Plants and Castles of Transylvania

This talk explores a land that is best known for Dracula and his castles, but also boasts an amazingly diverse flora, including woodlanders, meadow flowers and high mountain alpines. 

Rametea village forms the backdrop of the Piatra Secuiului gorge in Transylvania

Romanian mountain plants

In this lecture I will focus on the plants that live on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains. From the North to the South, through woodlands, gorges and up on the high peaks. 

Dianthus callizonus - Romanian mountain plants
Romanian alpine endemic Dianthus callizonus

Fifty shades of green - Versatile foliage plants and the diversity of leaves

A lecture that starts by exploring leaves in their diversity of shapes, sizes, colours and textures and then gives examples of how foliage plants can be used to great effect in the garden, including the display I designed at the 2015 RHS Tatton Flower Show for the Hardy Plant Society.

plant garden speaker talk lecture
A plethora of Cyclamen graecum leaf forms

Autumn bulbs in the Peloponnese and the last of the summer flowers

Over the years, I have been fortunate to lead several Alpine Garden Society tours to Greece and visit the Peloponnese. This is a hotspot of biodiversity when it comes to autumn flowering bulbs like Crocus, Colchicum, Cyclamen, Sternbergia, Narcissus and Scilla. Apart from over 40 species of bulbs I will also discuss other plants flowering in late October among beautiful scenery and archaeological sites.

Plant talks lecture
Autumn bulbs in the Peloponnese

Walking on flowers, spring in the Peloponnese

This beautiful corner of the world is not only rich in autumn bulbs, but also in spring flowers. Be prepared to be amazed by intricate carpets of annuals, bulbs and perennials that sometimes stretch as far as the eye can see. Orchids, especially bee-orchids come in great numbers and in a dizzying diversity.

flower garden lecture talks
Silene colorata in Peloponnese in spring

Mix and Match. Amazing plants and places from a decade of travels

This talk is in constant evolution as it showcases some of the plants I fell in love with while visiting the UK, Spain, France, Greece, Germany, the islands of the Atlantic, Portugal and Romania.

Melanoselinum decipiens - giant tree parsley in Madeira 

Confessions of a Plantaholic - Plants I wouldn’t be without!

Collecting, propagating and growing plants can sometime be an obsession if not a true addiction! While making light fun of myself and the things I do for plants, I will also talk about some of my favourites and must haves.

Plant gardening talks lectures
Confession of a plantaholic

Wild daffodils and other Spanish gems

Let's take a look at some of the many species of wild daffodils one can encounter in Spain, from the slopes of Andalusia in the South to Galicia and Picos de Europa in the North. In this lecture I will also discuss other species of alpines, bulbs and shrubs from across the country. 

Spanish daffodils and other gems 

An introduction to alpines

There is much to say about alpines, and I will start by trying to answer the question: what is an alpine plant? Where do they come from, what conditions do they need, how can one grow alpines? These and other questions (including how to build your own miniature garden) will be considered in this lecture that only just skims the surface of what is a vast subject. 

An introduction to alpines - talk
Miniature garden

Calendar of talks

2022, September 18th - TBA, Plant Heritage Norfolk
2022, April 25 st - TBA, NE Northumberland Hardy Plant Society
2022, March 9th - TBA, AGS Oxford
2022, February 3rd - Confessions of a Plantaholic, Wilmslow guild 

2021, October 16th - TBA, HPS Essex Lecture Day
2021, October 12th - Confessions of a plantaholic, Nidderdale Hardy Planters
2021, October 8th - TBA, HPS Nottingham
2021, September 25th - TBA, AGS Norfolk
2021, July 15th - TBA, Plant Heritage Norfolk
2021, April 21st - Plants and castles of Transylvania, Cottage Garden Society Ormskirk Group
2021, April 19th - Confessions of a plantaholic, Plant Heritage Staffordshire
2021, April 14th - Plants and Castles of Transylvania, Warwickshire Plant Heritage (Zoom lecture)
2021, April 1st - Walking of Flowers - Spring in the Peloponnese, HPS East Yorkshire (Zoom lecture)
2021, March 18th - Plants and Castles of Transylvania, Glasshouses & District Gardening Club
2021, March 15th - Growing alpines in Containers, Chorlton and Friends Gardeners' Group 
2021, March 12th - Confessions of a plantaholic, West Yorkshire Hardy Plant Society (Zoom lecture)
2021, January 26th - What's in a name, Llanrhaeadr Garden club Wales, (Zoom lecture)
2021, January 6th - TBA, Hardy Plant Society South Pennine Group (Zoom lecture)

