The prize for the longest journey undertaken to attend Glee this year must go to Tim and Jan Miller…who travelled 18 hours in an RAF passenger jet from the Falklands!
Tim and Jan set up Stanley Nursery & Garden Centre on the island in the late 1980s and have been visiting Glee on average very other year for the past 20 years to buy stock.
Jan has day to day responsibility for the garden centre (turnover c£150,000) that serves the islands’ population of 3000, while Tim takes care of Stanley Growers, its sister market garden business.
Tim was born and bred in the islands. In fact, his great great grandfather, who once served in the Household Cavalry, was among those tasked by Queen Victoria to “go forth and colonise my Empire”.
Tim and Jan Miller on the Dalefoot stand with Pauline Lewington.
Tim says there is no shortage of keen gardeners in the Falklands, despite weather conditions that can be harsh at times. While conditions are generally similar to the Western Isles off the Scottish coast, the combination in spring (our autumn) of predictably strong winds and sunshine scorches the new growth of deciduous trees, making wind fencing or hedging essentials for gardeners. Summer temperatures rarely reach the mid-20s C, while winters can leave the peat-over-clay soil saturated in winter, with temperatures only occasionally falling below zero.
Among the couple’s purchases at Glee are Johnsons seeds from the Mr Fothergill’s group and composts from Westland…but they were showing a keen interest at Glee today in the range of wool composts from Dalefoot (18K57).]
On Sunday, the couple board another RAF jet for the long journey home, broken only by a comfort break in the Ascension Isles, with the Falklands spring just around the corner.