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.

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.