Cotswold gardening talks 2017

Gardening experts are heading to the Cotswolds this year offering advice on everything from early spring bulbs to the meaning of flowers.

Want to know how to build a pond and plant a bog garden, or perhaps pruning trees is a puzzle. Workshops, lectures and a garden festival will give gardeners ample opportunity to pick up tips and advice.

Here’s a round-up of the gardening talks on offer.

Allomorphic

Stroud-based home and garden shop Allomorphic is also the setting for a series of day courses and lectures with lunch.

Award-winning designer and RHS judge Paul Hervey-Brookes will be sharing his design expertise in three courses covering planting for winter, gardening in a small space and the basics of creating a show garden.

Cotswold talks
Paul Hervey-Brookes on his gold medal garden at Hampton Court

Other courses include how to make beautiful hand ties, summer door wreaths or arrangements to suit every celebration.

The ‘Queen of Herbs’, Jekka McVicar will be sharing her knowledge of plants medicinal and culinary while container planting expert Harriet Rycroft will explain how to have pots that look good all year-round.

Dates, details and prices here.

Gardens Illustrated Festival

The magazine’s second festival at Westonbirt School has a line-up of some of the gardening world’s best-known faces.

Designers Cleve West, Tom Stuart-Smith and Arne Maynard are among those who will be looking for paradise, exploring the health benefits of gardens and the use of beautifully crafted materials in gardens, while Sarah Raven will be showing how to combine colour in borders.

cotswold talks
Westonbirt School hosts the Gardens Illustrated festival

The roses of Sissinghurst, how to be a green gardener, and the canals and water gardens of Birmingham are just some of the subjects that will also be explored during the two-day festival.

The event on March 25-26 also has tours of the garden and a plant and design clinic alongside the gardening talks.

For details, see here

Highgrove

The Prince of Wales’ garden is hosting a lecture and lunch with Shane Connolly, floral arranger for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.

cotswold talks
Highgrove is the setting for talks and workshops

He will show how to create arrangements that convey particular sentiments while explaining the historic symbolism of flowers.

The garden at Tetbury also has courses with Caroline Tatham and Kate Durr of the Cotswold Gardening School on planning and planting borders, container gardening and garden design.

cotswold talks
Caroline Tatham of The Cotswold Gardening School

For more details, see here

The Generous Gardener

The Generous Gardener near Cirencester is launching a new series of evening lectures alongside the usual daytime gardening talks.

Among those speaking at the evening events at The Coach House Garden are Bob Brown, of Cotswold Garden Flowers, with advice on new garden-worthy plants and Helen Picton talking about growing asters.

The lecture days, now in their fifth season, include two speakers and lunch. Among the double acts are Alan Street from Avon Bulbs talking about early spring treasures and Tony Kirkham, head of Kew’s arboretum, giving advice on everything to do with trees.

Cotswold talks
A series of lectures are being held at The Coach House

Leading designers Julian and Isobel Bannerman will take you through the making of their gardens while Derry Watkins, of Special Plants nursery, will tempt you to grow plants that are borderline hardy.

Designer Rupert Golby shows how to bring the garden indoors and writer and plantsman Stephen Lacey will suggest plants to introduce scent.

Bog gardens, ponds and how to create and plant them is explained by Timothy Walker, former director of Oxford Botanic Garden, while Telegraph columnist Helen Yemm will be choosing plants for a stunning summer show.

Plantsman Roy Lancaster shares his lifelong passion for plants and Helen Dillon will give an insight into the making of her famous garden in Ireland.

For dates, prices and more details see here

Cotswold Talks
Bob Brown is one of the speakers

Cheltenham Horticultural Society

Renowned plantsman Nick Macer, of Pan-Global Plants, will be the speaker at a special anniversary lecture in Cheltenham in October.

‘Things that turn me on – confessions of a plant freak’ is being organised by Cheltenham Horticultural Society as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations.

Nick, who is also on the BBC Gardeners’ World presenting team, will be talking at Balcarras School in Charlton Kings.

Tickets will be on sale later in the year. For details, see here

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Highgrove gets Cotswolds help with Festival

Cotswold gardening expertise is being used to ensure success at Highgrove’s first festival, which will see celebrity talks, workshops and special tours of the Royal garden.

The Garden Celebrated is being masterminded by Kate Durr, a former pupil at the Cotswold Gardening School, while the school’s principal, Caroline Tatham, is designing the stage and will be giving one of the demonstrations.

Highgrove

“Highgrove is really good about supporting local businesses,” says Caroline, who set up the gardening school at her home in Gossington five years ago.

