Prolific Hampsthwaite gardener returns to county

Lady Christine Skelmersdale
Lady Christine Skelmersdale

A RENOWNED gardener who spent her teenage years in Hampsthwaite will return to North Yorkshire to give a talk to members of the Nidderdale Hardy Planters group.

Lady Christine Skelmersdale, then Christine Morgan, moved to Hampsthwaite in the 1960s when she was only 13-years-old.

She studied at Harrogate Grammar School before heading off to Nottingham University.

However, she returned to the village for her wedding, in the village church down by the river.

She remembers clearly: “It was an absolutely freezing cold day in February 39 years ago, but the snowdrops were flowering.”

She has been an enthusiastic gardener since childhood and has now been the managing director of award winning Broadleigh Gardens, a nursery in Somerset, which specialises in dwarf and unusual bulbs, woodland and foliage plants for nearly 40 years.

It’s in her role as a keen plant photographer and inspirational lecturer that she returns on Tuesday evening, September 13 to Yorkshire.

Her destination is Nidderdale Hardy Planters monthly meeting held in King James’s School, Knaresborough, to talk about creative gardening with bulbs.

Nidderdale Hardy Planters Group is an enthusiastic and successful club which is the brainchild of Chris Abbott, of Kelberdale.

Together with a small group of local enthusiasts, she set the club up more than 10 years ago.

It is now a lively, welcoming group where visitors are always welcome. The group meets each month from September to May in King James’s School, Knaresborough.

Activities continue throughout the summer with garden visits around the country.

More details about the club can be found by contacting Tricia Hesford at or at

Lady Skelmersdale lectures widely in Britain and abroad both on gardening topics and plants in the wild (China, Nepal etc).

Author of Creative Gardening with Bulbs (1989), she writes articles and reviews for, amongst others, The Garden, The Daily Telegraph, Gardeners’ World Magazine and is now writing a gardeners guide to bulbs for publication in 2010.

She was a member of the Council of the Royal Horticultural Society for 11 years.

At the 2009 Hampton Court Flower Show, Christine Skelmersdale was presented with the Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH) - the  RHS‘s highest award for services to horticulture.

She has made frequent television appearances and wrote and presented the bulb section on the Wisley Collections video.