The Best of British Garden Seminars is a compilation of thought-provoking talks and seminars (25th-27th of May) hosted within the Garrison Suite and Gardens at Chelsea Barracks. Gardening experts and design talents such as Jo Thompson herself, Jekka McVicar, Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg, Shane Connolly and The Land Gardeners, to name a few, will join panels to discuss topics such as environmental floristry, the gardener’s palette, the medicinal properties of herbs and how soil is the key to healthy plants, people and the planet. Tickets will be
available to book via Country Life.
Please see full schedule of events below.
(Wednesday 25th May, 2pm) Herbs: More than a Garnish – by gardening expert, author and broadcaster Jekka McVicar
Jekka will give an interactive talk on why Herbs are more than a Garnish. She will hand round herbs to taste and smell, and you will also sample some herb teas while Jekka explains how the herbs of our forefathers are the herbs of our today. For example; did you know that Angelica is one of the main ingredients in Gin, simply because it grew wild all along the river Thames?
(Wednesday 25th May, 4pm) Soil to Table – by award winning garden designer & renovators The Land Gardeners
Bridget & Henrietta, founders of The Land Gardeners offer an insightful chat about their new book Soil to Table– taking a dive into the world of soil and how it is the key to healthy plants, people and the planet. They will share recipes on how to heal your soil and how to grow seedlings with their microbially rich Climate Compost, alongside how they are growing more nutrient dense food, reducing pests & diseases and sequestering carbon. From growing in a pot to farming on hundreds of acres, Bridget and Henrietta will show guests that we all have the power to grow a healthier planet. They will also talk around cut flowers - and how to create a low maintenance cut flower garden in your orchard or meadow.
(Wednesday, 25th May, 6pm) The Gardener’s Palette, Hosted by Internationally-renowned landscape designer and CFS gold medallist Jo Thompson
Jo’s new book The Gardener’s Palette is a guide to using colour successfully in the home garden. Everyone wants colour in their garden, but each person’s preferred palette is unique. How do you choose the right one for your garden, and which plants should you select to fulfil your vision? Jo doesn’t believe we need to be limited by the rules of the colour wheel when planning colour combinations, and encourages you to consider unexpected colour combinations - showing how they can uplift, transform and surprise.
(Thursday 26th May, 2pm) How green is your bouquet? By pioneer in Environmental Floristry Shane Connolly
An immersive & interactive workshop exploring the sustainable approach to creating seasonal, nature-led floral art. The session will demonstrate how to combine plants, flowers and fruits using the very latest natural and environmentally friendly techniques to create stunning displays for the home.
Shane will walk his guests through a series of workstations that show a variety of design concepts designed to inspire how we approach home-floristry. This Includes looking beyond the traditional cut flower display and exploring edible bouquets with a focus on seasonality, sustainability and artistic beauty. This session is suitable for those who would like to understand more about environmental floristry or would simply like some inspiration and insights on how to refresh, invigorate and develop their own style using seasonal & sustainably sourced flowers, fruits and plants.
(Thursday 26th May, 4pm) Highgrove Gardens through the years – by Emma Cochran-Patrick, Highgrove Gardens
Emma Cochran-Patrick, who leads the guiding team at Highgrove Gardens, talks about how the gardens have grown under the ownership of HRH The Prince of Wales in the past 40 years, and how his vision, including a focus on organic principles and native varieties, has shaped them. She will talk about how the diversification of the gardens has involved creating opportunities for public access, events, and, more recently, education and training opportunities provided by The Prince's Foundation. Emma will describe the importance to HRH and the gardeners of weaving organic practices with a sustainable approach that includes a reed bed system, composting, and a wildlife haven that encourages incredible biodiversity among birds and insects. She will give a flavour of what visitors can expect from a visit to Highgrove Gardens and conduct a short Q&A session for guests following her talk.
(Thursday 26th May, 6pm) Creating a Sense of Space in your Garden – by Award-winning landscape designers and CFS gold medallists Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg
Charlotte and Hugo will share their approach to creating a sense of space in the many different gardens they design. From a compact urban meadow garden where they established a plant-rich haven for people and wildlife, to the vast country estate where they created a new walled garden, series of entertaining terraces, topiary garden and spring garden and to the series of productive growing beds they designed for RHS Garden Bridgewater. They will explore their creative process behind achieving a sense of space - whatever the size
(Friday 26th May 2pm) Creating Intimate Garden Spaces, Hosted by Internationally-renowned landscape designer and CFS gold medallist Jo Thompson
The New Romantic Garden is a term that is often used to describe the landscapes that Jo creates. In this talk, Jo will be looking at how she creates the timeless, real and beautiful spaces that she is known for, and how this can be done successfully on a smaller scale. How can you capture this special atmosphere in your own garden, whatever the size? Jo will share her views on how to develop each garden’s unique personality, and explore what makes a garden truly a place that is perfect for you, for the land, and for the future.
(Friday 27th May, 4pm) Colour My World – by award winning garden designer Manoj Malde
Colour My World was born through many of the lovely comments that visitors made when they visited Manoj’s garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2017. Many said that it made them smile and gave them the confidence to try more colour in their own gardens.
We are all confident at choosing paints, wallpapers, and soft furnishings yet when it comes to working with colour in our gardens we often don’t know where to begin. Colour My World is not only to inspire but to give people the courage to experiment with different shades in their own outdoor spaces.
(Friday 27th May 6pm) The Art of the Outdoors: Sculpture & the landscape - by art curators Marshall Murray
Since setting up Marshall Murray, Oliver Hawkins has sourced sculpture for major show gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show for over a decade. Working directly with designers, architects and private clients, his advisory specialises in the way that art can be used to change the way that people interact with exterior spaces.
Oliver will discuss the key principles of progressive curation; how projects of all sizes can benefit from a greater consideration of how to use art beyond solely as ornament. From building their sculpture garden in Provence, to using underwater art preserve coral reefs, we’ll look at how sculpture can drive behavioural change. By changing the way you think about art, art can change the way you think