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NEILMUIR1 wrote: Dear Sue, whilst doing my apprenticeship, one had to do every job, from hard landscaping, soft landscaping, parks, estates, the Civic buildings, greenhouse work, propagation of the bedding, and college.
So after seven years hard work, which I loved; the council made the worst mistake they had ever made, and indeed now deeply regret.
They made us all redundant, not just the people who had or were in training, everyone.
People who had worked in the same park for forty years, it as a sad day.
All that knowledge and experience totally gone.
All the people who had won Chelsea medals, sacked. I had won a Silver at Chelsea for my college, so I left it with the college and refused to give it to the council, for they wanted it as they had paid for me to go to college.
They took on contractors and paid them little money, not that you get much as a gardener anyway, the result was catastrophic and still is.
A total mess everywhere.
I was working in the greenhouses in the last days, and the old foreman was not happy at all.
As I was a good pupil and had learnt a lot, been promoted to a charge-hand, he called me into the hot house! We had lots of different greenhouse of course.
The gardening staff had collected all the plants from the Civic suite and brought them back to the nursery.
So he asked me if their was any plants I wanted, I was shocked, but he was adamant that the contractors would not get his and ours work.
My mother has a conservatory so I got some Lemons. Oranges. Limes.
He grew Tree ferns from the spores, so I got two of them, some Olive trees and a nice Nepenthes,
There were loads of other things he wished me to have like a stags horn fern, Acer's and azaleas, yes we grew them outside as well.
I still have a lot of them, and my mothers citrus trees have never let her down.
I bought a palm as I knew what it was very cheaply down our local market, as the stall owner does not know plants.
So I enclose a picture I took this morning of my Canary Island Date Palm.
p.s. I have a new camera and I am not quite used to it yet!