Texan Garden Blooms | Meet Bedford Heights Head Gardener, Dave Boyd

July 29, 2020/0/0

It may have been a little quieter here over the last few months, but the Texan Garden continues to be positively blooming, all thanks to the hard work of our Head Gardener Dave Boyd. We recently caught up with Dave to find out more about the different plants and flowers on display and to get to know the person who keeps them looking their best, day in and day out. Read what Dave has to say below about his role as Head Gardener at Bedford Heights and his love for gardening.

The Texan Garden is looking amazing at the moment; can you tell us a little more about it?
The main garden takes the form of a dried river bed surrounded by a grass and wild flower based prairie and this reflects the building’s history with Texas Instruments. I worked alongside Graham Pavey, and Shane Hodson on the planting scheme and we’ve used quite a few native Texan plants of which you’d usually see in the Chihuahuan Dessert, so we knew the plants we chose had to be hardy and robust to withstand the British weather. It looks especially striking at the moment with the contrast of the bright Agapanthus (African Lilies) and Crocosmia (Montbretia) alongside the cobblestoned riverbed and ornamental statement pieces such as the Panicum Virginicum.

What is your background?
I’ve always had a keen interest in gardens and landscaping from a young age, its followed me over the years and it’s something that’s stuck with me. After studying Transport Design at Huddersfield University, I worked for a hard landscaping and fencing company for a short while before starting an apprenticeship in soft landscaping at Thorpe Park. I worked there for 7 years, it was a great place to work and I had the opportunity to get involved in many of their conservation projects. I mainly worked on their ornamental gardens which is where my love of tropical plants started. I would always be surrounded by banana trees, big ferns and bamboo plants.

What does a typical day look like for you?
At this time of year, I’m usually focusing on maintaining the lawns at Bedford Heights. I’m currently on to the second lot of fertilising of the courtyards at the moment, they can get a bit out of control at this time of year and can take more looking after than you’d imagine. On a typical morning I’d usually do an overall check of the garden and courtyards and then I’d move on to specific tasks including tidying up and cleaning of certain areas. There’s always something to keep me busy.

What do you love most about your job and what qualities does it take to be a gardener?
I like surprises! I love an oddball plant that decides to germinate when I really wasn’t expecting it to thrive at all. I like finding plants that are resilient and give back more than they can take. You’ve got to have patience when it comes to this job, and resilience too. You learn by your mistakes, it’s all trial and error really.

What is your favourite plant at Bedford Heights?
I’m a bit of a jungle lover really but my favourite plant here is the Agave Americana Variegata which is in the Graze Courtyard. I’ve had to nurture it a fair bit over the years but I’ll soon be dividing the runner plants to repot and plant elsewhere around the site.

We’d love to know what your garden is like at home; can you tell us more?
I’m a bit obsessed with gardening to be honest so it doesn’t end at work. My garden is Japanese themed and I spend a lot of time working on it. I’ve planted Musa basjoo which is known as Japanese banana. They can grow quite tall and have huge leaves so give a lot of privacy and depth to a garden.

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