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BBC Gardeners World Magazine features Andy Gladman, a Crop Centre PhD student and finalist in their 2020 Gardens of the Year competition.
As part of a monthly series of articles featuring the eight finalists in the 2020 BBC Gardeners World Magazine Gardens of the Year competition, Andy Gladman, a Crop Centre PhD student and one of the finaliists is featured in March's edition with his Leamington Spa ornamental allotment.
The six page article plots his journey, 'driven from a lifelong passion for plants', especially kniphofia, echinops, verbena and buddleias and the set back of living in a top floor north facing flat, in transforming an overgrown allotment plot in 2018 from 'a field of couch grass and bindweed' to an 'astonishingly vibrant and drought tolerant garden'.
With his interest in plant diversity there are 'around 100 cultivars of kniphofia (red hot poker) that he has been trying to accumulate and his plan is to apply for a National Collection status for these and his echinops (globe thistle).
Working on a tight budget and with using materials that otherwise would go to waste as a very important aspect to him,' seed sowing and recycling have been key'. 'The entire path is made up of pavers from a fellow allotmenteer's old driveway' and both greenhouses, furniture in the summer house and one of the greenhouses and water trough are either secondhand or from charity shops.
Many of the plants are a haven for insects and the bees are 'everywhere'. He noted a lot of butterfly diversity when taking part in the Big Butterfly Count 2020 and believes the allotment holders are pleased with the amount of pollinators his garden attracts to the allotments.
More information - Gardeners World Magazine, March 2021, pgs 72-77.
Andy Gladman is a PhD student with Dr Dave Chandler.