We are available to give talks, travelling to clubs and societies in Shropshire and surrounding counties. The talks are illustrated with high quality digital images and we provide our own projector and screen. If required, we would bring a range of plants for sale at the event. 

Topics include:

A Brief History of Gardens - A look at the development of gardens from the medieval period to the present day and the naturalistic movement. This informative talk includes Tudor Gardens; Italianate Gardens; the Gardenesque: the English Landscape Movement; Wild Gardening and the Arts and Craft Movement.

A History of English Wine (with optional tasting, subject to license) - In addition to running Mynd Hardy Plants, wea lso run an award-winning English vineyard, Morville St Gregory. The vineyard was established in 2001, and this talk examines the development of the English Wine industry; how to establish a vineyard and the pleasure and challenges in running the vineyard and producing the wine.

A  Passion for Penstemon - This talk concentrates on the history of the species and cultivars and their European hybrids. It then looks at their propogation, cultivation, pests and diseases and their imaginative use within the garden. 

Bulbous perennials - Bulbs are very much associated with spring, but this talk goes on to examine the wide range of bulbs available for other seasons, with tips on the successful growing of bulbs.

Hemerocallis within the Garden - We will highlight how to use some of the vast range of dayllilies to enhance your garden.

Houses and Gardens of E.L. Lutyens -  Best known for his work in collaboration with Gertrude Jekyll, Lutyens was alsoresponsible for a wide range of iconic buildings and memorials as one of the leading architects of his time.

House and Gardens of the National Trust - This talk looks at the history and development of the National Trust, its wonderful range of gardens and houses open to the public, but also the large number of tenanted properties which are rarely open to the public.

Late Summer-Flowering Perennials - This highlights the wonderful range of perennials and grasses which can be used to extend the flowering season.

The Cut Flower Garden - The history and use of cut flowers and how to develop a cut flower garden to provide you with foliage and flowers throughout the year.

The English Landscape Movement -  In terms of landscape and garden design, the 18th century was dominated by four designers: Charles Bridgman, William Kent, Humphrey Repton and Capability Brown. This talk examines the factors that led to the Landscape Movement; the influence of the different designers and a look at some of their most famous works.

The Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement - This talk examines the Arts and Crafts Movement and its values of beauty, simplicity and craftsmanship during the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. The period is best known for its architecture, furniture and gardens, with an emphasis  on the architectural works of Voysey, Scott and Lutyens, the artists Strachan, Allingham and Stannard and the garden designs of Jeykll, with examples of their works from around the country.

The Gardens of Gertrude Jekyll - Responsible for designing over 400 gardens, Gertrude Jekyll was one of the most influential horticulturists of her time. This talk examines her life and times at her home Munstead Wood, her professional relationship with the architect E. L. Lutyens, and her influence on garden design.

The Gardens of the Italian Lakes - A different talk looking at garden design around Lake Como and Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.

The History of Walled Gardens - This popular and entertaining talk which looks at the development of walled gardens, their characteristics and the life of the gardeners who worked within them.

The Victorian Garden - The 19th century saw an appreciation of a more natural garden, as seen in the influential work of William Robinson, but it also saw an advancement in horticultural techniques, equipment and the discovery of a wide range of new plants. This era was the golden age of gardening. 

Tips for Garden Design - This talk focuses on the refreshing and rejuvenation of established gardens, both large and small, rather than the creation of new gardens.

Women in Garden History - Names such as Gertrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville-West are familiar to most gardeners, but this popular talk examines the wide range of women who have contributed to the gardens and gardening styles we enjoy today. One of our most popular talks.

For further details, including costs and availability, please email Richard or Jill at

© Rallings 2015