I am pleased to offer you the opportunity of learning more about garden design and garden history through lectures.

Those talks last about one hour and can be given any time. Please contact me for more information.

About the lectures

During the garden design lectures, you will learn about plant combinations focussing on various examples of good plant partnerships whilst experimenting with colours, textures and forms. Attention will be given to the qualities of plants, their personality and strenghts, and how to use them well. Planning layouts of different blooms throughout a period of time will also be covered.

Simple plants can make very surprising effects when introduced in an unusual place whilst others will need to be planted on mass to make the best impact. They are all waiting to be discovered!

The lectures aim to be practical; the participants will go home with plenty of ideas to transform their gardens and to add the missing touches to them.

You will enjoy a selection of slides on each topic and be given a comprehensive plant list.

The garden history lectures are a bit of fresh air in the garden design world! They will introduce you to the stories that have shaped the gardens we see today and to the people responsible for the evolution of gardens and gardening. A real voyage in time most agreeable.

Any questions? Feel free to contact me.

Lectures available

Garden History:

The Plant Hunters

The story of plant hunters is one of the most fascinating episodes of the history of gardens. Come and follow their paths to discover what a passion for plants can do and to appreciate how rich our gardens are because of their endless searches for beauty.

The Naming of Plants

How many times have you wonder where the Latin names of plants come from? Who named them and why? Genera, species and cultivars will be easier to remember (and perhaps to pronounce!) after this lecture! An introduction to Carl von Linné’s work is also on the program. 

Gertrude Jekyll; the Artist behind the Gardener

Presented as an influential gardener and writer, only few know that she was also a talented and versatile artist. Her photographic work to save old buildings and craftsmanship’s in Surrey is one example. Come and discover a remarkable woman.

And many more!

- The history of the knot garden.

- The birth of the English landscape garden.

- Portraits of famous women garden designers of the 19th and 20th centuries.

- Gardening school for girls in the late 19th century

Garden Design:

1. Colour Combinations: How to work with the mysterious colour wheel and to get harmony within the plant combination. Colour combinations use the principal of contrast to achieve subtle effects. It is done by looking carefully at size and shape of blooms but also at foliage, stems and barks. This lecture will show you how to balance chosen colours and how to experiment with colour contrasts.

2. Plant Marriages: Plants have all sorts of shapes, forms, textures and structures. When grouping them you need to consider these features to find the best compositions. If a marriage of two can be reasonably easy to do, a match of three, four of more plants is quite a challenge! Also, plant combination will change and evolue over the growing season. The design principals of contrast, repetition, rythm and movement will be the key factors to combine plants and to form interesting tableaux for most of the year.

3. Plant Companions : The plants involved in a composition don't  need to have the same degree of presence; some draw lots of attention to themselves by the size or by the colour of their blooms whilst others are discreet and are used as companions. The companion role is to be secondary but don't think they are not important; without them, there will be no balance and your eyes will tire quickly. Companions are also called filler plants and usually bear little flowers and are light and airy, filling the gaps between the Prima Dona plants. Lots of ornamental grasses play this role. Plant companions can also be annuals, herbs or vegetables.