Meet our Senior Gardener - Ian Clarke

Senior Gardener, Felbrigg Hall, Gardens and Estate

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Ian Clarke - Senior Gardener

Ian has worked for the National Trust for 24 years, 17 years of which have been spent caring for the gardens at Felbrigg. We talk to Ian about his experience and what it is like working here.

The dovecot and pond in the garden at Felbrigg

What is it like working at Felbrigg?

Working at Felbrigg is lovely – it is like a second family.

What is your favourite part of the Gardens?

The whole thing! It’s impossible to pick a particular part – I wouldn’t be here otherwise. I love doing the watering along the Double Borders as you notice different bits changing week to week.

What is your favourite plant?

To name just one is a massive task but I will say the Buddleja colvilei ‘Kewensis’. The flowers are in clusters of trumpet-like fuchsia flowers and are deep pink. This flowers on the previous year’s growth so careful pruning is required. Look out for this flowering in our double borders from late spring to early summer.

Not forgetting trees, the copper beech trees look stunning coming into leaf in the spring down the main drive.

What is your favourite time of year in the gardens?

Really don’t mind on the seasons, the work varies so much, in summer, spring, autumn and winter.

What is your one top gardening tip?

Hand-pick your weeds. Don’t use a hoe – you miss more than you hit.

Do you have any advice for those looking to build a gardening career?

Yes. Volunteer. It makes the difference when applying for jobs and is better than tons of qualifications.

What do you love most about working at Felbrigg?

The Team. Staff and volunteers.