Talks

I regularly give talks to gardening clubs and societies all over the South-West and further afield, and I’m available for bookings for a reasonable fee plus travel expenses.

Please scroll down for the full list of current talks, then contact me by email for more details and to make a booking.

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Upcoming talks in 2017:

~ 12 January: Seavington Gardening Club, Somerset ~ 18 January: Colyton & District Gardening Club, Devon ~ 21 February: Mosterton Gardening Club, Somerset ~ 28 February: Wootton Courtenay Garden Club, Somerset ~ 8 March: Combe Martin Gardening Club, Devon ~ 13 March: Awliscombe Garden Club, Devon ~ 14 March: Charlton Horethorne & District Gardening Club, Somerset ~ 21 March: Cerne Abbas Gardening Club, Dorset ~ 20 April: Crook Peak Gardening Club, Somerset ~ 25 April: Hilmarton Gardening Club, Wiltshire ~ 9 May: Martock Gardening Club, Somerset ~ 10 May: Lulworth & District Gardening Club, Dorset ~ 15 May: Abingdon Horticultural Society, Oxfordshire ~ 5 June: Ilminster Literary Festival, Somerset ~ 7 June: Broadhembury Gardening Club, Devon ~ 2 August: Torrington Horticultural Society, Devon ~ 6 September: U3A, Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire ~ 13 September: Torquay Horticultural Society, Devon ~ 18 September: Whitestone Gardening Club, Devon ~ 20 September: Weymouth Ladies’ Probus, Dorset ~ 27 September: Portishead Gardening Club, Somerset ~ 2 November: North Curry Gardening Club, Somerset ~ 14 November: Great Cheverell Gardeing Club, Wiltshire ~ 16 November: Honiton Gardening Club, Devon ~

Upcoming talks in 2018:

~ 1 February: Denbury Gardening Club, Devon ~ 25 April: Severnside Cottage Garden Society, Gloucestershire ~

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TALK TOPICS

Heritage vegetables ~ A Rogue’s Gallery for Gardeners ~ Behind the Scenes at Chelsea ~ Growing Veg in Small Spaces ~ A Beginner’s Guide to Self Sufficiency ~ Year Round Veg Growing

heligan2HERITAGE VEGETABLES *new*

Heritage vegetables have been handed down from generation to generation, rich with history and sometimes with some quirky stories attached, too.

This talk explores the wonderful history, flavours and stories behind our oldest vegetable varieties, and looks at what exactly we mean by a ‘heritage’ vegetable: superior flavour? a good story? or something else altogether?

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A ROGUE’S GALLERY FOR GARDENERS *new*

A talk packed with practical advice on organic ways of tackling pests and diseases, including ways to prevent them from attacking your plot in the first place, and how to limit the damage if and when they do.

I’ll give first-hand examples from my own long experience in fighting off the most commonly encountered pests on both ornamental and edible plants, rounding off with the top 10 pests and diseases encountered by the RHS Advice Service each year, and how to cope if you encounter them in your garden.

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Andy Sturgeon's garden, Chelsea 2012BEHIND THE SCENES AT CHELSEA

Every year I go to the world’s greatest flower show as a journalist, spending much of the week there and working alongside exhibitors, designers, contractors and RHS show staff, and often spending time at the showground outside official opening hours.

It gives me a unique insight into life ‘behind the scenes’ at Chelsea. This is a slide show including lots of anecdotes and insights into the side of the show the public doesn’t get to see, including plenty of gorgeous (and some not so gorgeous!) photos of Chelsea past and present.

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Malvern Spring Flower Show

GROWING VEG IN SMALL SPACES

Gardens are getting smaller and smaller these days – but that doesn’t mean you have to limit your dreams to grow your own food.

This slideshow is packed with ideas I’ve collected from shows, by visiting other people’s gardens and by trying it out in my own garden.

You’ll hear about techniques such as vertical gardening, keyhole gardening and square-foot gardening to make the most of even the tiniest spaces, plus recommendations on the best varieties to grow and advice on how to pack the most veg into the least space imaginable.

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A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY

The good life can be yours – even if you don’t have acres of land to call your own (you don’t even need a garden).

This talk tells you how to take your first steps towards self-sufficiency, starting your journey with just a few pots on the patio. I’ll then help you expand the dream just as much as you want to: you’ll hear about how to make what you’ve got work hard for you and ways to get your hands on land even when you don’t own any yourself. You’ll also hear how it’s quite possible to produce more than ‘just’ veg, from garden sundries to honey, eggs and meat, using just the resources you have around you, no major lifestyle change required.

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13_saladboxYEAR-ROUND VEG GROWING

It’s easy enough to grow veg in the summer – but what about keeping your garden productive through winter, and, even worse, the dreaded ‘hungry gap’ of early spring?

This talk tells you how to maximise the produce from your garden all year round, so you have something to pick every day of the year from January to December. I’ll explain clever techniques for extending the season at both ends, plus share my tips for the best crops to grow so you never go short of delicious fresh produce for your plate.

 

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