Our week exhibiting at Gardeners’ World Live was a huge success. Our Olive tree bonsai at the heart of our garden design drew lots of attention by both the media and the public. We created a small Mediterranean garden with our olive bonsai set amongst companion garden plants such as Rhodanthemum ‘Casablanca’ and Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’. We also used in our design ‘Creeping Red’ thyme grown here in Norfolk by Norfolk Herbs. It really pulled the whole design together, creating a delightful small garden. The public loved it as it reminded them of Mediterranean holidays and people enjoyed telling us tales of their favourite Olive tree spotted whilst holidaying.
Talking Olive tree care
I gave talks every day in the VIP lounge on ‘Growing Olive trees’ and ‘Olive tree care’. I shared the same stage every day with the likes of Michel Roux Junior, Nadia Hussain and Antonio Carluccio. Guests loved tasting last year’s crop of preserved Arbequina olives. With temperatures rising to 30 degrees both myself and the public struggled to ask and answer questions on pruning olive trees and what to do when planting Olive trees.
Other Show Gardens
But it wasn’t all hard work, we got to visit the big show gardens early in the morning before the show opened and that felt wonderful being able to soak up the gardens before the crowds arrived!
My favourite was the Nostalgia Garden by Paul Stone it reminded me so much of my youth and visiting my grandmother that it made me weep. I spoke to many visitors and they all said they had the same physical and emotional reaction to it. Paul had created a village store from the 1960’s with an old mini parked up and old petrol pump and potted plants. He’d even built a humpback bridge with running stream, a bucolic rural scene from yesteryear.
There is always a buzz and great atmosphere in the floral marquee and we’re lucky to have such talented neighbours. John Cullen Gardens grows plants for pollinators and he had some wonderful perennials – my favourite was the Achillea ‘Moonshine’ and I think it’s a perennial that will prove very popular as Carol Klein was expounding its virtues on the BBC Gardeners’ World Live programme. Paul liked the Achillea so much he added it to our display at the last moment. The yellow really popped and looked great planted with the Rhodanthemum, giving more height and texture to the display.
Very popular with everyone was the peony birthday cake that celebrated 50 years of Gardeners’ World. It took three days to build and I did not envy them as they meticulously placed each peony into the five foot tall cake. Alex from Primrose Hall Nursery (I know – confusing name for a nursery that specialises in peonies) spoke passionately on BBC Gardeners’ World Live about his love of peonies and how it was his grandfather who nurtured and inspired him to follow a path into horticulture – a circuitous route I believe after spending several years practising law!
At the other end of the floral marquee was the cactus couple Vicky and Stan from Craig House Cacti. Multi award winning medallists from Chelsea, Vicky and Stan are like the mum and dad of the floral marquee. With years of experience under their belt they are incredibly kind and supportive with lots of advice for novice exhibitors like ourselves.
We made a typical schoolboy error and didn’t take enough olive trees for our sales stand and had to rush back to Norwich (no mean feat from Birmingham) to stock up on the popular standard Olive tree.
Back home to our Olive tree nursery
It feels so good to return to our Olive tree nursery. All the Olive trees are in flower and buzzing with life as hungry bees tuck into the Olive trees’ pollen. The arbequina Olive tree in particular is full of flower – they flower and fruit earlier than other Olive varieties so make them an excellent choice for growing Olives.
Our Olive tree sale continues
Our Olive tree sale continues until Sunday the 25th June. There’s also a selection of palms and yucca reduced by 15% – some wonderful treats for garden lovers. We have some choice mature olive trees for sale including the Arbequina Olive tree from Catalonia and the classic standard olive tree, which is absolutely perfect for adorning doorways. So now is a good time if you want to buy an Olive tree.
All our Olive trees come with a care sheet and we’re more than happy to offer ongoing aftercare advice. We understand that when you buy trees you want a high level of customer service as these are significant investments and that expert information and advice on caring for Olive trees is of utmost importance. Here at the Norfolk Olive Tree company that’s what we do better than anyone else.
Next delivery to our Olive tree nursery
Our next Olive tree shipment arrives this Friday. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing the Olive bonsai we hand picked – more beautiful Olive tree bonsai than you can shake a stick at!
We’ve picked some charming Arbequina olives, both young and old Olive trees, ranging from 3 to 300 years. In truth, there were so many we couldn’t resist, we had to have them.
So Friday night we are going to be flat on our face with exhaustion or propping up a bar somewhere…..it’s a hard life!