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Garden Shed
Programme 2022-2023

Delos -Vita and Harold's Forgotten Garden

Thursday 20th October 2022


Troy Scott Smith, Head Gardener, Sissinghurst

Troy started his career with the National Trust at Sissinghurst, and has returned for a third time, his second as Head Gardener.

In 2019 he began his most ambitious project to date. Working with Dan Pearson, he began the process of re-imagining  the lost garden of Delos.

In this lecture he will describe the Greek garden made in the 1930's by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson and the detailed process undertaken to bring it back, thus evoking the Mediterranean once again.


Growing a Green Roof

Monday 14th November, 2022


John Little - Grass Roof Company

John has designed and built over 300 small green roof buildings, combining biodiverse green roofs with walls of breeding and hibernation space.


He has continued this biodiversity on brownfield sites.


Believing that gardens can be designed by soil rather than the plants, he will suggest to us structural complexity is overlooked in landscape design and is more important than plant choice.


Gardening in the Future


Tuesday 6th December, 2022


Mary Payne, Horticultural Consultant

Mary is best described as a horticultural consultant specialising in creating and managing planting schemes for gardens large and small.


Currently she has several gardens in various stages of development, including Compton Acres in Poole.


Following the summer of 2022 Mary's advice on what the future holds for our gardens will be especially welcome.


York Gate through the Head Gardener's Eye


Monday 16th January, 2023


Ben Preston, Head Gardener, Perennial's York Gate Garden

Until August 2022 Ben was Head Gardener at York Gate in Leeds. He spent five years there, developing and expanding this exceptional garden.


The creation of new gardens and a nursery (along with a cafe) has bought this treasured Arts and Crafts garden into the 21st century,


This talk will give you an insight into maintaining and developing an historic garden while keeping one eye on the past and one eye on the future.


A passionate gardener and nurseryman Ben is now the owner of Cliff Bank Nursery, near Harrogate, which is to be reopened in April 2023.

liberto pic 1.jpeg

New Greek Plants for English Gardens

Wednesday February 15th, 2023


Eleftherios Dariotis, Horticulturalist and Botanist

The Liberto Dario of Facebook is a horticulturalist and botanist from Athens.

He has studied plant production in Greece, plant biology at the University of California and horticulture at Reading.


Eleftherios has created two private gardens in his native land and built up a well respected small bulb and nursery business.


He has travelled extensively around the world and is no stranger to north winds and unpredictable climates.


Liberto Dario will be inspiring us with new  Greek plants for our rather stressed English gardens.



Growing Perennials and Woody Plants

Monday 13th March, 2023


Rachel Siegfried, owner of the 'Green and Gorgeous' flower farm

Rachel has worked in horticulture for 25 years, and has experience in design, landscaping, nursery work and productive horticulture. In 2008 she founded Green and Gorgeous.

She and her partner Ashley Pearson grow hundreds of varieties of plants, carefully selected for their cut flower credentials.

Whether your goal is to have something to pick from your garden each week of the year, or to start a cut flower business, Rachel will share some of her tried and tested favourites as featured in her new book 'The Cut Flower Source Book'

Photo Eva Nemeth


From Tokachi to Chelsea - Bringing a Japanese Forest atmosphere into the Floral Marquee

Tuesday 18th April, 2023

Charlie Hawkes, Landscape Designer and Alice Hawkes, Gardener

Charlie is a landscape designer who, after working in Tom Stuart-Smith's design studio for three years, has set up his own practice.

He also considers himself a gardener, having worked at Great Dixter, Gravetye Manor and of course, the Tokachi Millennium forest.

Together with his wife Alice he will be talking about their time in the Japanese forest and the key themes that they observed and learnt about.

They will explain how principles from this  large scale forest can be applied to an area of any size.

In their case it was a raised bed, 6x8m, sponsored by the Wilderness Foundation, that won a gold medal at Chelsea last year.

Photo Frank Wu

_F5A6605_Cassian Schmidt_Bild Claire Tak

Inspired by Nature - The New Perennial Movement of Hermannshof


Thursday 25th May, 2023



Cassian Schmidt, Director, Hermannshof Gardens, Germany


Cassian has over 25 years of experience as director of Hermannshof Garden, a privately owned and internationally well known display and trial garden in Weinheim in South-Western Germany.

His research  has been focused on the 'New German Style' of planting, using stress tolerant natural plant communities  (mainly North American prairie and Eastern European steppe) as models for new sustainable plant combinations for the urban environment.

The AGM will be held at the start of the meeting


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