Britain’s oldest gardener started spreading his horticultural knowledge with the world today – on TWITTER.
Ralph Hoare, 104, has taken to the social networking site to share a century of experience on how to grow the perfect flower, bush, fruit or vegetable.
Ralph has been officially named Britain’s oldest active gardner and first picked up a hoe in 1914 when he was just six years old.
He still looks after his 200 rose bushes and an array other flowers and veg including potatoes, broccoli, runner beans and onions.
The former bank worker and RAF veteran has recently roped two of his great-grandchildren to help tend his roses – because his knees have given out.
Twitter users can post questions with #askRalph and the geriatric gardening guru will tweet back give his advice.
Ralph, of Longlevens, Glos, said: “Now that my knees are not so good, I have to garden standing up and by asking other people to do things for me.
“I use a hoe for weeding and a grabber for picking things up from the ground. I also spend more time just wandering through the paths, admiring and smelling the roses and making mental notes of what has to be done.
“My two eldest great grand-daughters, aged six and four, have become proficient in deadheading the roses, under supervision of course.”
Widower Ralph has kept his garden in pristine condition since the death of his wife of 57 years Dorothy in 2005.
He says his favourite rose is Papa Meilland because its dark red colour and strong scent make it perfect to give to a special lady.
Ralph said he has already ordered his seeds for this year.
He said: “I have just sent off an order for my annuals. The seed potatoes are sprouting in the spare bedroom and I am waiting for some dry weather for the onion sets.
“The thought of my garden in bloom gives me the willpower to continue through the winter. Gardening keeps me on the move and my mind active.”