Growth of a career

Bert Pinnegar, the eponymous 'Old Herbaceous'.
Bert Pinnegar, the eponymous 'Old Herbaceous'.

A show charting the growth of a young orphan into a head gardener comes to north Northumberland this month.

Adapted from the classic British novel of the garden, this charming and nostalgic performance tells the tale of

Herbert Pinnegar, or Old Herbaceous.

The show is touring to Whittingham Memorial Institution in partnership with Highlights Rural Touring Scheme.

Born at the dusk of a Victorian era, Bert Pinnegar, an awkward orphan child with one leg a tad longer than the other, rises from inauspicious schoolboy days spent picking wildflowers and dodging angry farmers to become the famed gardener.

Now in his twilight years, Herbert is full of memories and tales of a bygone era.

In-between potting up and potting on, he recounts his journey and tells of his friendship with the lady of the house, Mrs Charteris.

This one-man play is co-directed and performed by Peter MacQueen and is adapted from Reginald Arkell’s novel by Alfred Shaughnessy.

Sprinkled with nuggets of gardening wisdom, Old Herbaceous is a witty comic portrait of the most archetypal – and crotchety – head gardener ever to plant a row of bulbs at a British country house.

Old Herbaceous is at Whittingham Memorial Institute on Sunday, April 14, at 7.30pm.

Tickets, £7 adults and £4.50 children, are available on 01665 574964. Tea and coffee will be available during the interval.