Berry Christmas, everyone!

Peter Boardman at How Hill Farm where he grows more than 100 different varieties of holly.PHOTO BY S

Peter Boardman at How Hill Farm where he grows more than 100 different varieties of holly.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Berry Christmas!

Peter Boardman at How Hill Farm where he grows more than 100 different varieties of holly.PHOTO BY S

Peter Boardman at How Hill Farm where he grows more than 100 different varieties of holly.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

That's the message from one farmer who is enjoying a bumper holly crop this festive season.

Peter Boardman, 83, has seen an abundance of high quality red fruits on his How Hill farm this year.

And that glut means no home need go undecorated with the traditional green and red colours.

Mr Boardman, who has five acres of holly trees on his land near Ludham, does not know why the berries are so bountiful, but is pleased at the four tonnes harvested so far.

Peter Boardman at How Hill Farm where he grows more than 100 different varieties of holly.PHOTO BY S

Peter Boardman at How Hill Farm where he grows more than 100 different varieties of holly.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY


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He said: 'This has been a great year, they have been wonderful quality berries, and so many of them!

'My father planted the first holly in 1938 or 1939, I have no idea why, and I started looking after it around 1968.

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'People love the crop; they are beautiful and make all sorts of decorations at Christmas.'

Mr Boardman supplies local shops and garden centres and believes he is the only commercial holly grower in the country.

Peter Boardman at How Hill Farm where he grows more than 100 different varieties of holly.PHOTO BY S

Peter Boardman at How Hill Farm where he grows more than 100 different varieties of holly.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

But he said that now, most of the work in looking after the farm's 100 varieties of holly is down to his nephew, Nicky Coller.

Mr Boardman, who at one time used to sell holly all over the country, including London, once even gave advice to the prime minister Edward Heath who saw a magazine feature about Mr Boardman's crop.

He said cultivating holly was not really a commercial activity because it took so long to establish the crop, rather describing it as a 'bit of fun'.

But, he said there were are large holly farms in the north-west of America, with some cultivating 300 acres or more.

Peter Boardman at How Hill Farm where he grows more than 100 different varieties of holly.PHOTO BY S

Peter Boardman at How Hill Farm where he grows more than 100 different varieties of holly.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Do you cultivate an unusual crop? Email rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk

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