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MORE MEMORIES EARLHAM PARK NURSERY

1977 - 1990

 

EARLHAM NURSERY PROPAGATION

 

EARLHAM PARK and GARDENS

 

A PASSION FOR PLANTS

 

NORFOLK COLLEGE OF HORTICULTURE 1974

 

THE ROYAL GARDENS WINDSOR 1975

 

NORWICH CITY COUNCIL

1976 - Present

 

EARLHAM PARK NURSERY

1977 - 1990

 

NORWICH IN BLOOM

 

ANGLIA IN BLOOM

 

RHS BRITAIN IN BLOOM

 

NATIONS IN BLOOM/ LIVCOM

 

B.A.S.I.S. TRAINING

 

GARDENS AND SHOWS

 

SHREWSBURY

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

 

PRESENTATION AND TALKS

 

CONTACT US AT:

terrycbane@gmail.com

Earlham Park Nurseries purpose was to annually produce approximately 250,000 bedding plants for use on roundabouts, highways, parks, gardens, cemetery and hanging baskets on lamp posts, bridges at Norwich Yacht Station, wire baskets, troughs and potted bedding were also used at commercial stands at The Royal Norfolk Show.

 

Earlham Park Nursery also produced tens of thousands of exotics, palms, ferns, pot plants and cut flowers to create weekly "Floral Decorations" at City Hall, Guildhall and many other council buildings across Norwich as well as specials in the Castle Museum each May during Lord Mayor Making. Flower arrangements, bouquets, corsages, posies and button holes were created from cut flowers grown in the greenhouses and on the nursery fields.

 

Design of summer and autumn bedding displays and hanging baskets was with Jack Baker up until 1987, then Terry Bane 1987 - 1990, Graham Hawker 1991 - 1994 then Terry Bane working in various Grounds Contract, Green Spaces and Neighbourhood roles 1994 - present, "I always encouraged everyone involved with planting and maintenance of the bedding displays to have input into what would be produced and planted at the 50 locations across the city, the gardeners working at the locations best knew the soil conditions and micro climates and what genus of bedding plants might best perform, encouraging participation and ownership also helped gain pride of each display"

 

Geranium Production in the Fernery Spring 1983

 

Norwich in Bloom Website

 

 

 

 

 

Earlham Nursery Twin Gas Boilers 1982

 

 

Earlham Nursery Back Up Electric Generator 1982

 

Stove and Propagator House controls 1982

 

 

Geranium Production in Polythene Tunnels 1988

The old greenhouses were constructed of mainly teak and cedar timber, they looked great with mainly cast iron fitments but very labour intensive, experience and skill was needed to control heating and ventilation, the cold frames took so much time pulling off, putting back on each day and more time covering with hessian sacking to insulate during colder weather.

 

Most of the nursery staff were sad to see the old greenhouses and cold frames go but pleased to see replaced by a new modern aluminium and steel complex making better use of ground and bench coverage, automatic heating and ventilation and numerous watering points, little movement to harden off plants was achieved easily by temperature control.

 

The heart of the greenhouses was the twin gas fired boilers and backup generator, adjacent outside was a huge water tank slowly mains filled overnight helping watering points keep water pressure, each greenhouse section had individual control panels for automatic heating, ventilation and lighting, a central aspirated thermostat kept each greenhouse to the correct temperature, each section had electric sockets used for electric pesticide fumigants, radios were often plugged in.

 

The cold frames were replaced by polythene tunnels with manual overhead irrigation and watering hoses, adjacent standing out ground was developed using rokolene ground cover to suppress weeds.

 

Standing Out Ground, Polythene Tunnels and Greenhouses in Kitchen Walled Garden 1989

 

 

Aspirated Thermostat amongst Marigold Production 1987

Compost making was one of the regular jobs I did from 1977 - 1987 with other younger nursery colleagues but mainly with my friend Ian Harris, the process started with soil and leaf mould sterilising, there was originally small electric soil cookers that I never got to use the amounts cooked were so small a new system and equipment were purchased.

 

Soil saved from across the city was brought in by gardeners to the top end of the nursery was brought down to the old hall out buildings near in a tractor front end bucket and tipped into a hopper by Billy Leveridge and later Bob Smith.

I usually fired up the paraffin Terraforce until a good even flame was produced, the hoppers conveyor belt  was switched on to feed soil or leaf mould into the rotating drum of the Terraforce then out the other end into a large two wheeled barrow that Ian would quickly run round to the old stables and empty whilst another barrow was filling up.

Ian and I were young and fit doing this, no need to go to the gym! at the end of each day we were covered in fine dust.

 

Compost was made as required and to preferred ratios of sterilised soil, leaf mould, purchased surrey loam, sand, peat, fertilisers and sometimes bark and charcoal, two people with shovels turned the mixes one way then back again a number of times, in the early 1980's a soil mixing machine was purchased making the process more efficient.

 

Although I like custom made compost, when I became Nursery Manager, I evaluated the process, halving the expenditure by purchasing in ready made commercial composts making production less labour intensive and efficient .

 

Rotating Soil Mixing Machine 1982

 

 

Cineraria and Calceolaria Pot Plants 1982

 

Carnation Cut Flower Production 1983

 

 

Schizanthus Pot Plant Production 1983

 

 

Floral Display at Castle Museum 1989

 

 

 

 

Floral Display at Castle Museum 1989

 

 

Lorraine Attoe Creating a Flower Arrangement 1988

 

Orchids - Cymbidium Cut Flower Production 1989

In 1977 the Floral Decorating Team were Vic Cordy, Foreman, Martin Wilkin and Driver Russell Brown, I went out to assist a couple of times but mainly for The Royal Norfolk Show with Ian Harris, cutting grass turf, mounding up using peat to form temporary structures to sink potted plants and create floral displays, the show was a huge operation with most of the nursery staff assisting leading up to and clearing after the show, many thousands of bedding and pot plants were used.

 

Lorraine Attoe (Howard) joined the nursery in the early 1980's and later became the Decorating Supervisor when Vic retired, Martin went to work with Billy Crowe at the top nursery field producing cut flowers for bouquets and arrangements.

Nigel French and later Martin Henry became assistants, Donny Brigham became Driver when Russell retired.

 

From 1987 I was aiming to encourage external income for the nursery/NCC by making more use of the resources and skills at Earlham Nursery and started to produce photographic presentation portfolios of floral Decorations, I soon realised that I needed some training to improve my photography and took City and Guilds at evening class from 1988 learning many new skills including Black and White photography processing and printing in my own home darkroom.

 

Terry Bane City & Guilds Photography 1989

Right - One of Terry's Black and White Prints

 

David Rix (Park Keeper) Retiring Photo Spring 1989

Left Side left to right - Michelle & Caroline Hill, Dorothy Rix, Anita Hill (Rix) David Rix, Roy Yull, Barry Howes and Peter Shearwood

Right Side left to right - Tony Cronin, John Attoe, Lorraine Attoe, Michael Hill, Mirelle Yellop, Bryan Webb, Martin Henry and Jack Baker

 

 

Updated 22nd December 2017 Copyright Terry and Mirelle Bane 2017 - Web Site Designer Terry Bane terrycbane@gmail.com