would have reached breaking point.

The fact that while downhearted (who wouldnt be) she isn’t defeated,a nd she is determined to rebuild shows me just the kind of spirit true gardeners have, and that makes her a bit of a hero. I think I will do a podcast with her, about her collection, about what happened, but also about future plans. I know she is crowdfunding to help with the cost of replacement.. so all power to her!

For those who may want to support there is a crowdfunding page which you can find here:- https://www.gofundme.com/f/aeonium-national-collection-holder-support

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