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Past Speakers 2014

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17 November 2014
Fagus Special Lecture: Cleve West

Fagus were delighted to have Cleve West (www.clevewest.com) as our guest speaker this year. He has just won a Gold Award at Chelsea with his M & G Garden, ”a contemporary take on the traditional Persian Paradise Garden” and is coming this autumn to speak on “From Spuds to Chelsea and Back Again”.

Cleve West runs a studio in Hampton Wick, south-west London, and has been designing gardens since 1990.  One of his most recent projects is his award winning Horatio’s Garden at the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust in Salisbury, which shows just how positive an effect gardens can have on both physical and spiritual well-being.



20th October 2014
Andy McIndoe: The Winter Garden

Andy McIndoe is the Managing Director of Hillier Nurseries and Garden Centres in Hampshire. As designer of the Hillier exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the past 22 years he has upheld the company’s unprecedented record of 66 gold medals at the show. He has over 30 years’ experience in retail and production horticulture and specialises in planning and advising on private gardens. He is also an author, lecturer, broadcaster and keen gardener.




15th September 2014
Christopher Bales: Chelsea Physic Garden, connecting people over three centuries




18th August 2014
Gina Merrett Smith: Marianne North - The remarkable Vicorian botanical artist and her connection to Kew



21st July 2014
Kevin Hughes: Plants for Late Summer Interest




16th June 2014
Mark Diacono: A Taste of the Unexpected

Mark Diacono spends most of his time eating, writing and talking about food. At his smallholding, Otter Farm, he grows unusual and forgotten food along with the best of the more familiar. He has written three award winning books, including ‘A Taste of the Unexpected’ which won the Guild of Food Writers’ Food Book of the Year 2011. He also designs edible gardens.




19th May 2014
David Manners: Wildlife in the Garden: Friend or Foe?

David Manners is both an experienced photographer and knowledgeable general naturalist, and has been interested in all aspects of natural history since childhood. He uses high quality images to illustrate each talk, thus bringing together both aspects of his skills and knowledge.  He has travelled widely, and has photographed wildlife, landscape and life in Europe, Scandinavia and North America. David lives in Somerset with his wife, cats, hens and other pets!




14th April 2014
Derry Watkins: New plant introductions from around the world: how new plants get introduced

Derry Watkins is well known for the unusual plants that her nursery ‘Special Plants’ grow and sell from all over the world, including a range of hardy herbaceous and rockery plants as well as many tender perennials for terrace and conservatory. She is an author of two books on greenhouse gardening, and has introduced many new plants from her collecting trips to South Africa and elsewhere.




17th March
Jennifer Harmer: Travels with a Camera and a Smile

This talk is based on many years looking at gardens both large and small, in both England and abroad and wild flower holidays where we were primarily looking for the flowers we grow in our gardens in their natural habit.   If you know where a plant grows it is much easier to give it the right conditions in your own garden.



17th February
Annual General Meeting
Kate Williams: Veg Verse for Gardeners

And now for something different: to brighten up a dark winter’s evening.  Kate Williams is a published poet with a broad portfolio of work, who holds poetry workshops and undertakes poetry performances.  She will accompany herself on a classical guitar.



20th January
John Tucker: Romance and Humour in the Garden

John Tucker is the well known manager of the Prior Park Garden Centre, Bath. 'Romance & Humour' is a light hearted look, illustrated by carefully chosen images, of how you can add those elements to your own garden. The talk includes:  roses around the front door, magical pathways, seating areas, statues, arbours and then quirky elements of fun statues, colours etc,  that might not be everyone's choice!!



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