Talks 2017

Talks are held at Crowle Parish Hall, Church Road, WR7 4AZ on the second Saturday of the month, except for June (Plant Sale at Peopleton Village Hall), August (no meeting) and September (Pershore College). The talks all start at 2pm, but in December the usual Christmas lunch is held before the talk and starts at 1pm. Entrance to the talks at Crowle is free to Group members; visitors' entrance charge is £3. Visitors will be expected to join the Group if they attend regularly.

Please note that the public address system at Crowle Parish Hall does have a hearing loop, so please speak to a member of the Committee if you wish to take advantage of this facility.

Jan 14 Talk: The Gardens of the Oxford Colleges Tim Richardson
Tim has written some wonderful books about gardens in the UK and America but he’ll be talking to us about Gardens of the Oxford Colleges, the subject of his latest publication. He’s a witty speaker and involved in a large number of UK gardening associations. The founder of the Chelsea Fringe and writer for “The Daily Telegraph”, he’s a trustee of the Garden History Society and a member of the National Trust’s gardens advisory panel. One area he considers is the 18th-century landscape school, represented in the magnificent acreage of, appropriately enough, Worcester College.
Feb 11 Talk: Fathers of Botany Jane Kilpatrick
In her latest, meticulously researched and critically acclaimed book, Jane tells the story of the golden age of plant hunting in China in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The first westerners to explore the botanical richness of Asia - missionaries and mostly French - are the subject of the book. Ian Hodgson, former editor-in-chief of RHS journals called it a valuable resource on plant exploration essential for garden historians, travellers and plant enthusiasts.
March 11 Talk: The Life and Legacy of H. Avray Tipping Helena Gerrish
Helena lives in High Glanau Manor, near Monmouth, the last of 20 gardens designed by Henry Avray Tipping. He was architectural editor of “Country Life” before his death in 1933. Helena has restored the garden to his original 1923 design and talks about his life and his legacy.
April 8 Talk: Herbidaceous Kim Hurst
Kim is from the Cottage Herbery, which she set up in Tenbury Wells in 1976. This is her latest topic and covers plants from a genus that contains both herbs and herbaceous perennials – anthemis, agastache, artemisia, echinacea, filipendula, monarda, sanguisorba and more. We’ll see the different species and varieties along with their connections to each other, their origins, development and popularity.
May 13 Talk: The Wonderful World of Perennial Violas Jack Willgoss
Jack runs Wildegoose Nurseries in Much Wenlock with wife Stephanie - and specialises in hardy, perennial violas. They have an expanding collection of old favourite violas and the best new introductions - more than 150 varieties in total.
June Plant sale
July 8 Chelsea - the full story in 10 minutes Mick Dunstan plus One Other
Talk: Late Summer Flowers Marina Christopher
The A-Z effort behind our appearance at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, followed by our speaker Marina Christopher, from Phoenix Perennial Plants in Hampshire. After research in botany, marine biology and ecology, she escaped the laboratory to begin a new life as a nurserywoman in 1984, setting up Phoenix in 2002. She supplies some of the top garden designers with more unusual plants for the Chelsea Flower Show. Her topic is Late Summer Flowers, the title of her 2006 best-seller. She uses plant material for her props, not a Powerpoint slide in sight.
August No meeting
Roy Lancaster, President of the Hardy Plant Society, Derry Watkins and Julian Sutton

Frank Parkinson Lecture Theatre, Pershore College
Roy will speak to us on A Plantsman’s Life, the title of his new autobiography planned for release in April, encompassing his career from his first job with Bolton Parks Department in 1952 through to the present day. Although room for only highlights, he promises a good mix of plants, people and places - plus a few laughs. He’s joined by our morning speaker Derry Watkins, from Special Plants in Wiltshire. Her topic is New Plant Introductions from Around The World. Julian Sutton, from Desirable Plants nursery in Devon, completes the line-up. His topic is How Flowers Came To Be - looking at the nature of flowers, their forms, colours and even their timings, all central to our enjoyment of plants in our gardens. It will include a series of biological stories surrounding the evolution of floral diversity, even of the origin of flowers themselves, all illustrated by garden-worthy plants.
Oct 14 Talk: Life as a Garden Magazine Editor Tamsin Westhorpe
Tamsin, former editor of “The English Garden” magazine, now director of Stockton Bury Gardens near Leominster, talks to us about Life as a Garden Magazine Editor - a vocation which, she admits, arose almost by accident.
Nov 11 Talk: Colour Combinations Julie Ritchie
Colour Combinations is the title of the talk from Julie, from Hoo House Nursery - perennial and alpine specialists - in Tewkesbury. Roy Lancaster wrote a piece about her nursery in the RHS magazine “The Garden” in May, 2016.
Dec 9 Talk: Plants that Changed The Course of History Bill Laws
Featuring 10 of Bill’s favourites from his 2010 book, “Fifty Plants That Changed The Course of History”. They include Papaver somniferum and Cannabis sativa. Bill has contributed to Radio 4’s “Ramblings”, “The Wall Street Journal” and “Countryfile” - as well as “The Daily Telegraph”, “The Guardian” and magazines. He lives in Hereford and is a keen walker and cyclist.