Fergus Garrett has held the position of Head Gardener for the internationally acclaimed Great Dixter Garden since 1992. Raised in the UK and in Turkey, Fergus studied horticulture at Wye College, graduating in 1989. In addition to other awards, in 2015 Fergus was awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal for his outstanding contribution to the practice of horticulture and was also asked to join the prestigious RHS Gardens Advisors team.Fergus believes in passing on his knowledge and experience through national and international student and volunteer programmes at Great Dixter, and through the many worldwide lectures he gives every year.
High Glanau Manor, at Lydart near Monmouth, is an important Arts and Crafts house set in 12 acres of gardens designed by H. Avray Tipping in 1922. Tipping was the Architectural Editor of Country Life Magazine from 1907 until his death in 1933, and worked alongside Gertrude Jekyll from whom he drew inspiration for his own gardens. His works include Chequers, Mathern Palace and Wyndcliffe Court. Helena Gerrish has recently completed a Masters Degree in Garden History at Bristol University.
This is a welcome return to our Club of Michael Jones, who gave such an interesting talk on Mistletoe three years ago. Michael’s talk explores the life and achievements of the Swedish scientist who has been described as the ‘father of taxonomy’ and the ‘prince of botanists’. It is said that more has been written about Linnaeus than any other scientist with the exception of Charles Darwin. Why? The talk will attempt to answer this question.
Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants was founded by Rosy Hardy in 1988. Rosy and Rob Hardy are breeders and introducers of interesting new perennial varieties and exhibit at major flower shows throughout the year. They are also winners of 19 RHS Chelsea Gold Medals. Plants will be for sale at this meeting!
Sissinghurst Garden has long been renowned as a jewel in the National Trust’s crown. Over a number of years a combination of underfunding, increased wear and tear from greater visitor numbers plus extended opening, and a lack of change and renewal have resulted in a garden that is no longer at its best. Thinner planting and a degree of predictability have also crept into the garden as a result of the increasingly limited time for gardeners to actually do gardening.We want to recapture the distinctive qualities of Vita and Harold’s Sissinghurst, restoring the elements of romance, experimentation and exuberance that we have struggled to perpetuate in recent years. In doing this our aim is to show that significant and historic gardens can be managed successfully while accommodating large scale visitor numbers.
Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden design public and private gardens in the United States, and will be in England during May primarily to visit Chelsea Flower Show. They believe that making plants the starting point of design creates enduringly beautiful, ecologically intelligent gardens, where we rediscover and invite a powerful, primordial connection between person, plants and place. By challenging current landscape trends that result in static, over-designed plant installations or mere outdoor living spaces, and by marrying a love of plants and design without sacrificing one to the other, Scott and Lauren explore concepts, ideas and practices that empower gardeners to design, and designers to plant.
In 2007 Nigel Dunnett, with his colleague Andy Clayden, published the first book devoted to how rain gardens work, and how they can be used in designed landscapes and urban areas. Rain gardens have come to prominence because of the increasing problems with extreme climate events and devastating flash flooding. Nigel Dunnett comments that rain gardens are one of the most exciting concepts in landscape architecture and garden design. They can be small-scale designed features that capture rainwater runoff from houses, pavements and other hard surfaces, and which then temporarily store, clean and slowly release that water back into the soil or drainage system, using the power of plants and soils.
As Curator of the Bristol Botanic Garden, Nicholas Wray has led tours on the Island of Sicily. Rich in history, Sicily is full of wonderful houses many with fine gardens. The diverse geology and frequent eruptions from Mount Etna have produced some of the most fertile soils in Europe. This enabled a rich agriculture to develop with successive waves of invaders bringing in different plants. The resulting gardens, both historical and contemporary in style, have exuberant growth and many fruits. This lecture will illustrate some public and private gardens, together with natural landscapes of this island that has been at the crossroads of the Mediterranean for thousands of years.
Don Packham started his working life as a trainee junior keeper at Bristol Zoo in 1948. He was Head Keeper for twenty-one years in charge of all the animals and keepers. He was a government inspector of Zoos, and also Vice-Chair of ABWAK (Association of British Wild Animal Keepers). Don is well known on the Somerset ‘talks circuit’, and this is one of the very last he will give in public.
Charles Chesshire trained as a designer by studying Horticulture at Writtle College, and by working and studying at a number of gardens such as Heale House, Caerhays and Spinners. He also studied painting under Cecily Sash. He spent a year in Saudi Arabia, nine years in the United States before settling back to his home country around Ludlow in Shropshire. He is giving one of his favourite lectures to the Fagus membership.