I love talking about gardening to gardeners because understanding is the crucial element of learning and this is just as true for me when I speak to a club, run a workshop or teach a class of twelve as when I talk to an individual in their own garden. I am also spreading the word that gardening, and the connection to nature that it engenders, are good (even vital) to our mental health. I offer talks to groups interested in understanding how as individuals we can use our own gardens to promote wellbeing as well as how more formal Social & Therapeutic Gardening programmes can help via community and support groups.
I have been on both the Royal Horticultural Society Speakers list and the Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies Speakers list since 2014, and have given more than 180 talks, not just to horticultural societies but social clubs, retirement associations, U3A and WI. All my talks and classes include plenty of photographs, examples, summaries and, of course, discussion. Many clubs welcome visitors, and of course new members to their talks; check with the club or society for information.
I continue to offer online talks to clubs, societies, W.I. or simply a group of family & friends. I am currently using the Zoom platform and you do not need to sign-up or install anything to take part. I am hopeful that we can get back to face to face talks in village halls in the autumn for groups within travelling distance but, of course, using Zoom has opened up a whole realm of possibilities and over the last year I have had the pleasure of talking about gardening to groups across the country, and even across the water – well, the Isle of Wight! I am very happy to continue offering online talks in the future and see that this can be useful for clubs in remoter areas and in winter to avoid travel or cancellations in poor weather.
“Thank you for joining us on Tuesday evening via Zoom and talking to us about ‘Plants, Seeds and Pollinators’. This was our first virtual meeting and we thought the format of the meeting worked very well. Your talk was very interesting and informative, and you have certainly inspired our members with ideas on how to create wonderful gardens and try something new! The information about encouraging pollinators into gardens and allotments and suggestions for companion gardening was particularly useful as we support national campaigns.” Harborne Village WI, June 2020
My Gardening classes at Kent Adult Education have now finished for the summer while we are all out enjoying our gardens. A full schedule of classes will resume in the autumn and these will remain as one hour sessions delivered over Zoom so you do not have to be within reach of Sevenoaks or even resident in Kent to join. As Covid and the restrictions permit, face to face classes in the Sevenoaks Centre may be added.
|Tues Oct 19th 2021||7-8pm||Plants and Shrubs for Winter Colour|
|Tues Nov 2nd 2021||7-8pm||What Are Plant Nutrients|
|Thurs Nov 4th 2021||2-3pm||Raised Beds and No-dig Gardening|
|Tues Nov 9th 2021||7-8pm||A Bed for all Seasons|
|Thurs Nov 11th 2021||2-3pm||Gardens are Good for You|
|Tues Nov 23rd 2021||7-8pm||Pruning Fruit Trees and Bushes|
|Thurs Nov 25th 2021||2-3pm||Pruning Fruit Trees and Bushes (repeat class)|
|Tues Nov 30th 2021||7-8pm||Getting to Grips with Botanical Names|
Full details and booking HERE on the Kent Adult Education website.
Popular Topics for Talks
Gardening for Wellbeing
- How gardens and gardening are good for us all
- The mindful gardener
Gardening by Design
- More garden impact for less effort
- Right plant, right place: understanding what will thrive
- How to have a great front garden
- Year-round garden interest (for flower arrangers)
- Creating garden style and impact
- Gardening for wildlife and people too
I am happy to create a talk if you have a particular interest (and I have appropriate knowledge on the subject) or to run a workshop for groups large or small.
I can also offer Therapeutic Horticulture classes and workshops to help organisations, staff or volunteers to tailor gardening activities to the abilities and needs of clients or residents.
What to Expect
My talks typically last an hour including questions and discussion as we go along and I will usually bring a tablet and projector to illustrate the topic. After all, you cannot talk about gardening without photographs of beautiful plants!
My fee for an hour-long talk delivered in person is £80 plus a mileage charge of 40p per mile from my home in Tunbridge Wells. I generally range around Kent, Sussex, Surrey and across the Thames into south Essex for talks but am happy to discuss travelling further afield, especially if there is an interesting garden to visit in the area!
My fee for a talk on Zoom, usually 50 minutes plus questions is £60 and, of course, I am delighted to meet groups from across the country.
What The Audience Say
“Once again thank you for your presentation. It was thought provoking and the way the ideas were presented mean that they will stick in my mind!” More garden impact for less effort, Crawley Down Allotments and Gardens Association, September 2019
“I just wanted to thank you for your talk last Thursday. All the members loved it, particularly that you made it so interactive. We like that style, but not all speakers perform in the same way. I hope we can have you back to talk on one of your other topics in the future!” Year round garden interest, Maidstone Horticultural Society, November 2019
What My Students Say
“I really enjoyed the course and got so enthused by your class I am now completely redesigning my garden! I always felt disappointed by my garden before, it was functional but certainly no “wow” factor. I’ve learnt that choosing a style is the key and gives you direction in everything else you need to decide on. I can’t wait to get started.”
Hayley, student on Design Your Own Garden course, Sevenoaks April 2019.