Ernie Cawkwell has been in the horticultural business for over 50 years. He owned Askwith Nurseries from 1958 and ran the business for nearly 50 years, during this time he displayed dahlias in trade stands winning many awards. He sold the business when his wife Josephine died in 2007.
Since then, he has focused his energies on developing new varieties of dahlia by cross-breeding dahlias. He has breed a number of award winning exhibition dahlias including Askwith Carl, Minnie, Roger and Josephine
His interest in dahlias and trade stands have not diminished, he can be found manning the bureaus of the National Dahlia Society (Northern Committee) commencing in March at Harrogate Spring Show and ending at the Autumn Flower show at Harrogate. His dahlias, in all their vivid colours, have toured the country over years as part of the floral displays, picking up a string of prizes.