A GARDENER has been the subject of media attention this week, following an article in a national newspaper.
Peter Collett, 83, from Tangmere, was featured for his prolific fruit produce, which sees 150 individual fruit trees crammed into his two-thirds of an acre garden.
“It’s quite extraordinary what you can get into a relatively small space – that’s what I spent all these years going out telling people,” he said.
Peter has regularly given talks in the area on his special interest in fruit-growing.
There are 30 different types of fruit growing in his garden, as well as an apple tree with 50 different varieties grafted on.
These were grafted by Peter’s friend Paul Barnett, from Chidham, who the Observer featured last year along with his apple tree with 250 different varieties on it.
The pair go out to apple identification days after meeting at an apple day at West Dean many years ago.
A former headmaster in Portsmouth, Peter moved to Tangmere 31 years ago from Hayling Island, where he already had a number of fruit trees after learning from a friend. He grew up in a family of professional gardeners.
“People look at me when I tell them how many fruit trees I have and I just say ‘look, some people collect stamps’,” said Peter.
“It’s just one of those things that has developed over the years. I’m pleased to say I’m still able to do it.”
Sadly, a number of Peter’s trees fell foul of the Codling moth this year, causing them to rot. He is now looking forward to next year and the chance to produce another fine crop.
The great-grandfather has family all over the world and he said many got in touch after spotting the article in the paper and online this week. As well as growing and identifying, Peter also judges at shows and has judged at RHS shows in Westminster.
To see Mr Collett feature in the Daily Mail, click