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 2021 is £75 plus mileage for talks during the evening and £95 plus mileage for talks during the day, and we will be holding these fees at the same level for 2022 as well.
We are happy to travel throughout East Anglia.
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 globally, 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?
We will also look very briefly at some of the readily implemented changes we can make at the national and global level, ending the talk on a positive, indeed inspiring note.
This popular talk invariably leads to a lively question and answer session.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The Secret Life of Plants
'The Secret Life of Plants' explores some of the latest and most 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, whilst others nourish their young? These and other extraordinary stories from the secret life of plants makes for a fascinating talk that will enhance your enjoyment of the plants in your garden and in the countryside about us.