Plant lovers from far and wide enjoyed hunting for unique additions to their garden this weekend at Gilbert White’s in Selborne, at their Unusual Plants Fair. Despite the unreliable weather forecast, visitors turned out in force to support this annual fundraising event, and browse amongst specialist growers from across the South East, within the tranquil atmosphere of the stunning heritage garden.
Saturday’s special guest, Georgina Windsor of BBC Radio Solent’s The Good Life show, was on hand to help judge the Best Presented and Most Unusual Plant Stand. The winner, Edulis Nursery, can look forward to a free stand next year! Edulis owner Paul Barney said:
“I’m very pleased to be chosen, especially as I’ve been a regular to the Unusual Plant Fair for more than a decade! It’s a great show with a fantastic atmosphere.”
Meanwhile Sunday’s visitors were treated to a Head Gardener’s Question Time featuring David Standing of Gilbert White & The Oates Collections and Andy Mills – the newly appointed Head Gardener of Painshill Park, Surrey. With a combined experience of over fifty years, they fielded questions as diverse as “how can I grow wildflowers in my garden?”, “how do I get rid of slugs” and “do you know anything about gardening?” with some rather entertaining answers!
There were winners among the visitors too, at the Unusual Plants Fair Raffle. The Saturday prize: Royal Horticultural Society bath products in an Emma Bridgewater tin from the Museum Gift Shop and a bottle of sparkling wine from the Museum’s award-winning Tea Parlour, was won by the Palmers. The Sunday prize: A Stainless Steel hip flask, English Pear & Apple Juice and Potting Shed Mug in a Garden Box from the Museum Gift Shop, and a bottle of Prosecco kindly donated by Waitrose, Petersfield, was won by Lucy Rodd.
As their longest-running fundraising event, the Unusual Plants Fair makes a significant contribution to the life of the Gilbert White & The Oates Collections; not only helping to promote that same passion for gardening which the 18th century Naturalist himself possessed, but generating revenue to support the continuing development of his former family home, now an Independent Charitable Trust, for visitors across the generations.
Event’s Manager Sarah Johanesen said that,
“this would all be impossible without the hard work and dedication of our wonderful volunteers and staff members, who give their time and skills year on year to make this such a success. A huge thank you to them all, we hope to see you again next year on 20th and 21st June 2015 in what will be the Museum’s Diamond Jubilee year!”