hello from Chorley,Lancashire, England

Submitted by Tony Willis on

Hello from Chorley in Lancashire where I have gardened for the past eighteen years. Prior to that we were in Nottingham a very dry area .My garden is about 20 miles from the sea and sits on top of the first hill in from the coast at about 300ft. This creates a micro climate and although it is a mild area, apart from this winter, I get a lot of SW gales and it rains most days of the year. I grow lots of bulbs with my main collection being crocus and cyclamen but masses of other hardy ones. I have recently increased my collection of lilies and hardy orchids. Because of the wet these are grown in glasshouses and frames and even there the constant humidity is a challenge. On the other hand it gives me a real benefit when growing some of the more demanding subjects requiring cool moist air.

Although I dislike actual gardening I really enjoy the results. My wife is as keen and more knowledgeable than me in the garden, by this I mean she enjoys weeding and she can remember the plant names, and our interests are perennials woodland plants trees and shrubs, in other words anything which will grow with us.

We both enjoy travel and have been to most of the European mountains and we travel to the USA each year looking at plants. In addition I have been to Turkey (twenty times) Greece (fifteen times) and Chile. We both think nothing is better than seeing a plant in its natural habitat.


Submitted by Weiser on Thu, 02/03/2011 - 15:44

Nice to meet you Tony.
I look forward to your posts.
Our climates are very differant but it's fun to see what other gardeners around the world grow. I am most interested in the hardy orchids you are growing and your experiences trotting the globe.


Submitted by Tony Willis on Thu, 02/03/2011 - 16:20


thank you for the welcome,I know Paul of course from the Scottish Rock forum where I am a member.

My selection of orchids are mostly European with a couple from N America and a number of ophrys and cypripediums.I shall post pictures as they flower but at the moment we are still in winter.

I usually put up some pictures of my travels when they take place. The next one is a week in Spain hopefully looking at narcissus and orchids at the beginning of April.

Submitted by Mark McD on Tue, 02/08/2011 - 09:12

Hi Tony, a belated Welcome to the NARGS Forum.  Due to an internet problem I could not access the NARGS site for about a week, so I'm just catching up now. 

Similar to knowing Paul from SRGC, we too know each other from SRGC :)  Your comment "Although I dislike actual gardening I really enjoy the results" is one of the more amusingly honest takes on gardening I've seen.  As much as I love gardening when the season allows, contrary to most gardeners who suffer from cabin fever in winter and lament their inability to garden, I like nothing better that a 4 month long vacation from physical gardening to focus on other things, if not virtual gardening & armchair botanizing.

Looking forward to seeing some of your travelogues here on NARGS.

Submitted by Hoy on Tue, 02/08/2011 - 10:40

Hello Tony, I am looking forward to your posts here as well! Seems you beat me in travelling >:( Have you ever been in the eastern parts of Turkey?
Your climate are somewhat like mine here at the west coast of Norway but you probably have warmer summers :-\

Submitted by Tony Willis on Sun, 03/13/2011 - 15:27


sorry I have only just seen your post with the question about Turkey.

yes I have been both to the NE around Artvin and down to the SE just beyond Van. Both those times were many years ago and I am hoping to repeat the NE trip in May this year. Both visits were excellent for plants. I have also been to the Hatay in the south along the Syrian border. That area was not a success as I went at my usual time in May and it was to late,very hot and baked dry. The plants had already gone dormant. The highlight of that however was Helleborus vesicarius in fruit. A couple of pictures of in the wild