From gardening for the King of Jordan, cultivating in the tropics, and now tending castle gardens for a Duke….

Thursday, 15 March 2018

From gardening for the King of Jordan, cultivating in the tropics, and now tending castle gardens for a Duke…. thumbnail

A multi-talented gardener with strong Omagh connections has just been awarded the prestigious Kew Guild Medal for his distinguished work as a horticulturalist.
Martin Duncan, whose mother, Ottilee, resides at Hospital Road in the Tyrone county town has been honoured for his many years of dedicated performance and outstanding expertise.
However his journey to this latest accolade has come via a wide a varied career which has seen him develop tea and coffee farms in Zimbabwe, tend the gardens of the King of Jordan and oversee the lush tropical parks of tropical Bermuda.
His love of plant life and passion for all things growing was carefully nurtured by his family, who themselves have a notable track record in their own right.
Martin's paternal lineage goes back several generations in Omagh where his great-grandfather, grandfather, Harpur and father, Basil were all Trinity College trained doctors.
His grandfather, who also fought in World War One, started the Boys' Brigade in the town, while his grandmother, May Duncan, was the first librarian in Omagh. She later remarried to the former county surveyor, George Glasgow.
His father fought in World War Two in Burma and India before he emigrated to what was then Rhodesia - now Zimbabwe - just after the war and it was there he met his future wife, Ottilee.
When he passed away Martin, his mother and his brother Malcolm and sister, Lynette, returned to Omagh. He decided to take up a career working with plant life and embarked on a career in horticultural and took training at Greenmount College in Antrim, where he studied commercial horticulture, following in his older brother Malcolm's footsteps.
Malcolm is currently working with farmers in Zimbabwe, while Lynette is a surveyor in Winchester, England.


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