Growing PoliNations: meet the nurserymen - Cian Lynch, Wyevale Nurseries!

Planting | Friday 19 August 2022
Image 09 08 2022 at 12.12

Dreamt up by Trigger and brought into reality by a standout team of horticulturalists, growers and gardening experts, the PoliNations super garden is coming together with an extraordinary amount of expertise behind it.

Sustainability is at the heart of the garden concept, along with the desire to create a vibrant, lush and colourful oasis for our festival site. We spoke with three nurserymen behind many of the trees, shrubs and plants that'll be bringing Victoria Square to life this September: read on to hear how they are approaching the project, managing sustainability and ensuring the incredible selection of flowers bloom right on time...

Part Three: Cian Lynch, Wyevale Nurseries

How long has Wyevale Nurseries been growing trees in the Herefordshire countryside, and how has your relationship to sustainable growing developed over this time?  

Wyevale nurseries is a family run business that was first established 90 years ago. We use composted waste from our tree and shrub production to help put feed and structure back into the land as well as sowing Ley crops on the fields being rested. The hedgerows and headlands around our fields are vital areas for wildlife habitats, corridors, and food sources.  

Over the years we have reduced our use of fertilizers and chemical control of pest and diseases with an increase in biological control methods such as Phytoseiulus Persimilis, a predatory spider mite that feeds on the smaller species that can potentially destroy whole crops.  

What sort of colours can we expect to see in the PoliNations super garden in September?    

You will see a wide range of shades of greens in the foliage of the trees as well as species with purple foliage and grey foliage. You will be able to see some oranges and reds from berries on some of the species and some white stems on the birch varieties.  

 Can you remember the first tree you ever planted - and how is it looking now?  

The first tree I planted was for a project with St Michael's Hospice. At the time, I had a very close family member who had cancer and so I felt this was a very personal and meaningful project to be a part of.   

The trees that we planted were Betula Utili Jaquemontii which have a striking, white bark and offer some real interest during the winter period where most trees have dropped their leaves. These are still looking magnificent and I will always remember this project for obvious reasons!  

Do trends in your tree sales tie in with the current emphasis on building natural wildlife habitats, and the greening of communal spaces?    

Currently the trend in tree sales Is toward native UK species. This is in line with the building of natural wildlife habitats. Greening of communal spaces requires a bit care, communal spaces can often be quite small and not lend themselves to large, wide spreading native plants. We can see designers using smaller growing varieties of the native species in these areas, plants such as weeping birch or fastigiate birch rather than common birch.   

What makes growing trees an enjoyable job, and what sort of skills do you need to perform the task well?    

First and foremost, you must enjoy working outside and not mind the weather conditions.  

Planning, prioritising, timing, patience, chemical knowledge, pest identification, disease identification, understanding of growth habits – and a thick skin when someone decides they do not like the beautiful specimen that you have spent 10 years growing!  

And finally, do you have a good plant fact you can share with us?   

The tree most likely to get hit by lightning is the oak tree and this is because they are notoriously larger than most other trees and often standalone in large open areas such as fields and parks!  

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