ABERGLASNEY GARDENS has appointed a new Director of Operations. Jim Stribling, who recently moved to Carmarthenshire from Miami, started in the position earlier this month and says he already feels at home at Aberglasney, especially in the Ninfarium with its tropical temperature and exotic plants!
Born and raised in Miami, Jim has arrived at Aberglasney with a formidable track record in horticulture and managing botanic gardens.
After graduating with a Batchelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business and Management from the University of Florida, he started his own plant nursery business with his sister. They grew indoor, tropical foliage plants and progressed to having an international presence specialising in producing weeping fig trees. After selling the business Jim became the Head Grower of tropical fruit at Pine Island Nursery and then took on the position of Manager at Reedland sp. Redland Fruit and Spice Park, a botanic garden growing fruits, nuts and spices from the tropics.
Having married a British chef, who originated from Brighton, Jim and his wife, Alison, moved to the UK in 2020 as both their children, James, 26, and Sarah, 24, had already made the move to England to study.
Jim and his wife live near St Clears, Carmarthenshire, where he says he feels very much at home. Jim said, “Having grown up in an idyllic rural area outside of Miami I had 1,000s of acres at my disposal for my playground. My mum was a gardener and my dad wanted to live in the woods so I grew up with rabbits, chickens, horses and a passion for the outdoors.”
The central courtyard of Aberglasney’s mansion house and the derelict servants’ quarters to the rear of the mansion were converted into a Ninfarium in 2006. It is a glazed area for exotic plants inspired by a garden created amid the ruins of a Roman temple in Ninfa, Italy. It won the won the award for the Best Garden Design/Construction Project in 2006, one of a string of awards for what is now acknowledged as one of the top garden attractions in Britain.
Jim added, “As soon as I arrived at Aberglasney I felt very much at home, especially in the Ninfarium as that’s the kind of humid atmosphere and the type of plants I was used to seeing every day back in Miami. I’m looking forward to working with the team at Aberglasney and getting to know our members.”
The ten-acre Gardens, with an award-winning terrace café and shop, attract an average of 50,000 visitors every year and employs a staff of 16 in summer, helped by a small army of volunteer gardeners.
Peter Burgess, Chairman of Aberglasney Gardens’ Board of Trustees, said, “We are delighted to welcome Jim to head up the team here at Aberglasney. Jim has not let the grass grow under his feet and has got to work straight away in getting to know the Gardens and staff. His previous experience means he will be a huge asset to the future development of Aberglasney.”
Aberglasney was made famous by the BBC television series “A Garden Lost in Time” which followed its restoration. The Gardens, Mansion house, Shop and Tearooms are open every day except Christmas Day. Visitors can explore over 20 different garden styles from formal to woodland, right through to exotic and modern along with the fully restored ground floor of Aberglasney’s grade II* listed mansion. Further information on the Gardens is available online: www.aberglasney.org