GARDENING expert and plant hunter Roy Lancaster will be meeting gardeners at a Kingswinford nursery on Saturday to help raise money for the Beacon centre for the Blind.

Roy, one of the greats of British gardening and a popular former TV gardener, will chat with visitors at the opening of John Massey's garden at Ashwood Nurseries, near Kingswinford, on Saturday April 22 after giving a lecture at the nursery in the morning which has already sold out.

Nursery owner Mr Massey opens his garden at the back of Ashwood Nurseries regularly through the seasons and this year the takings will go to the Beacon Centre, which is based in Stourbridge and Wolverhampton.

John and Roy have been friends for many years and the great plant hunter has praised the work at the nursery that has led to it winning 52 gold medals at Royal Horticultural Society shows, including three at the Chelsea Flower Show.

John said: “Roy is a respected plantsman, plant explorer, broadcaster, writer – as well as being a very special national treasure in the gardening world.

“He has made a huge contribution to the joy that gardeners feel in their gardeners by introducing a wide range of plants into cultivation and has received numerous awards for his contribution to horticulture.

“Everyone who meets him is amazed at his easy and kindly manner and wonders at his vast knowledge and love of the natural world and I know visitors to the garden will enjoy the chance to see him here.”

John’s Garden – described by another TV gardener Carol Klein as the “best loved” she has visited – has helped to raise more than £300,000 for charities in recent years.

It is currently awash with colour - boasting tulips, narcissi, erythroniums, trilliums and snakeshead fritillaries as well as two plant families that helped John win golds at Chelsea - hepaticas and lewisias.

John’s amelanchier collections and the Crab Apple Walk will also be in bloom and the eye-catching Anemone pavoninas will be putting on a show of colour too.

John Massey's garden is located Ashwood Nurseries at Ashwood Lower Lane, Kingswinford DY6 0AE.

It will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday - with Roy due to attend between 2pm and 4pm.

Admission is £5 for adults and free for children.

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