I’ve been part of the garden team at the Eden Project for over 16 years and really enjoy the variety of my role, a mixture of hands on horticulture, research and teaching.
My areas of responsibilities include ‘Plants for a changing climate’ which is positioned in a lovely sunny sheltered South East corner of the garden, full of Southern Hemisphere and Mediterranean climate plants. Thanks to our mild weather, many of these plants thrive here. May is particularly amazing with masses of flowering Cistus, which are always covered in bees and tall spikes from Puya chilensis and Beshoneria yuccoides.
One of my most recent projects has been creating a South African Veld, celebrating the diversity and beauty of it’s flora but also drawing attention to it’s fragility and need of conservation. We did the bulk of the planting around this time last year and lots of the plants have already put on significant growth. During the research phase I had the opportunity to travel around the Western Cape, in particular looking at the vegetation in the higher altitudes, more suited to our climate. I am especially excited about being able growing some of the Protea; we have found P.cynaroides and P.neriifolia do very well here as well as lots of the Cape heathers.
Since last year I manage the Global Gardens exhibit, divided into small allotments representing fruit and vegetables that Chinese, Afro-Caribbean, Eastern European and UK communities grow, as well as UK traditional and Andean crops. It’s fun getting to grow lots of unusual produce such as oca, horned melon and okra. It also takes a huge amount of planning to ensure a bountiful display during our peak season.
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