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AGS Zoom Lectures: seven online plant talks

September 7, 2021
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We have put together an exciting programme of online plant lectures and gardening talks to keep you informed and entertained over the next few months.

These virtual lectures will take place on Thursday evenings and further details can be found below. Our speakers come from far and wide and cover a varied range of topics, from travel diaries to plant profiles and practical aspects of alpine gardening.

As part of their membership benefits, AGS members can attend free of charge, but to register interest, members must log-in and “purchase” a free ticket.

Tickets for non-members will cost £7 for each talk or £49 for all seven. With this in mind, why not join us today and enjoy all these talks for free?

16th September 2021, 7.30pm BST

Christopher Gardner: Flora of the Silk Road

Christopher trained to be a professional horticulturist at Reading University. However his love of travel and seeing plants in the wild was much stronger. For the past 20 years he has led over 150 tours all over the world and he and his wife Basak, now run their own travel company, ViraNatura Tours, from their home in Turkey. The couple have also written two books. Published in 2014, Flora of the Silk Road covered 530 species from China in the east to Turkey in the west. This was followed by Flora of the Mediterranean in 2019. Both these titles are available in our webshop.

This talk has been recorded and is available to watch online. Purchase your tickets below.

14th October 2021, 7.30pm BST

Ian Young: Troughs

Ian Young has been making and growing plants in troughs for over 40 years. During this time he has used and developed a number of innovative, easy ways to make them including the now widely-adopted polystyrene ‘fish box trough’.

This talk will take you on a comprehensive journey looking back at the history of troughs. There are many different types of troughs and Ian will discuss a number of ways to make your own troughs such as using polystyrene boxes, paint and cement.

The talk then goes on to show how to use rocks to landscape, plant and maintain troughs in a range of different habitats and styles to suit a wide range of plants and gardens.

This talk is now sold out.

18th November 2021, 7.30pm GMT

Jim Almond: Bulbs for year-round colour

Jim is an experienced grower of alpines and bulbs both in the open garden and pots. He has been associated with the AGS show scene for over 30 years as an exhibitor, photographer and judge coordinator. The talk will feature some of his favourite bulbs to provide seasonal colour throughout the year, both in the garden and cold greenhouse.

27th January 2022, 7.30pm GMT

Dr. Adrian Cooper: Climate change and growing alpines

In 2022 our online plant lectures start in earnest with the important subject of climate change. Adrian is a very keen gardener with a professional background in the oil industry. He started gardening at the age of eight and fell in love with alpines four years later on a visit to Ingwersen’s nursery. He joined the AGS the same year and he’s been a member ever since.

The range of plants he grows in his garden in Kent is quite extensive and includes many rare species that are borderline-hardy in the UK. Climate change and his ability to create microclimates in his 3.7 acre plot are keys to his success.

24th February 2022, 7.30pm GMT

Wim Boens: Leucojum, the lesser-known sister of Galanthus

Wim Boens has been an avid gardener for over 30 years with a keen interest in a broad range of plants. Although Wim has an academic background in archaeology,  in the last ten years he has been writing botanical and horticultural articles about different plant-genera for magazines like ‘The Plant Review’, ‘The International Rock Gardener’, ‘Flora Montis’, ‘Den Alpine Have’ and ‘Garten Praxis’. He is currently gathering material for two new books, one on the genus Eranthis (in English) and one on the genus Arum (in German).


24th March 2022, 7.30pm GMT

Dr. Christopher Grey-Wilson: Pasque flowers, the genus Pulsatilla

Christopher Grey-Wilson retired as Editor of the Alpine Garden Society in 2011 after twenty-one years. Before that, from 1968-1989, he was a Principal Scientific Officer at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. He has travelled widely, particularly in the mountains of Europe and Asia. Over the years Christopher has written many books and articles. These include monographs on Clematis, Cyclamen, Dionysia and poppies as well as guides to European alpine plants, Greek bulbs and Mediterranean flowers. He was awarded a VMH by the RHS in 2007 for ‘outstanding service to horticulture’.

Closely related to anemones, pulsatillas or pasque-flowers are amongst the most exquisite of all mountain plants. Furthermore they are an essential element in any alpine garden. This lecture supplements the book Christopher wrote on the subject, and it features sumptuous photographs of the species in the wild and cultivation.

28th April 2022, 7.30pm GMT

John Dower: Miniature gardens

John has been championing miniature gardens at AGS shows for many years and this is the subject closest to his heart. His talk will look at various examples of his craft and he will show ways of building miniature gardens in containers.

Landscaping a container provides a natural environment for plants where they can grow their roots under stones to find cool, moist conditions. In his talk John will also be looking at how planting can be refreshed with flowering specimens. Accessories won’t be forgotten as they are used to create interest and humour in a particular design.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

This is the final talk in our 2021-2022 online plant lectures series. Sign up for our e-newsletter to make sure you are kept informed about our future talks and events.