Alpine Garden Society

01386 554790
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Cumbleton, Paul

Home Town: Somerton, Somerset

Email:         Wisley Diary:

Information: Paul Cumbleton was head of the Alpine Department at RHS Wisley Garden for 11 years before taking early retirement and escaping to the country in rural Somerset. He has grown alpines for over 30 years and also has particular interest in Pleione and the winter-growing South African Bulbs. He has written articles for the AGS journal, The Plantsman, The Garden magazine and other publications and his regular blog about his team’s work at Wisley was widely read and appreciated.  All the talks are digital, PowerPoint presentations and geared very much to be both practical and inspirational. All my talks are approximately an hour in length – if you would like a longer or shorter talk, please ask because I can easily adjust them to suit your preferred length.


1. Alluring Alpines -  A look at various selected groups of alpines with an emphasis on their cultivation, interspersed with “fascinating facts” about alpine ecology that help us understand the requirements of alpine plants.

2. A Growing Addiction: Bulbs from the Winter Rainfall area of South Africa - This area has some outstanding, wonderful, sometimes weird but beautiful plants. An overview of this increasingly popular group of plants and how to grow them.

3. Pleiones for Pleasure - A tour of both species and hybrids of Pleiones including lots of practical advice on cultivation and even how to do your own hybridising.

4. Alpines of the Wasatch & Ruby Mountains, USA - a travelogue of the field trip to these areas made as part of the International Conference held in Utah in 2006

 5. A Miscellany of Tips, Tricks and Technology - Not so much a talk (it has only a few slides) but a series of practical demonstrations covering topics as diverse as making compost mixes that do what we want them to, how and why you might use a conductivity meter, light and shade – the real difference… and more!

6. Alpines & Orchids - This talk was aimed at an Orchid Society rather then an alpine group and mainly deals with just a few alpines and then a look at the orchids that I grow at home (with just a few Pleiones mentioned but not many as I have a separate talk on these).

7. Growing Amaryllids at Wisley & at Home - A selection of the bulbs from this fascinating family with practical growing tips. Concentrates on the more unusual members of the family rather than the familiar ones.

8. Crevice Gardening - A look at this most fashionable method of growing alpines, focussing (but not entirely) on the crevice garden at Wisley and my own new crevice garden. Includes aspects of the history of crevice gardening, the principles behind it and practical help on how to build them and the plants that might be used in them.

9. The Hyacinthaceae – A Horticultural Perspective - This is currently a half-length talk of about 30 minutes, originally given as an introduction to a scientific symposium. It could be lengthened to a longer talk if needed. It gives an overview of this popular plant family including a look at its economic importance.

Fee: B
Equipment: I will bring my own digital equipment, but will need the use of the group’s screen. 

[ Full list of AGS Speakers ]
[ Printable Version in separate window ]