Talks

I give a range of popular talks on subjects related to horticulture and history, and have been doing so for many years. Some are illustrated with slides from my own photographs, whilst others are practical demonstrations. All are intended to be entertaining and enjoyable, with plenty of opportunity for audience participation and questions.

Talks run for approximately 3/4 hour to 1 hour, and are suitable for horticultural and gardening clubs, WIs and local groups. I will travel within Norfolk, or further afield by arrangement.

I am also available for ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’ style events, plant show and allotment judging, etc.

New for 2018-19

  • Getting Spooky in the Garden – the darker side of gardening: poisonous plants, plant myths and legends – and a few surprises (slides).
  • Secateurs at the Ready – how and when to carry out pruning, take cuttings, which tools to use, plus other useful tips for the practical gardener (demonstration).

Current Talks

  • Beyond the Potting Shed – the story of the English kitchen garden from Roman times to the present day (slides).
  • Enclosing Eden the story of the walled kitchen garden in England, with special reference to Norfolk and Suffolk (slides and display).
  • Coleworts, Herbers and Flowery Meads – the Medieval garden: its traditions, plants and their uses (slides).
  • Gardening for Wildlife – discover how to make your garden a haven for wildlife using good gardening techniques and suitable plants (slides).
  • Gardening With Wildflowers – from meadows to borders, find out about the best native plants for your garden, and how to create a beautiful display (slides).
  • Getting the Most From Your Vegetable Patch – guidance from my garden for growing organic food all the year round, including conventional and more unusual tips (slides and discussion).
  • What’s in a Name? – an introduction to the meanings of plant names, and some of the stories about their origins.  Includes an informal group quiz if required (slides).
  • A Hedgerow Harvest – wild plants, their stories and uses from early times to the present day (slides and discussion).
  • Herbs and Herb Gardening – how to grow herbs, their history and an introduction to everyday use (slides and demonstration).
  • The Holly, the Ivy and the Mistletoe – myths, legends and botanical facts for the winter season (slides).
  • Nature’s Way – all about organic gardening, including growing techniques, how to make compost and plant teas, soil care and the reasons for taking a natural approach to your garden (slides and demonstration).
  • Remedies and Rosewater – a lighthearted look at traditional health and beauty treatments using simple ingredients from the kitchen cupboard and garden – plus some of the more bizarre remedies from the past (demonstration and discussion).
  • Secrets of the Soil – from identifying soil types, to mycorrhiza: everything you ever wanted to know about soil and its care. This is a practical session, and you are invited to bring along samples of your garden soil for some simple testing (demonstration, discussion and slides).
  • Workers, Wellingtons and Wheelbarrows – an entertaining miscellany of anecdotes and tales from the history of gardening (slides).
  • Florists, Fairies and Flowerpots – more anecdotes and tales from the history of gardening (a follow up to ‘Workers, Wellingtons and Wheelbarrows’ – slides)

Rates: on application.

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