We’ve got some fantastic news all. We’ll be giving a Walton welcome to world-renowned horticulturalist Don Billington in the next few weeks.

Now, who is Don Billington? Well, among many things, he’s the national collection holder for the charity Plant Heritage, and he’s a world-renowned Bromeliad expert. Indeed, three of his collections are now on display inside our beautiful conservatories, lovingly restored with funding from The National Lottery in 2019. 

Bigger than Kew

Usually exhibiting at RHS Garden Shows, Don has multiple Gold Medal awards from RHS Chelsea, Hampton Court, and other significant events, including last year’s Tatton Show. In addition, and rather excitingly, Walton’s collection on display is more prominent than those found at Kew, Wisley, and Edinburgh Botanical Gardens. And thanks to Myerscough College, our partners since 2019, Don is heading to Walton.

As part of the partnership with Myerscough, Don has moved his collections into the restored and refurbished glasshouses.

Cllr Tony Higgins, cabinet member for leisure and community, said:

‘It’s fantastic that Don has chosen Walton to be the new home for his collections and I look forward to seeing them on display. The move is also of huge benefit to Myerscough College’s students as they will get a unique, first-hand experience of working with these plants from a world-renowned expert.’

Cllr Higgins

Don Billington and the Chelsea Flower Show

We recently entertained the BBC, as they filmed Don’s collection inside our conservatories. Footage will be aired as part of the BBC’s coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on Wednesday 22 September, where Don will be discussing his collection at Walton and the display he is creating at Chelsea.

Open for visitors 

Fresh from Chelsea, Don will be at Walton on the weekend of Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 October to welcome anyone who would like to come down to discuss his collections, flowers show displays, or the work taking place in the conservatories.

We’ll be opening The Atrium and East Wing of the conservatory range to accommodate you all. So, please do come along and see first hand Don’s superb collection. Rest assured that Don will be on hand to answer all your questions. Sound good?

We’ll see you this weekend as you come and marvel at Don’s collection. It’ll be well worth a visit.