Christine Walkden
Gardening expert Christine Walkden (front centre) with, left to right, Flower Pod volunteer Anna Joyce, Barbara Armstrong, Mike Armstrong, horticultural manager Amanda Urmson and centre manager Jane Hufton. Photograph: Contributed.

A sell-out evening with the One Show’s gardening expert, Christine Walkden, raised £1,808 for Reach Learning Disability.

Christine spoke about The Life And Times Of A Gardener during the evening at Nottingham Trent University’s Brackenhurst campus in Southwell, sharing stories about her life.

She has been a keen gardener since the age of ten when she first obtained an allotment and started growing vegetables and flowers, which she sold to her teachers and residents.

That early start led her on to a career as a past presenter on BBC’s Gardeners’ World and presenter of her own series on BBC2, Christine’s Garden.

Christine visited the Flower Pod, which is run by Reach Learning Disability, last year.

The project is based on a 1.5- acre garden at the Brackenhurst campus, where employees, volunteers and people with learning disabilities work together to produce and sell cut flower, natural confetti, wreaths and other locally-sourced products.

“I was so impressed with the work Flower Pod does to support people with learning disabilities I was determined to raise funds for such a brilliant gardening project,” Christine said.

“I enjoyed meeting the volunteers too and helping them with their gardening challenges.”

Christine extended her trip to Southwell so she could have brunch with Flower Pod volunteers the following day.

The centre manager of the Flower Pod, Jane Hufton, said they appreciated Christine giving up her time to raise money for them and to spend time with their volunteers.

“Thanks also to local businesses who donated prizes for the raffle,” she said.

The Flower Pod is always looking for volunteers to help with gardening, flower arranging and working with people with learning disabilities. For more information telephone 01636 918271 or email flower pod@reachuk.org