A YOUNG Stourbridge gardener is growing a reputation as one to watch in the world of horticulture.
Gardening may not be the hobby of choice for most twenty-somethings - but for Adam Greathead nothing beats tending his beloved allotment patches.
The green-fingered 22-year-old took on his first plot at South Road Allotments at the tender age of 12 and since then he’s been a constant gardener.
These days he has two allotment patches at Charles Road Allotments where he grows his own produce for exhibitions and culinary use.
He also keeps chickens and ducks - and has given many veteran growers a run for their money, having won a plethora of cups, shields and medals at horticultural shows across the Black Country and Worcestershire.
Adam, who works at Highdown Nurseries, Sugarloaf Lane, said: “Many people find it unusual as there are not many members of the younger generation which have such an interest in gardening but I would love to encourage more people my age to give gardening a go.”
Currently vice-chairman of Wollaston Allotment Association and a member of the National Vegetable Society, Adam specialises in vegetables but also grows exhibition xanths.
He is also letting officer for Wollaston Allotment Association - responsible for overseeing and renting out 100 plots; and a member of Wollaston Gardeners’ Guild committee - taking on the role of vegetable judge at monthly meetings, having won an award for ‘best vegetable basket’ every year since he started exhibiting.
Despite the wet weather that has plagued summertime and put produce two to three weeks behind schedule, he says he has still managed to cultivate a good batch of crops which will be in prime condition for shows later in the season.
He is currently getting ready to exhibit at the NVS Midland branch championships in Shrewsbury on August 10 and 11, as well as working towards the Guild’s annual show on September 1 to which he’d like to entice new exhibitors - “especially the young’uns”.
He said: “I have been involved with a small select few putting together three new classes for our new children’s section and I'm happy to say St James of Wollaston have agreed to enter this year. My aim is to get several more schools involved to keep the tradition of our show going.”
To help encourage more people new to gardening to display their produce, Adam has also been offering top tips on “growing for showing” on his internet blog - babyface-growandshow.blogspot.co.uk
Currently waiting to find out how he’s got on in the Garden News Gardener of the Year, Young Gardener of the Year and Best Container of the Year awards - modest Adam puts his success down to the help and guidance he’s received from fellow allotment holders and Guild members.
He said: “They are like my second family now and we are all close friends. I am very grateful for all their help.”
As a thank you to the Guild he and fellow grower John McPhee have sported a brand new silver salver which they presented to the organisation to be awarded to the winner of this year’s Best Vegetable Basket.
Due to the rising trend for allotments there is currently a long waiting list for plots at the Charles Road site, which backs off South Road Playing Fields.
But anyone interested in going on the list or wanting to find out more can call 07738 209076.