Study Days

In addition to the range of garden talks that I can do I am also able to arrange study days, either by mself or with a colleague.  Here are some suggestions but there are plenty of others.  Most of my talks could be extended or combined, and so could many of my blog posts…so take a look there too  then get in touch and we can discuss other possibilities!


Interested in gardens? Want to know more about their history, who made them and why? I’ve devised a fun way of doing so with a hands-on investigation of some garden-related objects which will provoke discussion and lots of questions. It’s followed by a lively illustrated lecture that puts the objects into the context of 5000 years of garden-making and gardening. Afterwards I’ll give you plenty of ideas for further reading & research. This can either be a half-day [3 hours minimum recommended] or I can suggest other ideas to make it an entire study days


The rise of the amateur gardener.

Four well-illustrated lectures on the way that our national obsession with gardening started back in the 16thc, and gradually spread from being an elite form of recreation to being one enjoyed by everyone today. 

The first talk looks at how and when it began, and the  secondlooks at where the plants in our gardens came from. The third looks at the growth of interest amongst the middle class in the 19thc and how technology changed the face of our gardens, whilst the final talk looks at how the mass media changed gardening in the 20thc.


Britain’s first landcsape gardener.

Four well-illustrated lectures about  Repton, who having failed at everything else at the age of 35 took up landcsape design. He invented a new sales technique – the Red Book – which was simplebut effective and very beautiful to look at. He designed about 400 estates and gardens durinhg his career, including many fanous ones.


Stories behind the arrival of some of the plants in Britain’s gardens.

4 Talks about plants from different parts of the world…China, South Africa, North America, Australasia or elsewhere…andwho found them and how they got the plants back.    OR 4 talks looking at plant hunting chronologically, from earliest times through to today.


A look at books and magazines about gardening, both factual and fictional.

Factual: from the earliest gardening books of the 16thc, through the great Victorian encyclopedias via beautiful illustrated 18thc flower books, right up to today.  

And fictional too if you want!  Garden poetry, Garden humour, garden-related stories…all things are possible