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Members & their Greenhouses
Tony Willoughby

   Tony lives in Nailsea, North Somerset, mid way between Bristol and Weston super Mare.  While always having magnificent summer floral displays, highlighted by cascading Impatiens (Busy Lizzie), he started to take a real interest and specialise in begonias some five years ago.

      Initially he grew them in his 6 x 8 cedar wood green house but things expanded from there.  Being a skilled carpenter he constructed a covered walk way, approximately 36 x 8, down the side of his bungalow, which now acts as a shade house.  Staging some 3 wide, with tiers, run all the way down the wall, with propagation faculties at one end. The cedar wood greenhouse is now utilised for cuttings and other miscellaneous plants.
   Three years ago there was the opportunity to acquire a 14 x 8 green galvanised Rhino greenhouse.  The problem was it was 20 miles away.  No problem to a determined begonia grower!  Tony almost single handedly dismantled the greenhouse, carefully marking and numbering the components, and then transported back to Nailsea in a small trailer.  Mission was successful completed with no damage whatsoever.
   After building the base, came the jigsaw to put it all together again.  This was done on the lawn, again, single handedly, and when complete, with the help of some friends, it was lifted on to the base.  Naturally it fitted perfectly, it was level, so glazing was completed without too much trouble.  It is heated, when required, by a Wee Willie propane gas heater and now has an electric cable run to it.
   Tony grows mainly single stem begonias and is a great supporter of local and regional shows.  He regularly exhibits at the SW Regional Show held at Bideford North Devon.  Additionally he shows at the local Nailsea Show in early August and the Clevedon show, some three miles away, at the end of August.
   This year, at the Clevedon Show, it his aim to enter a table display class, which is open to societies and clubs, 6 x 46 which he estimates will take 24 pots.  Tony is naturally working on the framework to make it something different.  The only problem is that his begonias are advanced this year so he will be looking to his friends to assist with the display plants which he hopes will publicise begonias and the NBS to the general public.
   Tony advocates that all members try to attend a local NBS, hopefully to show, but if not, to visit.  The knowledge Tony has gained from experienced growers, who are always available to share their enthusiasm and experience has proved so invaluable to him. 

Pictures and text by Basil Billinger  July 2007


Inside the main greenhouse.


Outside view of greenhouses.

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Inside cedar G/H. Cutting tubers, Firedance & Rex.


General view walkway/shade house.


Linda Jackson.


Propagation facilities.


Vera Coates.


Sea Coral


Mrs E McLauchlan.


Yellow Elegance.


Dorothy White.


Beryl Spurr.

THE SOUTH WEST AREA

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