EDP Norfolk - - Gardens -

I was 15,” he re­calls. “Peter of­fered me the chance and I jumped at it. And I’ve been com­ing ever since.”

In 2015 the stand con­tained about 120 va­ri­eties and nearly 1,000 plants in to­tal, all brought on by fel­low nurs­ery­man Michael Bald­win, who is re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing the growth rate. In prac­tice this means be­ing around the glasshouse­s from March un­til May at all hours of the day and night, open­ing and clos­ing vents as nec­es­sary. “He’s there at mid­night and then again at 5am,” says Ian. “It’s a pas­sion: you just have to live it and breathe it.”

The de­sign for their stand in the Great Pav­il­ion is chang­ing for 2016, as last year’s was sold to a pri­vate buyer. “Usu­ally we use the same con­struc­tion for around three years,” says Ian. “But last year it found a per­ma­nent rest­ing place in a gar­den in the Cotswolds. This time I’m go­ing for a kind of castle­shaped bothy as a cen­tre-piece, with arches and obelisks sur­round­ing it to show off the roses to their best ad­van­tage.”

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