News

Matthew Brewer, Head Gardener

This month we have welcomed our new Head Gardener, Matthew Brewer to Marwood Hill Gardens.

Matthew comes to Marwood Hill Gardens from RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate. Below is a brief introduction to Matthew outlining the skills and experience he is bringing to Marwood.

"I graduated from Writtle College, Essex in September 2010 with a BSE (Hons) degree in Horticulture.

Whist studying at Writtle I was given the opportunity to spend a year gardening on the Isles of Scilly, successfully interviewing for the Elizabeth Hess Scholarship.

I lived and worked for a year in Tresco Abbey Gardens, embracing island life, running the worlds shortest marathon, and racing in the regular gig rowing events. On Tresco, I developed a love and keen interest in Mediterranean, South African, Australian flora.

Upon graduating from Writtle College, I enrolled in a traineeship at Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) Wisley where I spent a year working alongside the woodland and floral teams gaining knowledge of herbaceous and woodland horticulture. Taking advantage of the close links between RHS Wisley and Royal Botanic Garden (RBG) Kew, I regularly attendied the Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS) Lecture Programme, so naturally in 2011 enrolled in the three-year Kew Diploma Course. Whilst at Kew, I took on the role of President of the KMIS Lecture Programme booking and hosting a wide range of prominent horticultural speakers, including a NASA astronaut talking about growing plants in space. In 2014 I graduated, after three years working across every part of the garden.

After graduating, I took a temporary gardener position with the National Trust at the idyllic Chartwell House and Gardens in Westerham, Kent, the family home of Winston Churchill.

Late in 2014, I became the Horticulturist for the Crown Estate, in The Savill Gardens, a plant paradise, a garden nestled in the centre of Windsor Great Park. Whilst at Savill Gardens I worked to redevelop the Golden Jubilee Garden as pastel coloured herbaceous border, but also spent much time developing interests and knowledge in the woodland garden.

Upon the completion and opening of the Golden Jubilee Garden, I relocated to Cambridge, taking on the role of deputy Head Gardener at Trinity Hall College, Cambridge, a temporary role as maternity cover.

Finally, in the summer of 2016 I relocated to North Yorkshire becoming a Woodland Horticulturist at the RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate. Here I spent three years developing the 20-acre woodland, opening up new areas and creating extensive new plantings. I developed and maintained the Geum Trial and was closely involved with the student and apprentice programme. In 2017 I was a finalist in the Young Horticulturist of the Year."

Matthew is already working together with the garden team to further develop the gardens. He is also keen to expand and develop the existing volunteer programme.

Indigofera howellii 'Reginald Cory' A very rare shrub with pink spikes of pea-like flowers from early June to November. Native of China. In glorious flower now in the garden. 

In late summer the garden provides a final burst of glorious colour before the quieter autumn shades appear - don't miss these treasures on your next visit.

A Taste of Honey this summer

Local beekeeper Lynne Dougall has set up a number of bee hives here at Marwood Hill Gardens and the first crop of this year's honey is now in stock in our gift shop.

With the hydrangeas in full bloom and the astilbes a riot of colour, now is an ideal time to visit the gardens.

When you are walking along the north side of the Bottom Lake, look out for the burnt sugar fragrance from the stately Cercidiphyllum japonicum pendulumin.