Algarkirk nurserymen let the bees do the selling

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Plants with a purpose is the main ethos of John Cullen Gardens.

John grows plants with three key characteristics: pollinators, scent and taste, and when it comes to pollinators, he grows a range of plants that will attract specific species.

The plants will be on display when John and Hugh Hay Faulds take part in this year’s RHS shows.

One of the innovations that John has designed for the shows is something he calls a ‘pollinator hotel’. Things like twigs, moss, pine cones, lotus heads and wooden blocks with holes for bees are layered inside a metal gabion basket. The layers are topped by either dried heads, teasels, hydrangea heads, alliums or sea holly, depending on the season, creating a striking display that could be used even in the smallest of gardens.

Although the pair have been invited to exhibit in the floral marquee at Cardiff and Tatton Park, they confess they actually prefer being in outdoor spaces.

John says: “There is nothing nicer for us than arriving, putting the garden up, and within an hour we have bees swarming all over us. The bees sell the plants for us.”