Speaker Programme

Evening meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month from September to December and February to May (inclusive) at St Francis Church Hall, Welwyn Garden City.
Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start.
Non-members are welcome for a donation of £3, or find out how to Join us

St Francis Church Hall
Church Rd
Welwyn Garden City

Our speaker meetings will return to an in person format at St Francis Church Hall from the April 2022 meeting.

Upcoming Meetings

10th May 2022

The Danesbury Victorian Fernery – John Roper

John is the chairman of the Friends of Danesbury Fernery, described in 1881 in the R.H.S. Journal as ‘the best fernery to be found in the Home Counties’. Since September 2015 volunteers have been reclaiming and restoring the site. John will take us through its history with a special emphasis on the planting. He hopes to be accompanied by Sara Donatantonio, their specialist photographer, and Colin Adlam, their fern specialist.

13 Sept 2022

Biosecurity Matters To Us All – Allison Terrell

Allison is our local plant health inspector working for the Animal and Plant Health Agency, APHA, an executive agency of Defra, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She will be giving us an update on new legislation introduced to improve plant health and biosecurity and the implications and obligations this has for anyone wanting to move plants across borders; how these affect the workload and viability of specialist nurseries, “master” growers and owners of National Collections and, in turn, how this could alter the diversity and cost of plants and trees to us as horticultural consumers with a keen interest in the unusual. What can we do as individuals to increase biosecurity?

11th Oct 2022

A Traditional Nursery in the Modern World – Luke Whiting

Luke Whiting visits from D’arcy Everest Nursery which specialises particularly, but not exclusively, in alpines. Luke promises an entertaining evening for our centenary meeting

8 November 2022



13 December 2022

The Evolving Landscape of the Garden City: The Next 100 years – Oliver Waring

Needing no introduction to most of our members and returning now as the Landscape and Ecology Manager for Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, it is 8 years since we enjoyed his excellent presentation on Caring for Trees in WGC. We are delighted that Oliver will be joining us again for our Christmas meeting to update us on the many enhancing changes that are taking place in the town and to look ahead with ambitions for the next 100 years

Previous Meetings

12th April 2022

Fifty Greys of Shade – Colin Moat

Colin & his wife Cindy run Pineview Plants nursery in Sevenoaks, specialising in shady characters such as Epimediums, Sanguisorbas and Persicarias, among many others.
Colin will be bringing plants to the meeting that will be available for purchase.

8th March 2022

Courageous Gardening – Stephen Anderton ZOOM

“Here is a fresh approach to gardening as I investigate gardeners’ techniques, ideas and inspiration, in everything, from breeding and pruning to planting and design.  I will show remarkable gardens from all over the world and explain how their makers have single-mindedly planned and created exciting effects”

8th Feb 2022

News from the garden shelves or wherever members wish to lead me up the garden path! – Chris Thorne ZOOM

Chris has worked at Ayletts for about 20 years and is one of Radio Cambridgeshire’s gardening experts. He will discuss the good things to buy
and the items which are better left on the shelves! He is happy to answer questions.

14th December 2021

How to be a Climate Change Savvy Gardener – Kim Stoddart ZOOM

Kim Stoddart has been writing for the Guardian and gardening columns since 2013 as well as editing for Garden Organic. She has also authored her own book The Climate Change Garden. Kim runs climate change and polytunnel growing courses, therapeutic gardening projects for youngsters with learning disabilities & conducts workshops around the UK

Kim’s talk will incorporate her enthusiasm for wildlife friendly organic gardening, as well as advising gardeners on ways of creating a more robust garden to face & mitigate the effects of climate change – with an upbeat focus!

9th November 2021

Shady Characters – Annie Godfrey ZOOM

Our local star, owner of Daisy Roots and garden designer who is now a Chelsea Flower Show Gold medallist.

12th October 2021

‘No-Dig’ to save time and improve your soil – Charles Dowding ZOOM

Charles first came to speak to us about his ‘No-Dig’ method of growing vegetables in 2012 and he has since gone on to achieve international recognition and adoption of his methods.
He continues to grow vegetables but is increasingly devoting more time to teaching and writing books and articles in newspapers and gardening magazines, so who better to give us an update?

14th September 2021

Beth Chatto: A Life with Plants – Dr Catherine Horwood ZOOM

Catherine is the authorised biographer of the wonderful plants-woman and garden designer Beth Chatto. She won the European Garden Book of the Year 2020 award for this book which was published in 2019 along with a glowing reference from our friend Fergus Garrett.