Robin (Bob) Roberts – a brief history:
I grew up on a fruit farm in Norfolk and had my own garden as a child. At 8 years old, I started a collection of cacti in an 8′ x 12′ greenhouse, many of which were brought back in my wash bag from holidays abroad. I also grew many other types of plants.
I gained my Horticulture degree in 1973 at Wye College, London University.
I managed the family farm growing apples and some pears. Following our entry into the Common Market I began to diversify into dessert plums and strawberries. Later on, I propagated my own strawberry plants using mist irrigation under polytunnels.
I attended many study tours to Holland, Belgium and Germany to learn the latest methods in fruit tree growth control by training and pruning.
Later on, I added Asparagus, Courgettes and Purple Sprouting Broccoli to the mix and to spread the harvest season.
I was probably the first person in the UK to raise Asparagus from seed in containers (in commercial quantities) and then plant it straight out into the harvest field rather than digging up 1 year old seedlings ….. (damaging the roots) and then planting them in the harvest field.
In very late 1996, I moved with my family to London, having decided to throw no more good money after bad. I started Apple Garden Services in the early spring of 1997 . I keep it a fairly small operation as I like to be “hands on” and have no great desire to become a manager or wear a suit. So I am able to continue “playing with plants” which fulfills me. In fact I tend our garden and greenhouse at the weekends!
I now live in St Leonards and work all around East Sussex.