Jez was invited to speak on Friday 20th July at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Tatton Park Flower Show in their brand new Bee Hive Theatre.
Visitors from across Europe flock to the show to listen to some of gardening’s favourite voices from BBC Gardener’s World and BBC Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question Time.
With an estimated 65,000 visitors, the Bee Hive Theatre was a new addition to the popular Cheshire flower show this year to showcase everything about everyone’s favourite pollinator, bees. Including talks from renowned beekeepers and scientists, Gill Perkins from The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Kate Bradbury, Jez’s talk was a huge success and although cut by organisers last minute from the original 45 minutes to just 20, it still drew a standing room only crowd as Jez explained his decision to purchase a derelict farm and re-instate it as a pollinator-friendly site, which has become home to their honey farm.
Jez’s energy and enthusiasm for nature and gardening, coupled with the photos of the bare concrete and grass farm when they moved in compared to photos of the huge amount of work they have carried out drew audible gasps and applause as he detailed the planting decisions they have made based on the needs of pollinators, why the best plants for your garden happen to also be bee-friendly, insights into the gardens they have created at the farm, including: rose borders, vegetable and fruit garden, jewel garden, cut flower and cottage garden borders, herb garden, wild flower meadow orchard, colour borders and a jungle/woodland area – as Jez explained that he is trying to create “the Harrod’s food hall for pollinators” or “Disneyland for bees”, the audience listened attentively, many taking notes.
Wrapping up, Jez explained why he believes beekeeping is the new gin and tonic, to much laughter and agreement from the audience present, and how “outside space owners” (Jez explained that for some people the thought of being a gardener was too much responsibility and if they didn’t identify with that title, tended to ignore gardening advice) were in the perfect position to make a very real difference to the decline of the honeybee and to pollinators everywhere, by simply thinking differently about planting and gardening.
Jez Rose is a broadcaster, award-winning author, speaker, bee farmer and tea drinker. He describes himself as an “unconventional gardener”. For more information visit www.JezRose.co.uk and for free planting advice for the best bee-friendly plants, in association with award-winning garden designer Adam Frost, visit the blog at www.BeesforBusiness.com