TV gardener Joe Swift pays visit to Highgate charity

Highgate residents who are eager to get their garden blooming for the summer were treated to a charity flower sale on Saturday, hosted by BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Joe Swift.

Stalls selling summer bedding, window box plants, hanging baskets, herbs and home-made chutneys and jams were set up at the rear of Grade II-listed building Furnival House, in Cholmeley Park.

It was organised by The Harington Scheme, a Highgate charity which has helped young adults with learning disabilities for over 30 years through its various gardening projects.

The day also saw Harington Scheme patron and gardening expert Mr Swift sign copies of his new book, Joe’s Small Garden Handbook.

It features garden design, maintenance and planting tips – all in a bid to help readers “create their very own personal Eden”.

Mr Swift, who lives in Islington, has designed a number of gardens for TV shows over the years – including one for Comic Relief – and won a gold medal at RHS Chelsea flower show for his design in 2012.

Simon Tye, who is the Harington Scheme’s administrator, said: “He’s got a new book out which he brought along and did a book signing, in support of us really.

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“It was also our annual spring plant sale, which is meant to get local people on site and to see what we’re doing.

“They can have some cake and tea and also buy plants if they want to.”