Claudie proves it's not all about cake at Nymans

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Claudie Timms
Volunteer Plant Centre assistant & Garden Advent Calendar coordinator
Nymans Plant Centre & Visitor Programme

I joined Nymans about four or five years ago after I saw a poster advertising volunteering. It was great timing as my previous volunteering position at Saint Catherine's hospice charity store in Horsham had just come to an end.

My first day in the Plant Centre was the last day before Arthur, the previous supervisor, left. With his departure I was thrown in at the deep end. I got to play with plants which I absolutely love.

I really enjoy my work in the Plant Centre. I spend my time tidying, taking deliveries, labelling and pricing our Nymans Collection plants.

My work with Nymans Garden Advent Calendar

I became involved with the Nymans Garden Advent Calendar after its first year. The then Visitor Services Manager asked for volunteers who would take on the running of it and Jean and I agreed. We both enjoy flower arranging and are flower club members.

Being a winter event, and an outdoor one at that, it has had its challenges. I remember one time there was a particularly hard frosty night and a bitterly cold morning followed. I bought a lump hammer and chisel and Jean and I knocked holes into the frozen ground to put in the poles we needed to install a design.

Despite many wintery adventures I enjoy co-coordinating this event. It’s great fun; we get to meet lots of people and catch up with other club members. Sometimes when we’re working early in the morning creating a design people will walk past and ask us what we’re doing and return later after strolling in the garden to discover the completed piece.

We hope we bring enjoyment and a smile to people faces, especially in December when its cold and they’ve braved the weather to go for a walk and are surprised to come across all these colourful designs.
Last year I went off to America and missed the end of the calendar so I’m looking forward to seeing the whole of advent this year. We have at least three new designers taking part - volunteers and staff at Nymans and local schools.

When I'm not at Nymans...

I’m also a member of a flower club, NADFAS, my village horticulture society and I enter our village show every year with flowers. I’m very well occupied.