Issue 48, Article 12: Events Programme 2013

Autumn 2012, Issue 48

2013 Indoor Programme.  All events start at 2pm

5th January, 2013

James Alexander-Sinclair –“An Afternoon with James Alexander-Sinclair”

In 1992 James Alexander Sinclair left London to build a new house and garden (Blackpitts) with his family in Northamptonshire and began to concentrate on the design side of things. “I do it because I have an urge to leave the bits of the world upon which I am let loose a little more beautiful than they were before I arrived.”

James is a well-known journalist and an award winning blogger. He claims to enjoy lecturing – it is the frustrated actor in him – and television “also involves a fair bit of energetic showing off and, as such, is something I find most enjoyable.” So we should be in for a treat at the first meeting of 2013!

2nd February

Derry Watkins – “Gravel Gardening: low maintenance, drought tolerant plants”

For the last twenty years Derry Watkins has run a small nursery near Bath called Special Plants. In 1993 she won a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to spend three months in South Africa looking for new plants to introduce into horticulture in England.

In 1996 she and her architect husband, Peter, bought a derelict barn to convert into a house, and they are gradually converting the fields into a garden.  In 1999 she won a silver medal for her black and white exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show. Her monthly articles on Plant Focus were featured in Gardens Illustrated in 2003. She teaches at the English Gardening School and is the author of The Complete Greenhouse Book and Sunspaces.

Derry returns to Hertfordshire HPS to share her extensive knowledge and expertise in gravel gardening and will also bring plants (if available) and seeds for sale.

2nd March

Andrew Sankey – “Rethinking your Garden”

Before becoming a garden designer/landscaper, nurseryman and lecturer, Andrew Sankey was Head of Graphics at a secondary school in Woking.

He started teaching garden design to the pupils as part of their examination course and very quickly found himself designing gardens for staff and friends.  He began his garden design business back in 1990 and has since designed everything from tiny front gardens in England to vast turf mazes in Minnesota, USA. His specialism, though, is cottage gardens and borders where he creates harmonious drifts of colour that give that wonderful sense of the English garden throughout the summer. He gives talks and runs courses throughout the UK.

His passion is working with plants and being out in the garden and Andrew will offer plenty of ideas for re-designing parts of the garden, hiding eyesores, creating new borders, making the garden low maintenance, putting in features. We’ll get tips on ideas like ‘repeat planting’ and ‘the importance of paths.’

6th April

Colin Ward – “Ferns and Tree Ferns”

Colin Ward and his wife Karan were originally arable and stock farmers. Keen gardeners, they began to sell a few plants they propagated themselves and Swines Meadow Farm Nursery developed from there with exhibition at shows and attendance at plant fairs (where, as well as selling, Colin is always looking for that something a little different or rare to take home!) Their small garden contains many of specimens of the plants that they sell.  “From being a garden full of Hydrangea macrophylla, white roses and privet it is now a well-microclimated haven of plant goodies from all over the world.”

Members have been asking for a speaker on ferns for some time.  Colin will give a hands-on talk about the propagation, and care of ferns plus a chance to learn about different varieties of ferns. He will also bring plenty of ferns for sale plus other plants.

5th October

Andy Sturgeon“Making the Modern Garden”

Andy Sturgeon has been named one of the UK’s top ten landscape designers by both the Sunday Times and House and Garden Magazine.  He has won 6 Gold medals at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show and also ‘Best in Show’ in 2010.  Andy begins with a whirlwind history of garden design.  The talk, which is woven with anecdotes, focuses on his own portfolio and journeys from tiny roof gardens to country gardens via

Chelsea Flower Show and abroad.  Along the way he will explain the design philosophy behind each project and impart plenty of practical information about plants, garden construction and anything else that crops up!

2nd November:  AGM, followed by member’s talk.

7th  December

Fergus Garrett – “Good Planting and Designing with Plants”

Fergus Garrett joined Great Dixter as Head Gardener in 1992 and worked closely with Christopher Lloyd as both gardener and friend during an important time in the garden’s development. Fergus combines his full-time, hands-on gardening role at Dixter with lecturing and writing articles. He also serves on Royal Horticultural Society Trials, Dahlia and Floral A committees.  He is Chief Executive of the Great Dixter Charitable Trust, moving the garden forward in ever more exciting directions.

Fergus spoke to us a few years ago on succession planting and he returns to Hertfordshire HPS in 2013 for our December talk.  He will once again share his skills and experience focusing on good planting and designing with plants.


  1. Front Page and Contents
  2. Editorial
  3. Chairman’s Report
  4. Grand Plant Sale
  5. Seed Distribution Scheme
  6. New Committee Members Required & Notices
    • New members
    • In memoriam
    • Cornucopia
    • Email addresses
    • 2013 Subscriptions
  7. Summer Gardens Day
  8. HPS Conservation Scheme
  9. AGM Agenda, November 3rd
  10. AGM Minutes, 2011
  11. Front cover plant profile Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’ (AGM)
  12. Events Programme 2013
  13. Coach Trip
  14. Anne Godfrey

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