Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
The show house at Titsey Place

The show house at Titsey Place estate in Surrey, where Rhod Jones spent seven years as head gardener (photo: Rhod Jones).

Rhod Jones to talk on the history of greenhouses

Garden expert Rhod Jones will walk his audience through the history of greenhouses and walled gardens in a talk organised by the Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group at Hastings Museum, as press officer Lynda Foy explains.

PROJECTS like the restoration of the Alexandra Park greenhouse strengthen people’s sense of community, says Hastings gardening expert Rhod Jones.

Formerly head gardener and grounds manager at Ashburnham Place near Battle, Rhod said: “I think the biggest thing it encourages is well-being and community.”

Rhod Jones (photo: Colin Foy).

Rhod, who will talk about the History of Greenhouses and Walled Gardens at Hastings Museum on Thursday 14 March, said: “Now the roof is on the greenhouse, it’s wonderful, but it has to be looked after on a daily basis, venting and watering it.”

He added that the venture, run by Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group volunteers, complemented Transition Town Hastings (TTH), a movement to encourage sustainable living and community participation. Rhod is involved in discussion groups for TTH which has a portfolio of sustainable projects throughout the borough, including the Bohemia Walled Garden.

Rhod will also attend the seed swap (see below) at the greenhouse on 9 March, when he will be available to answer questions and give advice on planting and nurturing plants from 11am to 12 noon.

The expert, a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio, spent 20 years restoring and developing the 900-year-old estate at Ashburnham, including landscaping designed by ‘Capability’ Brown and a four-acre Victorian walled kitchen garden.

The Orangery at Ashburnham, where Rhod Jones was also head gardener and groundsman (photo: Rhod Jones).

He retired three years ago and his 46-year career also included seven years as head gardener at the Titsey Place estate in Surrey which features an historic kitchen garden.

Rhod’s talk, organised by the greenhouse group, starts at 2.30pm in Hastings Museum’s Durbar Hall. He will trace the history of glasshouses and walled gardens which were once the preserve of wealthy families.

He added: “The Victorian age made glasshouses and gardens more accessible to the general public, as opposed to them living at subsistence level. Gardening became more decorative and a more enjoyable occupation.”

Rhod gives gardening advice regularly on BBC Radio Kent’s Pat Marsh Show which is also broadcast to Sussex and Surrey on Sundays at 10am.


The History of Greenhouses and Walled Gardens: a talk by Rhod Jones Thursday 14 March, 2.30pm, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, John’s Place, Bohemia Rd, Hastings TN34 1ET. Tickets cost £10 and are available online from Alexandra Park Greenhouse Groups or at the door.

Seed swap at the greenhouse

Green-fingered visitors can bring their unwanted seeds to Alexandra Park Greenhouse, off St Helens Road, Hastings, and swap them for others on Saturday 9 March.

The first event of the year in the greenhouse will also enable visitors to donate plants for “recycling” and then buy new ones.

The free event runs from 10.30am to 1pm. More details from group’s website.

If you’re enjoying HOT and would like us to continue providing fair and balanced reporting on local matters please consider making a donation. Click here to open our PayPal donation link. Thank you for your continued support!

Posted 10:08 Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024 In: Green Times

Also in: Green Times

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us


    Get our regular digest emails

  • Subscribe to HOT