A blooming good night!

sellout: Celebrity guest speaker Christine Walkden (third from left) with Bolland Gardening Club committee members (from the left) Lynda Holt, Susan Farmer, Margaret Middleton, Henry Rowntree and Jim Tippetts.
sellout: Celebrity guest speaker Christine Walkden (third from left) with Bolland Gardening Club committee members (from the left) Lynda Holt, Susan Farmer, Margaret Middleton, Henry Rowntree and Jim Tippetts.

A NEW and very successful venture for Bolland Gardening Club was to invite a celebrity speaker, TV personality Christine Walkden.

Tickets were made available for non-members and the event, at Bolton-by-Bowland Village Hall, proved to be a sellout. In his introduction, club chairman Henry Rowntree told those present something of Christine’s background; Originally from Rishton, sh has been a horticulturist since the age of 10 when she obtained an allotment and started growing vegetables and flowers, which she sold to her school teachers and local residents.

On leaving school her first job was with Clitheroe parks department before going to Lancashire College of Agriculture. A major change followed when she decided to go freelance, working as a plantswoman and horticulturist, later lecturing nationally and internationally.

She is a past presenter on BBC’s Gardeners World and presenter of two of her own BBC2 series “Christine’s Garden”. She also broadcasts on local and national radio, is a past winner of the Garden Writers’ Guild Radio Broadcasting Award and a BBC Radio 4 Gardener’s Question Time panellist.

The topic of Christine’s illustrated talk was “Herbaceous Borders and their Plants”. She explained that he first herbaceous borders were always mirrored, backed by a wall or hedge and contained nothing but herbaceous plants. Under the influence of gardeners such as Gertrude Jekyll, William Robinson and, more recently, the Bloom family, shrubs and roses have been included and some of these ‘borders’ are now actually island beds.

Christine then went on to explain the necessity of taking into account shape, form and colour in order to produce a herbaceous border with a long period of interest, giving advice on the sorts of plants to include. This led to a very lively question and answer session at the end of her talk.

A vote of thanks was given by former chairman Mrs Margaret Middleton, followed by a raffle fora copy of Christine’s latest book “No-nonsense Vegetable Gardening”, generously donated by her. It was won by Mrs Betty Barker of Clitheroe.

Rather than the usual refreshments at the end of the meeting, those attending were given a glass of wine or soft drink when they arrived. The next meeting will be on May 9th when Judy Popley will give a talk entitled “A Prospect of Arley”.