Lecture Series

Please note that our evening starts at 7pm with a glass of wine and the lecture starts promptly at 7.30pm.

Monday 11th October 2010

Fergus Garrett - Head Gardener and Director of Great Dixter

The Art of Gardening at Great Dixter

The garden at Great Dixter has its origins in the arts and crafts style, featuring topiary, a long border, an orchard and a wild flower meadow. The planting is profuse, yet structured, and has featured many bold experiments of form, colour and combinations. Fergus Garrett, who worked closely with Christopher Lloyd up until his death in 2006, is still Head Gardener and is continuing to introduce new ideas into the planting schemes.




Tuesday 12th October 2010

Karl Sabbagh

A Rum Affair; A Story of Garden Intrigue

Karl Sabbagh is a writer and documentary maker living in Newbold on Stour, Warwickshire. In the 1990s, he came across the story of an investigation into an anonymous botanist suspected of fraud by his colleagues but never unmasked. By following clues and digging in archives he unravelled the story of how Professor John Heslop Harrison fooled the botanical community for many years during the 1940s by “discovering” rare plants which he had himself planted in unlikely places, most notably in the Isle of Rum, to which he had exclusive botanical access. In this talk, Karl Sabbagh describes his findings, as set out in his book A Rum Affair published in 1999, and updates the story with new evidence discovered two years ago in the archives of the Natural History Museum.




Wednesday 13th October 2010

Val Bourne

Planting A Natural Garden

Val Bourne is an award-winning garden writer, photographer and lecturer and she gardens on the wind-swept Cotswolds at Spring Cottage - high above Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire.

Val has been gardening naturally for thirty years or more and wrote about her previous Oxfordshire garden in her award-winning book “The Natural Gardener” published by Frances Lincoln in 2004. It explains how a plant-packed garden functions successfully without chemical intervention and the purpose behind the book was to encourage others to become green gardeners too.

Her latest book, “The Winter Garden’, published in October 2006 by Cassell Illustrated, describes how to make your garden shine in winter.

Val writes regularly for The Daily Telegraph, Saga, The Oxford Times and Grow It and contributes to many magazines including The Garden. She is also a member of the RHS Floral Trials Committee.




Thursday 14th October 2010

Gwyn Perry - Head Gardener at Armscote Manor

The Principles of Pruning and Training

A day of discussion and demonstration set in the gardens of Armscote Manor. It will cover topics such as tools, tying materials and techniques as well as some tips gained during a long career in gardening. Those attending will be able to submit a question in writing beforehand which we will endeavour to cover during the day. Please bring your secateurs. The day will run from 10am to 4pm with refreshments on arrival and a light lunch will be provided. Places are strictly limited and carry a cost of 25.00.




Friday 15th October 2010

Bob Brown

Fifty Years On - Changing Tastes in Gardening Since the 1950s

Bob has a life-long obsession with hardy perennials, widened and much honed since he has been a nurseryman. He is known for having opinions (many very critical) about all the 11-12 thousand plants he’s grown or tried to grow. He is a member of the Herbaceous and Trials Committees of the RHS and writes for various periodicals. He likes digging, walking, bridge and red wine. He’s fat, fair and sadly no longer forty.




This year we raised 3,500 for Shipston Home Nursing and all our speakers were
all kind enough to donate their time to support the charity.

For tickets please contact:

Deborah Williams
or Madeleine James

Armscote Manor
Warwickshire CV37 8DA

Please make cheques payable to Shipston Home Nursing and send applications for tickets with a self addressed stamped envelope.

Telephone: 01608 682 375

Ticket prices:

1 lecture 14.00
2 lectures 26.00
3 lectures 33.00
4 lectures 44.00
Thursday 13th - Workshop 25.00

Tickets are not available
on the door



(Please note that the file
is 2mb in size so please allow some time for it to download)


50 Whichford Pottery Voucher - Katherine Martin

'Shakespeare's Scenery' by James Kerr - Rebecca Mawle
Back Massage with Blue ticket 42 collected on Friday
Jar of Armscote Honey -
Jane Pusey
Elm tree - Mrs McKechnie
Elm tree - Fran Georing
Acer 'Red Flamingo'  - White 80 - message left on phone 
Acer 'White Tigress' -
Caroline Gunne
The event raised 3,500 and a cheque was presented to Shipston Home Nursing by Jim Keeling of Whichford Pottery for 1,065 as a percentage of the sales of the
Armscote Bee Pot. 

The new Armscote Pot
was also launched at the Lecture Series.