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  • Writer's pictureHorticultural Society

Green Wisdom: A Journey with Paul Bagshaw, Head Gardener of Goodnestone Park & Gardens

Tonight's lecture by Paul Bagshaw, the esteemed Head Gardener of Goodnestone Park & Gardens, unfolded a tapestry of horticultural wisdom that left us inspired and enlightened.

Paul Bagshaw, Head of Goodnestone Park & Gardens

From no dig gardening to combatting box blight, Paul shared invaluable insights that resonated with both novice gardeners and seasoned enthusiasts alike.

One highlight early on was Paul’s recommendation to cultivate Beryl’s Snow Queen Birch trees, known for their striking silver trunks. By opting for bare-rooted planting and strategically piling soil around roots of grouped trees, these stunning trees can flourish into a captivating garden focal point in no time.

Paul also shed light on combating box blight through Bacillus Thuringiensis, a bacterial pesticide targeting the box moth. Additionally, he extolled the virtues of the ‘Hedge Germander’ (as pictured below), a bee-friendly hedge choice favoured by King Charles.

Paul’s insights ranged from practical gardening tips—like the overwintering of Abyssinian bananas—to ecological solutions, such as using submerged cos lettuce to protect pond lilies from toad tadpole nibbles!

From the enchanting scaffolding limbs of Lebanon cedar trees to the quirky habits of solitary bees, each anecdote painted a vivid picture of Goodnestone’s dedication to biodiversity and conservation.

The lecture also touched upon innovative gardening practices, from The Exotic Garden at Great Dixter, the inspiring garden in East Sussex, created by the late, great Christopher Lloyd, to the benefits of 'No dig' gardening and the importance of fostering mycorrhizal associations in the soil.

As we reflect on Paul’s teachings, we are inspired to infuse our own gardens with the same passion, creativity, and commitment to nurturing nature's wonders. Thank you Paul.

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