Lecture Programme for 2023-24

Held in the New Windmill Hall in Upminster on Tuesday evenings.
Doors open 7.15 for 7.45 pm.

14th March 2023

Weeds and the Weed-Free Garden – Geoff Hodge

A writer and broadcaster for over 20 years, Geoff joins us tonight from Peterborough. Weeds are something most of us don’t want to grow in our gardens. Tonight Geoff will give us hints, tips, advice and the weapons to fight the battle with our garden weeds and help us to reduce and prevent weeds invading our gardens. A very entertaining speaker, so don’t miss this one!

11th April 2023 

Secrets of Hever Castle – Neil Miller

Postponed because of covid and illness, we tonight welcome Neil Miller, Head Gardener at Hever Castle for over 17 years. Neil used to work in the City of London. Following redundancy, he decided to follow his passion and take up a career in horticulture. Previously, Neil has worked in gardens in Israel, Morocco and North Korea – perhaps another story? Tonight we go behind the scenes of the gardens at Hever from their implementation in the early 20th century to current times.

9th May 2023 - and PLANT SALE

Taste of Capel Manor – Anne Luder

Anne visits the Society again after a few years absence. A gardener designer for over 25 years, Anne retired a few years back having been a lecturer at Capel Manor College, where she specialised, in therapeutic horticulture for severe physical disabilities. She grew the provision of this therapy at the college. Tonight, Anne will give us a little of the history of Capel Manor as well as a look at some of her favourite gardens and anecdotes

13th June 2023

Fuchsias - Brian Carline

You may remember if you came to his lecture last year, that he grows both fuchsias and pelargoniums and this year Brian will focus his talk on fuchsias, as well as entertaining us with some anecdotes. We hope he will be bringing some of his plants for sale again – very popular last year.

10th October 2023 - Charity Lecture

Bedfords Park Walled Garden – Lois Amos

Lois returns once again to the Society to give us an update on the progress made by the volunteers in the Walled Garden. I’m sure many of you have visited this horticultural gem situated close to the visitor centre in Bedfords Park and seen the progress over the recent years. The volunteers have worked hard on this project, improving the site considerably, introducing innovative new ideas and increasing production of fruit and vegetables every year.

14th November 2023

The World of Flowers: Spring Bulbs – Nick Dobson

Nick joins us again after a few years absence. Previously he has entertained us with his knowledge of fuchsias and dahlias. This time it is the turn of Spring bulbs. The season that we all look forward to after a bleak winter. Nick’s talk will include snowdrops, crocuses, narcissi and tulips.

12th December 2023

Valentines Mansion and Gardens – Georgina Green and Diana Smith

The mansion was built in 1696 and is listed Grade II. A grant of nearly £2m by the Heritage Lottery Fund helped a major restoration of the house and gardens which reopened in February 2009. The gardens had a separate HLF grant in 2004. Georgina Green, a local historian who has been researching the house for over 20 years, will start the talk and the second part, about the gardens and wider estate, will be given by Diana Smith, Chair of the Friends of Valentines Mansion.

9th January 2024  - AGM and

Growing Vegetables – Mike Jervis

Mike’s talk has been postponed twice, so hoping for third time lucky!  Mike is a qualified judge for vegetables and daffodils and has been an EGHJ (Essex Guild of Horticultural Judges) since the mid 1990’s. Tonight he will give us his first-hand gardening knowledge about growing vegetables. The talk will start with some examples of prize specimens and Mike will then answer your questions about growing veg and give us some tips to help us improve our veg growing – something more of us have taken up since lockdown.

12th March 2024

Great Gardens of Great Britain – Andrew Babicz

A new speaker for the Society, Andrew has over 50 years experience in horticulture, starting in Scotland and including working at National Trust, RHS gardens, Kew and Hampton Court. So, Great Gardens – because of plants, landscape, or the tea and cakes?! Come along and find out which Andrew thinks are “great” and perhaps plan your 2024 holiday to include some of these?