Everything’s rosy at Holden Clough

GREEN-FINGERED DUO: John Foley and Kate Lawson of Holden Clough Nursery with their most recent award.
GREEN-FINGERED DUO: John Foley and Kate Lawson of Holden Clough Nursery with their most recent award.

EVERYTHING in the garden is rosy at a Ribble Valley nursery.

For the Holden Clough Nursery at Bolton-by-Bowland has triumphed yet again by coming away with the prestigious RHS Silver Gilt medal at Tatton Park Flower Show last week.

Talented owner John Foley, who writes our fortnightly gardening page, and his girlfriend Kate Lawson designed and constructed a display packed full of colourful summer perennials for sun or shade, with one side of the stand featuring their renowned Crocosmias and other sun-loving plants such as achillea, monarda and phlox, which led to a shady area focusing on a pond surrounded by astilbe, hostas, ligularia and many other exciting plants.

The judges commented: “It’s a real credit to John and Kate to be able to put on a display with so much colour when they grow their plants outside in a year where the weather has tested us all.”

The stand took four days to construct and was much bigger than the display last year. John said: “It has been such a tough growing season this year and it was a real struggle to get the plants in flower with no sunshine and record low temperatures, all the plants were about two weeks behind what a normal year would be so we really are delighted to have achieved a Silver Gilt, and after receiving our points card we were just one point off a Gold!”

John was also interviewed at the stand by Anne Swithinbank of BBC Radio 4’s “Gardeners Question Time” about advice on how to successfully grow crocosmias as well and talking about some interesting varieties for late colour.

“Now the preparations begin at the nursery where plants are all ready being grown on for next year’s show, but amongst the growing of plants the construction of the new tea room and lecture room begins early in August ready for the grand opening next Spring.”

Recently, John, who holds the title of the BBC Young Gardener of the Year, was also awarded a Silver Gilt at the Great Yorkshire Show for the nursery’s display of summer flowering hardy plants.