Information: Lectured nationally for thirty years. Former Holder of the NCCPG National Fritillaria Collection. Co-writer of ‘The Gardener’s Guide to Growing Fritillarias’. A fulltime gardener and landscaper for twenty years and holds tens of thousands of bulbs, many rare in cultivation. Big advocate of growing plants hardy outside. Featured on Gardeners’ World on TV and in the RHS Garden Magazine 2003. RHS Gold Medallist 2006
1. Hardy, unusual but obtainable plants - A mix of unusual strange flowering plants and a few plants people may like try to grow. All the plants grow in my garden in Stockport. Arisaema, Helwingia, Fritillaria, Stachyurus, Lysionotus, Eucomis etc. Covering bulbs, climbers, herbaceous shrubs and trees.
2. The private plants and gardens of Cheshire (I am the only speaker in UK giving this talk)
For 30 years I was a gardener for the Footballers and the millionaires in Hale and Alderly Edge, Cheshire. This is a rare look at the gardens you can’t visit. A look behind the electric gates. Some footballer’s and racing driver’s, gardens, but certainly the very rich households. A nosey look at their Gardens, behind their private gates. (A light hearted look at the gardens that are strictly PRIVATE.)
3. Hardy Fritillaria for the open garden - A general look at 50 easy garden Fritillaria. I feel this subject is best mixed with another half talk, unless you are a specialist group. I still have 35 different Fritillaria growing outside in my garden.
4. Fritillaria around the world - A more in depth look at how many Fritillaria there are in the world. This talk covers almost 100 species and covers Europe, Asia and West USA
5. Hardy Poppies small and large - We had one of the largest collections of Poppies in Europe. We grew and held seed from 65 varieties which we sold at the RHS flower shows, under the name Poppy Heads Ltd. This talk covers 100 poppies from alpines to 2m (6ft) giant poppies.
6. Pictorial Garden plants - A talk full of very pretty flowers. All the plants shown have grown in my garden in Stockport. A good general plant talk where I show you how to grow the plants. This talk is packed full of advice.
7. Winter Talk. Don’t Go To Sleep During Winter - My newest written talk, new pictures and new subject. Winter plant colour. What you can be doing in winter and where to visit to see colour. Advice, plants and preparation.
8. Unusual bulbs - A mix of unusual flowering bulbs and a few bulbs people may like try to grow. All the plants grow in my garden in Stockport. A list of a few bulbs would be, Arisaema, Eucomis, Fritillaria, Crocus, Polygonatum, Allium, Arisaema, Puschkinia, Corydalis.
9. The bulb year - Bulbs are not just for spring, they are planted for all-year-round colour. This is Talk covering the full year January to December.
10. Flower hunting in Portugal - A talk about the wildflowers of Portugal. which concludes in the many beautiful Orchids I have found. Portugal is well known for beautiful wild flowers and Orchids, I have visited Portugal over twenty times and have travelled and photographed 1000 wild flowers. Many of these plants you can grow in your own garden.
11. A question of Soil Fertility - A demonstration and ideal for an AGM. Half hour chat about Soil which is the back bone of plants. I ask: What makes plants grow? How much should we feed? What fertilizers? What is wrong with our/your soil?
12. Alpines a gardeners guide to growing alpines - As a member of the Alpine Garden Society for over 30 yrs, Local Committee member for 20yrs and local AGS Chairman for 4 yrs, I have a collection of fantastic Alpine pictures. This is a talk about how I become addicted to growing alpines. I also grow and sell Alpines.
13. My Garden, A Plantsman’s Garden. - This talk is about the rare plants I have been growing for over thirty years. I have grown over 10,000 different plants. I look at the success the failures and my obsession for collecting obscure plants.
14. Historical talk on the explorer A.E. Pratt - My research hobby on the life and work of the plant explorer Antwerp Pratt. He was an explorer from 1880-1920 living on The Isle of Wight he collected and travelled the world. Although he collected plants, insects and Butterflies in China and New Guinea, his detailed description of his travels in China was used by E.H. Wilson. I have the most detailed research into this fascinating person.
15. Growing Gesneriads i.e. Petrocosmea, Ramonda - A bus man’s hobby. This talk covers my hobby for growing the challenging plants in the Gesneriad family. This talk covers soil, growing conditions and many species of the Gesneriad family, like Ramonda and Petrocosmea.
16. Specialist Genus Stachyurus and Genus Betula - This was the key note talk I gave to the RHS Hardy Plant Committee in 2011. It covers the species of Stachyurus, cultivation and origin. A specialist talk but can be picked with another talk and made more general. I Try to have a few Stachyurus plants for sale on the day of the talk.
17. Buying and growing Epipactis and other hardy Orchids - I love orchids and I have a special interest towards Epipactis and Dactylorhiza hardy outside in the garden. I work with the local Cheshire trust in the Orchid Fields, counting and recording orchid populations.
Fee: B - C plus travelling expenses
Equipment: Will bring own projector but will require screen plus one sales table for plants.
Availability: At any time. Will travel any distance.