Garden talks

A keen gardener for thirty years, I have given a number of illustrated talks on gardens, to gardening and horticultural clubs, and various other groups. There are four talks available, which are regularly updated.

Talks can be tailored for purpose and are usually between 60 minutes to 90 minutes in duration, though times can be modified as necessary. I will bring a projector, and can provide a screen if one is not available.

Fees are usually £40-£60, depending on time and distance travelled. I have done some talks for expenses only as charity fundraising events, and would be willing to discuss this as a possibility if this applies to your organisation.

Talk 1: A Garden in Thornton Dale

The development of my own garden over 30 years, from a dumping ground for tarmac mainly down to grass, asbestos garage and tin shed, to its present state

Herbaceous Border
Looking down my garden from the pond. June 2012

My garden is a long, relatively narrow plot with a variety of planting, hard landscaping and buildings. Topiary is a favoured pursuit, and a number of examples are in the garden. Recycling of both plant and building materials features heavily in its construction and maintenance.

This talk charts the garden's development over the years, with photographs showing the transformations, buildings, and the gradual growth and shaping of topiary, planting and design.

More about A garden in Thornton le Dale talk
Details of some recent garden projects

Talk 3: National Trust Gardens

The National Trust cares for 200 gardens in England and Wales, of which I have visited and photographed around 80 to date, plus others managed by the National Trust for Scotland and the equivalent in Ireland.

Topiary at Rufford Old Hall
Clipped yews in front of Rufford Old Hall. September 2012

National Trust gardens often stand out as well cared for and managed with integrity. Many are works in progress, restoring land to former glories and combining conservation with innovation. Many aspects of my own garden can be traced to features in a National Trust property.

This talk covers up to 80 gardens (some fleetingly) and offers a personal view of the delights to be found in locations across the country.

More about the National Trust Gardens talk

Talk 2: Yorkshire Gardens

Any gardener serious about developing their own garden will want to visit as many other gardens as possible, for enjoyment but also for inspiration and ideas.

Riddlesden Hall
Courtyard at the rear of Riddlesden Hall, Keighley. September 2012

Yorkshire, as God's own county, is the largest and most beautiful in England. Its northern climate admittedley presents some limitations to what you might grow, but gardening is about working with what you have, not wishing for what you don't have.

This talk takes you on a virtual tour of thirty gardens across the three ridings of Yorkshire, ranging from relatively small plots to the grand designs of the stately homes.


More about the Yorkshire Gardens talk

Talk 4: Maintaining the garden

It is great fun establishing a garden over the years: you get to buy new plants and objects, design and build, turn dull areas into something interesting. But then it all has to be kept to plan and in good condition.

Clipped yew bird form
Clipped yew bird form. Requires clipping at least twice per year.

Weeding, mulching, composting, clipping, pruning, building and landscaping repairs, removing and replacing old friends suffering death or disease, and finding space for yet more projects. A garden is never finished, but will evolve either under control or on its own if permitted

This talk looks at the daily, weekly, monthly and annual jobs that need attention to keep the garden as it was intended when designed.

More about the Maintaining the Garden talk