Sandy's Garden ... Who is Peter McDermott?

Peter McDermott – do you recognize the name?

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 1:28 pm

You should, for his photograph appears in the Falkirk Herald every week nowadays and his name always accompanies his photograph.

His photograph … and name … also feature virtually every day in the national newspaper which I read.

Peter McDermott’s picture appeared no less than six times in last week’s Herald, on six different pages.

Falkirk Herald gardening guru Sandy Simpson

No, he’s not one of the stars of Falkirk Sheriff Court and no, he’s not that councillor whose name you can never remember – you know, him from Bainsford or is it Bonnybridge?

And he’s not a regular first-team member of Falkirk Football Club, nor a local lad who’s doing well at Ibrox.

Peter McDermott. Where does that name appear in the Herald?

Does the fact that Klondike Garden Centre, Torwood Garden Centre, New Hopetoun Garden Centre, Rouken Glen, The Mill Garden Centre, Bonnyview Nursery and the several other local garden centres and plant nurseries are all temporarily closed to the public by reason of government restrictions to control the Covid-19 pandemic help you to identify Peter?

It hints very strongly he is in the horticultural trade and it narrows that somewhat to the likelihood that he is in a branch of the horticultural trade which is still flourishing in Scotland.

And that suggests that he is engaged in the horticultural mail order business.

Yes, that’s it! Peter McDermott is described as the ‘Head Gardener’ in frequent advertisements for a Peterborough-based company which fulfils orders for plants sent in by telephone, by mail or via the world wide web. And yes, we do need such firms at this time.

I have written that ‘Peter is described as the ‘Head Gardener.’ If you look up ‘Meet the Team’ on that firm’s website, you will find Peter McDermott described as, and I quote, ‘"Head Gardener" or Managing Director!’

Ah-hah! Perhaps he’s not really a gardener! But read on and you will discover that, and again I quote, ‘Peter has spent almost 30 years in the horticultural industry, spending many of those years getting his hands dirty and actually growing things for a living. … Growing up on his family nursery in South Devon, where he and his father grew over 300 varieties of fuchsia and geranium as well as various cut-flower crops including perpetual carnations, Peter developed a real understanding of plants and how to grow them successfully’.

Right. Peter is a real gardener. ‘Having our own nursery means we are constantly in close contact with our plants and we even grow some of our own, or pot on smaller plants to give them time to establish before becoming available to buy.’ He is real … not a figment of an advertiser’s imagination … and he merits the title, ‘Head Gardener.’

But, while wishing Peter well, I shall quote these words from The Press & Journal: ‘Leading gardeners have penned an open letter calling for the reopening of garden centres.

Representatives from across the sector have asked the Scottish Government to consider bringing in the change by the end of March. The Horticulture Trades Association says the move is vital for improving wellbeing and helping the hard-pressed Scottish industry.’ Amen!