Mike has had an extensive career in horticulture, embracing various branches of growing during his 30 years as a professional gardener.
He began his career at Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan, rising to the position of Head Gardener. Enjoying the teaching of gardening courses at Dyffryn, he left there to become a lecturer in horticulture at Pencoed College. His next position was as Director of Aberglasney Gardens in Carmarthenshire, overseeing the start of the restoration project. From there he went to Barnsdale Gardens in Rutland. He still retains strong links with Barnsdale.
As Head Gardener of the Victorian Kitchen Garden at Audley End House near Saffron Walden, Mike was responsible for the restoration of the garden from scratch, using organic methods to produce heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables from the Victorian period. (1837-1901), and built up a collection of 150 apple cultivars pertaining to East Anglia, all of which were formally trained. During his time there as Head Gardener the ten vines in the beautiful Vinery were brought back into full production.
He established the splendid centre walk of irises and paeonies and built up collections of dahlia, gladioli and sweet peas, as well as a colourful display of 60 heirloom varieties of tomatoes.
While at Audley End Mike appeared on various television programmes, including an hour-long ‘Gardeners’ World’ special about the restoration and began contributing articles to gardening magazines. He was also commissioned to write a book on gardening in the ‘Teach Yourself’ series and was the major contributor to another called’ Organic Gardening’ by Juliet Roberts.
Passionate about gardening, with a particular interest in Garden History, he now offers his services as a horticultural consultant, designing and restoring old gardens, as well as planning the creation of new. He is an adviser to the National Allotment Society, providing practical advice to their members through their magazine and website. Mike enjoys passing on his wealth of knowledge to others and has made time during his career to give talks to all kinds of gardening societies. He is a keen advocate of organic gardening and its benefits to the environment and wildlife.
If you would like me to work with you, then I would love to hear from you.
I offer practical training in fruit, flower and vegetable production and gardening organically. I can deliver on-site training, workshops and demonstrations tailored to meet your needs. I offer expert advice on the cultivation plus the formal and informal pruning training of vines, top and soft fruit.
I provide gardening consultancy services, including: garden site assessment and analysis, preparation of design and layout plans, research material, organic management and training. Conversion to full Soil Association Organic Certification if desired.
I am a Heritage and Garden Restoration specialising in growing historical fruit, flowers and vegetables. If you have a kitchen garden restoration project and need any help or advice in garden history or heritage varieties, please get in touch.
I will visit and provide practical help and advice to you in your own garden, guiding you through the organic management process including biological pest and disease management systems. I can to help you achieve and maintain organic certification.