The Barbados Horticultural Society in association with
the Caribzones group of websites, was host to a lively lecture and slide
show at the society's Balls Plantation headquarters.
Gwyn Perry, renowned British horticulturalist, illustrated her interesting
and informative lecture with a wide variety of slides depicting
Documenting her visit to Barbados, taking photographs in Flower
Gwyn plans to use the information she obtained in Barbados to give some
interesting lectures on Barbados' horticulture.
Anything to brighten up a dull British winter evening!
been Head Gardener of Margam Park, Port Talbot, South Wales, since January
Gwyn's interest in gardening started at the age of 4 through the encouragement
of her grandparents. She was lucky enough to be taught how to whip-and-tongue
graft at school at the age of 14. From this point, everything she has
done has been designed to make her a better gardener. This has included
a pre-college working year, a one-year and three-year full time course
at Askham Bryan College, York, and attendance at many conferences and
courses since qualification.
Her first job in 1978 was as Gardener Grade II working in the gardens
at Wakehurst Place, part of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She gained
promotion to Gardener Grade I in 1979, working in the Physiology Nursery
growing herbarium specimens and regenerating seeds for the Seed Bank.
From 1984 she worked as Propagator in charge of the Living Collections
Nursery at Wakehurst Place.
In 1986 she moved to become Head Gardener at Rockingham Castle in Leicestershire.
The castle has been occupied by the same family for over 400 years and
is where Charles Dickens wrote Bleak House. The garden is famous for its
1989 saw Gwyn head for Wales to become Garden Supervisor at Dyffryn. This
is an 80-acre estate with a 25-acre arboretum, and a series of garden
'rooms' designed by Thomas Mawson, containing many unusual plants.
In 1991 she became Head Gardener at Heale House, Middle Woodford, near
Salisbury in Wiltshire. This is a lovely English garden of some 8 acres
lying beside the river Avon. It has a genuine Japanese garden and many
rare and unusual plants.
Her current job as Head Gardener at Margam Park sees a return to Wales.
Margam is owned by Neath-Port Talbot Council and boasts the largest Orangery
in Europe. Gwyn's major objective is to complete the rejuvenation of the
gardens which are set in over 850 acres of parkland. Work has already
started, with the construction of a koi pond and the replanting of borders.
Fuchsia Research International houses its collection of species fuchsias
in the Citrus House. Gwyn has plans to replant the collection of rhododendrons
originally brought to England by Frank Kingdon-Ward, one of the great
plant collectors. To this end she is taking part in a plant collecting
expedition to China later this year.
She is a member of the Professional Gardeners' Guild which has led her
to undertake a study tour to Madeira. She has also lectured in America:
as key-note speaker at the Master Gardeners' Conference at Michigan State
University in June 1997; and Guest Lecturer at Modesto Garden Club, California,
in March 1999. She has also been technical adviser for a book on hanging
baskets and containers.