James Latham has been announced as Carmarthenshire’s Aberglasney Gardens‘ new Head Gardener.
Originally from Salisbury in Wiltshire, James graduated from Sparsholt College in Winchester with a HND in horticulture. His career has meant he has moved around the south of England from Dorset to Herefordshire.
The uniqueness of Aberglasney Gardens, coupled with the history that surrounds them, has always fascinated James, ever since his mother moved to Carmarthenshire over 20 years ago.
James’ initial plans for Aberglasney are to consolidate, refine and fine-tune the existing planting and to establish, as well as build on, the excellent work of the previous Head Gardener.
“I am looking to greatly expand on the plant collection here at Aberglasney and keep a focus on building winter interest in the Gardens to maintain all year-round appeal,” James said. “Certain areas, in particular the perennial borders, will be refreshed and revamped by the garden team over the coming year and I will look to further develop the planting in the Woodland Garden.”
James has held a number of Head Gardener positions. For 12 years he was Head Gardener at Hurdcott house in Wiltshire. He worked alongside seven-times Chelsea Gold Medal designer, Julie Toll, when he was Head Gardener at The Manor House, Ayot St Lawrence and he restored a large woodland garden, originally planted by Sir Anthony Eden when he was Head Gardener at Knoyle Place, Wiltshire.
Jim Stribling, Director of Operations at Aberglasney Gardens, said, “We are delighted to welcome James to the team. His previous experience means he will be a huge asset to the future development of Aberglasney. I would urge visitors to take the opportunity to introduce yourselves to James as we are all very excited when we listen to his ideas and future plans to enhance the Gardens.”
James recognises that training is a big part of what goes on at Aberglasney and with his Senior Horticulturalist, Dave Hand, they are looking to update and enhance the Gardens’ training programme, particularly for students on the Aberglasney Bursary Scheme. He also wants to build a feeling of inclusiveness across the whole garden team, including the army of volunteer gardeners.
Aberglasney was made famous by the BBC television series “A Garden Lost in Time” which followed its restoration. The Gardens, Mansion house, Shop and Tearooms are open every day except Christmas Day. Visitors can explore over 20 different garden styles from formal to woodland, right through to exotic and modern along with the fully restored ground floor of Aberglasney’s grade II* listed mansion.
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