By Gary Long, Trewithen Gardens
The “Head Gardeners Group” was started at Antony by Sir Richard Carew-Pole in 2003 as a way of the head gardeners of Cornwall meeting, sharing ideas, experiences, news, gossip and to break down the invisible boundaries between gardens. Knowledge sharing and communication was the driving force.
“With regard to the Head Gardeners annual get together, it was instigated by Sir Richard in the first instance to facilitate the professional and social intercourse between all the Head Gardeners and senior gardeners managing heritage gardens. It was felt that the relationships between the private gardens was not conducive for mutual exchange of ideas and to try to end the isolation some private gardens felt. The N.T. always has gardeners training days but not so in private gardens. Obviously training was important but to have a strong social element was of equal merit.”
Barry Champion, the first Head Gardeners Group (later, CPGG) co-ordinator
The group has evolved over time and in 2016 was renamed the CPGG. John Lanyon (National trust), Ben Probert (self-employed). Ned Lomax Glendurgan) and myself co-ordinate the group and try to keep an exciting and varied programme going. This has allowed us to be more inclusive of all people working in professional horticulture in Cornwall (it is no longer a requirement to have the title “Head Gardener” to be on the mailing list, or for that matter to be in Cornwall). The annual “Head Gardeners Day” continues in the same vain as previous years and involves a meet up at a garden, usually a lecture, pasty lunch then off for a tour of the garden with the head gardener. The only difference now is that it is open to one delegate per garden where as the workshops are usually a first come first served event.
Read the full article by Gary below.