'It's a privilege to work at Myddelton House'
PUBLISHED: 10:31 05 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:42 20 February 2013
Five minutes with Andrew Turvey, the new Head Gardener at Myddelton House Gardens, Enfield
Andrew Turvey is the new Head Gardener at Myddelton House Gardens in Enfield and took up the post after working for the Royal Horticultural Society. Here he explains what changes are in store for the gardens
Where did your interest in gardening come from?
It began in 1996 when I watched aTV programme called The Lost Gardens of Heligan. It was covering the restoration project on the gardens that had been lost since World War II. I was fascinated by the programme and my interest in horticulture began.
How long did you work at RHS Wisley?
In total I worked at RHS Wisley for four-and-a-half years. I was a trainee gardener and then a horticultural advisor.
What attracted to you work at Myddelton House Gardens?
It has been my dream to work on my own restoration project, and now
I am, 13 years after I first watched the restoration of The Lost Gardens
of Heligan on television.
How are the gardens at RHS Wisley different to Myddelton House Gardens?
The main difference is the size. RHS Wisley is 240 acres, where Myddelton House Gardens are six acres. There is a strong link between the RHS and Edward Augustus Bowles (creator and former owner of Myddelton House Gardens) who devoted much of his life to the development of horticulture and chaired and sat on many of the RHS committees for over 50 years.
What are your first projects at Myddelton House Gardens?
We have a huge project taking place at the moment as Lee Valley Regional Park Authority has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant of 487,500 for Myddelton House Gardens to complete elements of the Conservation Management Plan. We are going to re-instate the Kitchen Garden and create a visitor centre displaying artefacts found in the garden. The project is to be completed by 2011 and will add a new dimension with a fruit and vegetable garden. We will also be adding a visitor and heritage centre.
What are your future aims for the Gardens?
I hope to reinstate the rock garden at the bottom of the alpine meadow as this will complete the garden. As a temporary measure, I am looking to introduce pigs into the kitchen garden to help with the clearance. I will hopefully be borrowing these from Hayes Hill Farm, Waltham Abbey. However, I would permanently like to house chickens in the gardens.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job has to be working in a historical garden that has such horticultural merit. Being able to restore Myddelton House Gardens back to its original state is a massive privilege which I am thrilled to be part of, as well as working alongside such knowledgeable and experienced staff.