Get out in the garden

Undated Handout Photo of a copper rose water feature made from an old immersion heater in the reclaimed garden at Barnsdale. See PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Hannah Stephenson. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column.

Undated Handout Photo of a copper rose water feature made from an old immersion heater in the reclaimed garden at Barnsdale. See PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Hannah Stephenson. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column.

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For the last 15 years, Nick Hamilton, son of the late Geoff Hamilton, has been busy following in his father’s green-fingered footsteps.

Just wandering around some of the 38 small gardens created for TV at Barnsdale in Leicester, you can feel Geoff Hamilton’s ever-practical presence, as areas are teeming with a huge variety of plants along with practical substitutes for expensive accessories (including a circular finial made from a toilet ballcock – but you’d never know – sitting on top of a pretty, home-made obelisk).

These are all testament to Geoff Hamilton’s money-saving principles, his attitude of having a go himself at making something before shelling out on an expensive equivalent, ever aware of his audience, many of whom would have been cost-conscious.

Nick, who took over the business after his father’s death in 1996, shows me the old copper immersion heater transformed into a rose water feature in the quirky Reclaimed Garden, a typical example of his father’s ideas of economy.

Check out our garden column in this week’s Advertiser.