2020, November 16th - Walking on Flowers - Spring in the Peloponnese, Shocklach Gardening Group
2020, November 13th - TBA, Chilterns Alpine Garden Society group
2020, November 10th - Confessions of a Plantaholic, Hardy Plant Society Rutland Group
2020, October 25th - Confessions of a Plantaholic, Plant Heritage Norfolk
2020, October 20th - Autumn bulbs in the Peloponnese, Hardy Plant Society Clywd Group
2020, October 17th - Romanian mountain plants, Alpine Garden Society Ulster Group
2020, October 14th - 50 shades of green, Tattenhall Gardening Society
2020, October 12th - TBA, Coventry
2020, October 6th - TBA, Llanbedrog
2020, October 5th - TBA, Morfa Nefyn
2020, September 18th - Fifyy shades of green, Audley and District Probus Club
2020, September 17th - TBA, Oxenhope
2020, September 13th - TBA, Friends of Dorothy Clive Gardens
2020, June 11th - TBA, Friends of Leicester Botanic Garden
2020, April 16th - Walking on Flowers - Spring in the Peloponnese, AGS North Lancs Group
2020, March 11th - Romanian mountain plants, Alpine Garden Society Oxford Group
2020, March 2nd - Confessions of a Plantaholic, Sutton Coldfield Ladies Club
2020, February 13th - Plant hunting in Madeira and the Azores, Plant Heritage Shropshire
2020, February 4th - Mix and Match, amazing plants and places from a decade of travels, Handforth Gardening Society
2020, February 3rd - Confessions of a Plantaholic, Hardy Plant Society Cheshire and Friends Group
2020, January 15th - Plant Hunting in Madeira and the Azores, Alpine Garden Society Northants Group
2020, January 14th - Plants and Castles of Transylvania, Nidderdale Hardy Planters
2020, January 9th - Walking on Flowers - Spring in the Peloponnese, Wilmslow Guild, Cheshire
2020, January 6th - Plants and Castles of Transylvania, Kew Improvement Society

2019, November 28th - Romanian mountain plants, Hampshire Alpine Garden Society Group
2019, November 21st - Plants and Castles of Transylvania, Pickering Horticultural Society Hardy Plant Group
2019, November 18th - Plants and Castles of Transylvania, Shocklach Gardening Group
2019, November 13th - Fifty shades of Green, Minshull Vernon Garden Club
2019, November 12th - Romanian mountain plants, Plant Heritage Worcestershire
2019, November 5th - Confessions of a plantaholic, Morfa Nefyn Garden Club
2019, October 20th - Mix and Match, Hardy Plant Society Essex Group
2019, October 19th - Romanian mountain plants, Mid-Anglia AGS Group
2019, September 24th - Walking on Flowers - Spring in the Peloponnese, Llanrhaeadr Garden club
2019, September 20th - Plants and Castles of Transylvania, Wirral and West Cheshire Alpine Group
2019, September 16th - Plants and Castles of Transylvania, Plant Heritage Staffordshire
2019, September 12th - Confessions of a Plantaholic, Plant Heritage Warwickshire
2019, July 14th - Romanian mountain plants, Friends of Dorothy Clive Gardens
2019, July 1st - Romanian mountain plants, Bedfordshire AGS Group
2019, June 29th - Confessions of a Plantaholic, Western Counties HPS Group, Norton
2019, June 13th - Plant hunting in Maderia and the Azores, Stone Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society

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