Meanwhile, other Cotswold gardeners involved in the six-day festival are award-winning designer Chris Beardshaw, herb queen Jekka McVicar, and author and journalist Val Bourne. They will be taking part in talks and demonstrations at the event, which will also have a retail pavilion with stands from invited companies.

Television presenter Kate, whose first show garden won gold and Best Festival Garden at Malvern last year, has been appointed as the Highgrove Festival’s creative director.

It is she says “Thrilling to be involved with the celebration, which is set to become the gateway to spring.”

Kate Durr
Kate Durr

Kate is designing and creating plant displays for the spring plant fair marquee.

“They will be exuberant, echoing iconic areas of the gardens. The plant fair will offer a distinctive range of beautiful plants and seeds for sale so that visitors can recreate the spirit of Highgrove in their own gardens.”

Among the areas that will be featured are the Kitchen Garden, Wildflower Meadow and Stumpery.

Caroline’s association with Highgrove, home of The Prince of Wales, began two years ago when she received an unexpected email asking if she was interested in giving a talk on sustainable flower arranging using only biodegradable material.

“I didn’t know if the email was real,” she recalls.

Staff from the Highgrove team visited the school – “the idea of it was really frightening, although they were lovely” – and saw Caroline’s garden, nine acres which she is gradually developing.

Caroline Tatham
Caroline Tatham

“They loved the idea of flowers for the talk coming from an organic garden.”

For the festival, which runs from April 11 to 16, she will be giving a talk on professional planting, drawing on her experience as a garden designer and lecturer.

She is also creating a flower-filled stage where celebrity gardeners, including Alan Titchmarsh, Carol Klein and Bob Flowerdew will give talks.

Highgrove walled garden
The Walled Garden at Highgrove

The main colours will be burgundy and primrose – echoing the theme of the Festival’s publicity – although other tones will be introduced.

“I’m going for a slightly more colourful palette with fresh greens and pinks. I’m planning a range of shrubs, perennials and bulbs influenced by the Royal garden.”

She stresses though that it will not be a replica of aspects of Highgrove but something that encapsulates “the spirit of the garden”.

“It’s really exciting to be involved in the first of what promises to be a whole series of festivals. It’s always lovely to be right at the beginning of something.”

For details and to book: http://www.highgroveshop.com/festival.html

Highgrove garden festival

Highgrove is holding its first garden festival this spring with talks by celebrity gardeners, tours of the Royal garden and a special plant fair.

Alan Titchmarsh, Jekka McVicar, Raymond Blanc and Sarah Raven are just some of the speakers at the event, which runs from April 11 to 16. Topics range from growing food organically and plant care to garden history and topiary.

Alan Titchmarsh
Alan Titchmarsh will be talking about Royal gardens

Cheltenham-based Chris Beardshaw will discuss making a show garden, designer Bunny Guinness will talk about transforming a garden and award-winning Andy Sturgeon will explore how to create a contemporary garden.

There will be two evening events with a talk and supper: Carol Klein will present one on her latest book, Making a Garden, Successful Gardening by Nature’s Rules, and Bob Flowerdew will host the other on the perfect garden.

Other events are for a lunch, a talk and a tour of the garden while special hour-long tours of the Highgrove grounds include afternoon tea.

Highgrove
Events will include tours of the Highgrove garden

“We’re hoping there’s something for everybody,” explained marketing manager Nikki Chee.

Highgrove: The Garden Celebrated is billed as a celebration of one of Britain’s favourite pastimes and is based on the principles behind the Prince of Wales’ organically run private garden, which has been created over the past 35 years.

One of the main features is the wildflower meadow and BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Rachel de Thame will present a joint talk with botanist Trevor Dines on growing wild flowers.

Topiary is another important element and this skill will be discussed by cloud pruning specialist and topiary expert Jake Hobson.

Other speakers include Highgrove’s head gardener Debs Goodenough, TV gardener and broadcaster David Domoney, Caroline Tatham from The Cotswold Gardening School, and designers Julian and Isabel Bannerman.

David Domoney
TV gardener David Domoney is one of the speakers

“The festival truly captures the essence of Highgrove,” said Chris Prescott, chief executive at Highgrove Enterprises. “It will be a unique insight into the ethos and sustainable approach behind the gardens, as well as a reflection of the horticultural interests and enthusiasms of HRH The Prince of Wales.”

Running alongside the talks will be a spring plant fair and a retail pavilion with exhibitors hand-picked by Highgrove.

All profits from the event will go to The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation, which supports a wide range of causes.

“If it’s successful, we would love to make it an annual event,” added Nikki.

Tickets, which range from £17.50 to £95, go on sale on Thursday February 18. For details and to book: http://www.highgroveshop.com/festival.html

Highgrove