Jimi wel­comes Gar­den­ers’ World to Hunt­ing Brook

Bray People - - NEWS -

BLESSINGTON hor­ti­cul­tur­al­ist and gar­den de­signer Jimi Blake en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time as Hunt­ing Brook Gar­dens – his pride and joy – fea­tured on the BBC’s renowned tele­vi­sion se­ries Gar­dener’s World last Wed­nes­day, July 19.

The 20-acre gar­den has been an on­go­ing labour of love for Jimi for 15 years and he has been a fan of the TV show for even longer.

‘ They got in touch about six weeks ago and said that they wanted to visit. Carol Klein, who is a pre­sen­ter on the show, has taught course here so she was aware of Hunt­ing Brook and that is how it came about,’ Jimi ex­plained.

His re­fresh­ing ap­proach to his work struck a chord with pre­sen­ter Monty Don who was in­trigued by Jimi’s pas­sion for tram­polin­ing – which he does daily and uses as an ef­fec­tive way to ex­am­ine his work from dif­fer­ent an­gles.

‘I have al­ways loved ex­er­cise and wanted to find some­thing that I could in­cor­po­rate eas­ily into my work­ing life. Ev­ery morn­ing I put on some mu­sic and go out on the tram­po­line. I move it to what­ever part of the gar­den I am work­ing in and when I am bounc­ing I can see what needs more work or im­prove­ment,’ Jimi said.

Jimi’s pas­sion for all things gardening is ev­i­dent and he has years of ex­pe­ri­ence to his credit. He trained in the Botanic Gar­dens in Dublin and also spent 11 years work­ing on Air­field Es­tate in Dun­drum be­fore re­lo­cat­ing home to Blessington to cre­ate Hunt­ing Brook Gar­dens ad­ja­cent to his fam­ily’s farm.

As well as be­ing open to the public as a beau­ti­ful at­trac­tion, the gar­den is used for teach­ing and Jimi runs plenty of cour­ses through­out the year. The next one takes place on Septem­ber 9.

When he isn’t at work in the gar­den or teach­ing, Jimi spends as much time as he can on the move, col­lect­ing un­usual and rare plants from other hor­ti­cul­tur­al­ists or sup­pli­ers or swap­ping with other en­thu­si­asts.

In­deed Hunt­ing Brook Gar­dens is home to some rather rare plants which Jimi says you won’t see very of­ten in this coun­try.

Ac­cord­ing to Jimi the Gar­dener’s World pro­gramme did the place jus­tice and ‘re­ally cap­tured the essence of the place.’

He was also sur­prised by how quickly the news spread on so­cial me­dia. ‘You for­get how ac­ces­si­ble ev­ery­thing is through dif­fer­ent plat­forms. I do a good bit on Face­book but I was get­ting loads of lovely mes­sages through In­sta­gram. It just goes to show the power of so­cial me­dia.’

Dur­ing his visit to the gar­dens Gar­den­ers’ World pre­sen­ter Monty Don said Hunt­ing Brook was ‘end­lessly be­guil­ing’ and added that ‘no mat­ter how many times you visit, you will al­ways find Hunt­ing some­thing Brooktm here.’ Gar­dens are open to the public from Wed­nes­day to Satur­day from 11 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is €6 for adults and free for chil­dren.

Monty Don from BBC’s Gar­den­ers’ World with Jimi Blake at Hunt­ing Brook Gar­dens in Blessington.

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