“Gardeners World” at Cramden Nursery.
On the 4th August Cramden Nursery had its debut tv appearance on “Gardeners World”!
It was amazing to see our nursery and beautiful Pelargoniums on national TV.
So how did it all come about?
Well the origins of this wonderful experience and national exposure were set up back in the spring of 2016. We were asked to get involved with a Pelargonium Trial that the RHS were running during the summer of 2016 at Wisely and Kew gardens. They needed different varieties of Pelargoniums to be sent down for this trial. We were very interested in the trails and happily got involved supplying them with some of our favourite varieties we grow here At Cramden Nursery.
These trials looked at plants grown in containers and in open ground. The judges graded the plants on how well they grew, how many flowers they produced and how well they performed throughout the summer. One of the varieties that we sent down, Abelina, was awarded the “RHS Garden Award of Merit”.
The RHS also wanted to take in the public’s opinions of the plants, so visitors to both gardens were encouraged to vote for their favourite varieties. Two of the varieties we sent down came in the top 3 as voted by the public, (“People’s Choice” award) these were Abelina and Flower Fairy White splash. It was great to get these results, these are varieties that we grew here at Cramden Nursery and are firm favourites with staff and customers alike.
It is from these results and awards for these plants that “Gardeners World” got in touch and wanted to know more about the specific varieties and our nursery.
On a very sunny day at the beginning of July a BBC camera crew pulled up here at Cramden Nursery. I had already had a good chat on the phone with the producer so I had a rough idea on how the interview was going to run.
Spending a whole day (yes they were here all day from 8:30am till 6:30pm) with the film crew was a real eye opener on how they put these features together.
Up until that day I had always thought of our nursery as a quiet and peaceful place, the sound man however may have had a different opinion. I had not noticed how many aeroplanes crossed over head. Filming had to be stopped for every one of them. The nursery is adjacent to a cemetery, quite neighbours you would think, apart from when the lawn mowers come in to cut the grass that is. So filming had to be stopped and the lawn mowers asked nicely if they could start at the other end of the site that morning. Thankfully they agreed and we were able to complete filming the main interview and then headed into the green houses to look at our beautiful Pelargoniums.
I had a lot of fun that day talking about my favourite varieties, explaining the different types of Pelargoniums we grew and looking at the award winning varieties from the RHS trials. The sound man however was still finding too much back ground noise to his liking. The injector we use to incorporate liquid feed into our hose pipes as we water clicks repeatedly. The moving of boxes of plants to refill benches scrapes along the trolley shelves. The bagging up of compost (we sell our own mix of compost here, it is exactly the same as what we use on all our Pelargoniums), from the potting bench with the bench squeaking every time it is lent against. Then the blinds start to move overhead to shade from the sun. The till pings and beeps with each plant sale. We got through it all with a lot of laughter, it has really made me listen more to the noises of our working nursery that I have never noticed before.
Then there was the heat, wow it was a hot day and therefore even hotter under glass, I am quite used to working under glass in this heat but it soon became apparent that the Camera crew were not, they did really well with plenty of water stops and a few breaks to find a little shade to get their heads back together.
A full day of filming and talking, re filming with more talking was quite exhausting but a lot of fun. The film crew and producer made me feel so relaxed and at ease with them, it felt like I was just chatting to them about our nursery and explaining all about Pelargoniums to just them rather than nation. It was nice to tell them all about the history of the nursery and about Dad who started it up and how we have developed and changed over the years.
By the time they packed up their Cameras they had captured lots of beautiful film footage of our nursery. The producer’s job was to now sit through it all and condense it down to a 5-6 minute feature; I didn’t envy his job they had been with us all day!
As we sat down on Friday 4th August to “Gardeners World” we were excited to see what had made the grade and what had been left on the cutting room floor. We honestly had no real idea how it was going to look and what was going to be shown or for how long. We were thrilled with the result. The crew had managed to capture our nursery and our beautiful plants perfectly. We were over the moon that they had used the picture of dad, a fitting tribute to get him on national TV.
And although I had sent them the picture of dad I was still caught out by seeing his face on the screen. I just know he would be so pleased to see the nursery and our plants on national TV.
We have been bowled over by the response from existing customers and new customers alike since the feature on “Gardener’s World”. We have had new customers coming from far and wide to visit the nursery. Local people, who had just never found our nursery before, amazed that we are actually on their door step, in their town. The website traffic has been high and the web shop busy taking pre orders for next spring delivery. So many well wishes through face book and lots of questions on Pelargoniums; from taking cuttings, identifying varieties and over wintering techniques. It has been a wonderful response and a wonderful experience.