Rosemoor curator to leave post after two decades

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts who set out on projects often intend to stick with them through the long term.

However, outgoing Rosemoor curator Chris Bailes admitted that when he walked through the gates of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) site in 1988, he would never have suspected that he would still be there 22 years later.

The expert will step down from his post at the end of this month and will be replaced by current garden manager Jonathan Webster.

Mr Bailes has overseen the moulding of Rosemoor into one of the top horticultural attractions in the UK, attracting more than 140,000 people per year.

He and some of his team have been involved since day one, helping to build not only the garden, but the infrastructure and buildings.

The curator noted how he was "less than impressed with the yellowy-grey poorly structured soil I found" when digging holes to test the ground on his first day.

The fact that each of these developed a pool of standing water within just a few hours gave further cause for concern and highlighted how hard he and his team would have to work over the coming years to get the garden up to its current standard.
Rosemoor is one of a number of top RHS sites, which include Garden Wisley and Harlow Carr.