Cal­i­for­nia Gar­den­ers’ Club

The Wokingham Paper - - SOCIETY - LYNN POTTS

FIFTY€SEVEN mem­bers were present to lis­ten to Ray Nor­ton give a talk about Pud­ding Lane Nurs­ery.

In the early 1970’s, ex-army of­fi­cer Ray Nor­ton and his wife bought 12½ acres of land in his home village of Ar­bor­field to be­gin liv­ing ‘The Good Life’.

They bought cat­tle and chick­ens and sold cab­bages, sweet­corn and Christ­mas trees to the pub­lic while liv­ing in a

car­a­van on site.

How­ever, it was the hor­ti­cul­tural side of the busi­ness which be­gan to thrive and Pud­ding Lane Nurs­ery was es­tab­lished

Be­gin­ning with conifers, they moved on to shrubs and trees gain­ing a rep­u­ta­tion for Ja­panese ac­ers.

They in­tro­duced ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems and sprin­klers and soon were sell­ing bed­ding plants, gar­den ac­ces­sories, pots and stat­ues.

The nurs­ery and land­scape busi­ness now se­cure, Ray is en­cour­ag­ing wildlife into the re­main­ing land. Field­fares, Red­wings, Tawny Owls and a Barn Owl are all welcome visitors.

He has also in­vited lo­cal api­arists to site their bee hives on the land.

He fin­ished off his talk with slides of dif­fer­ent plant­ing schemes and ex­am­ples of hard land­scap­ing.

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