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Talks for garden clubs

We provide a programme of talks for gardening and other interested groups.  Talks generally last one hour and are illustrated with slides and where appropriate as many plants as we can bring along.  We also bring plants for sale at the end of the talk.

Our fee for 2019 is £75 plus mileage for talks during the evening and £95 plus mileage for talks during the day. 

We are happy to travel throughout East Anglia.

During 2019 we will be writing two new talks:

'The Secret Life of Plants'  will explore some of the latest and remarkable discoveries about the inner workings of plants.  How do plants tell the time?  How and why do plants communicate with one another?  Did you know that some plants can generate enough heat to melt snow?  These and other extraordinary stories from the secret like of plants will form the the basis of this new talk.

'From Humboldt to Hooker' will take us on a voyage of discovery as the age of science dawned and our modern understanding of the the world around us was born.  From epic sea voyages and the summits of the highest mountains, to the steaming jungles of South America, explorers and scientists opened our eyes to the beauty of the natural world and its incredible diversity of plants.

Please feel free to enquire about these new talks if you would like to include it in your 2020 talks programme


Currently available talks:


Botanical gardens: A Grand Tour 

From the sixteenth century to the present day, botanic gardens have been the epicentre of plant research and horticultural excellence.  Set aside for science and education, botanic gardens are also places of great beauty, from magnificent avenues of flowering trees, huge glasshouses filled with exotic tropical giants to the tiny and exquisite mountain-side plants in the cool alpine house.  This talk explores the history and purpose of botanic gardens, illustrated with beautiful images throughout, and then takes a closer look at a handful of gardens, from far distant continents to the easily accessible Cambridge Botanic Garden.


Climate change: the long-range gardener's forecast

A wide-ranging, illustrated talk that briefly summarises the current science behind climate change forecasts, before delving into the impacts likely to be seen in the UK generally and East Anglia more specifically.

How, as gardeners, can we respond? What steps might we take to ensure we can still continue to enjoy success in the garden? Will we get higher yields in the vegetable patch, or lose it all to pests and diseases?

These questions and more are looked at in this popular talk which invariably leads to a lively question and answer session.

Enquire about this talk


From mighty acorns: the story of the British Oak

Oak trees are the very essence of the British countryside, and are rightly cherished and valued as our single most important tree.

In this talk we look at the history of our oaks, from the end of the last Ice Age to an uncertain but optimistic future. The crucial contribution oaks make to our landscapes, the rich cultural and historical heritage and the critically important wildlife value of oaks are all covered in this colourful and lively presentation.

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Gardening in the Shade

A shady garden should be seen as an asset and a wonderful opportunity to grow all manner of charming woodland and other shade-adapted specialists.

In this talk we look at how certain plants are adapted to shady conditions and apply this to making good choices for the garden. We also look at how to ameliorate severe shade and so make best use of all the garden.

Illustrated with slides and with plants, all of which will be for sale, this talk works especially well in spring but is available for any time of year.

Enquire about this talk


Rare, unusual and beautiful shrubs

Shrubs are often the key architectural elements in the garden, providing much of the underlying form and structure. But they can also be so much more and in this talk we look at some breathtakingly beautiful shrubs that offer a wealth of flowers, fruit, foliage and winter interest.

We consider where some of the rarer shrubs come from in the wild and what that tells us about the right place to plant them, as well as some of the history of the fearless explorers who brought these plants from afar to our shores. We also take time to consider good planting and pruning to get the very best out of your plants.

Illustrated with slides and as many shrubs as we can carry!

Enquire about this talk


Trees for all seasons

Richly illustrated by slides, and as many trees, or bits of trees, we can get in to the car, this talk ranges widely over the whole topic of trees, ornamental and productive, in the garden.

We look at form and habit, flowers, fruit, bark and foliage as well as wildlife value and how trees can alter the entire ecology of a garden - hopefully for the better!

We also take time to think about good planting practice, complementary planting, pruning, training and ultimately felling a tree that for whatever reason needs to go.

Enquire about this talk