Lectures

*** Bookings are being taken for 2018/19.

IF YOU WISH TO BOOK A TALK FOR YOUR GROUP PLEASE CONTACT ME VIA THE CONTACT PAGE OR

PHONE 01909 771366

Illustrated Garden Talks 2017-2018

All talks are professional PowerPoint presentations and contain amusing anecdotes and stories. They are delivered in an enthusiastic and entertaining manner. I have all my own equipment including screen and stand and audiences will be supplied with a slide list of the images featured in the talk.

  1. Euphorbias - All you need to know about this very popular genus delivered in a highly amusing and informative way. Great slides show the wonderful variety of plants throughout the year. My favourite talk.
  2. Euphorbias and Other Spring Flowering Perennials - All the Euphorbia jokes and an excellent selection of other seasonal flowering perennials which pay homage to Euphorbias during the spring! My most popular spring talk.
  3. Euphorbias and Other Vibrant Perennials - Similar to above but with a wider selection of plants covering summer and autumn as well as spring. This talk can be delivered at any time of year.
  4. The National Plant Collections of Great Britain - Involves 2 spectacular journeys. A 3 mile vertical journey and a 3000 mile horizontal one visiting around 40 different and diverse National Collections. There is a conservation theme to the talk which concludes with an exhilarating climax.
  5. Living with a National Plant Collection - Written for the successful HPS Autumn Weekend. Hilarious anecdotes and experiences from owning a very trendy and active National Collection. Oh, and some good slides as well.
  6. Perennials Throughout the Year - A comprehensive look at herbaceous perennials with slides from January-December and peaking in the months of June and July.
  7. Late Herbaceous Perennials - A sumptuous array of perennials which give of their best from midsummer onwards. Featuring numerous examples of the more colourful and fashionable genera.
  8. Summer Perennial Colour - No whites or pastel colours in this talk. Just spectacular rich and vibrant floral colours which are around during the peak summer months.
  9. Herbaceous Perennials and Borders - A short evolution of the English herbaceous border which starts in Victorian England. The talk takes us through the 20th century developments and innovation and into 21st century herbaceous borders up to the present day. We visit many of England’s most famous and spectacular herbaceous borders and gardens. The second half of the talk focuses on plants which are grown in these borders.
  10. The A-Z of Garden Perennials - Do you know any perennials which begin with Q, X or J? Some surprising inclusions, as well as plenty of our favourites. Many of the slides in this talk are in close up detail.
  11. AGM’s - A Glorious Medley of Plants - A plethora of highly garden worthy plants that have received the coveted R.H.S. Award of Garden Merit. A little more entertaining and colourful than the other AGM evenings that we attend!
  12. Ten Top Gardens - No historic parks or landscaped gardens in this talk. Just fabulous gardens where herbaceous plants and planting take pride of place. New ideas for garden visiting days out or just reminisce if you have already visited.
  13. A Hardy Planter's Winter Survival Kit - Plants, projects, activities and strategies to help you get through the dark nights and cold days between the end of October and March. An amusing talk with some wonderful slides of winter plants and gardens. My most popular talk.
  14. People, Plants, Pleasure and Passion - Written for a HPS 50th birthday lecture day, this talk contains funny people stories and fabulous plant images classified into interesting themes. Pleasure and passion, being abstract nouns cannot be illustrated but permeate the whole talk. A very popular talk.
  15. Walking With Flowers - Combining my two passions of walking and wildflowers, these are holiday snaps with a difference! Whether it’s coastal, countryside or mountain walking we see beautiful pictures of many of our garden plants in stunning scenery, where they choose to grow naturally.
  16. Is Big Ever Beautiful? - Great things don’t always come in small packages. Whether it’s giant blooms, large plants or enormous gardens there’s something to be admired and enjoyed about being oversize.
  17. NEW TALK Once Seen Never Forgotten - Whether it is unforgettable garden scenes, beautiful flower blooms, bizarre artefacts or hilarious encounters, this talk has an eclectic mix of images caught on camera during my garden travels around this country and further afield. A colourful and entertaining talk that will last long in your memory.
  18. NEW TALK Great Yorkshire Gardens - The largest county in England has a wonderfully diverse range of gardens. Whether it's landscape parks, historic gardens, herbaceous borders or contempory plots, there is something in this talk for everyone; but pride of place is reserved for gardens with colourful herbaceous planting. There is no truth to the rumour that this talk has been sponsored by visityorkshire.com!!!

Lecture fees -

  • Groups up to 50 - £70
  • Groups of 50-100 - £80
  • Groups of 100+ - £90
  • All plus travel - currently 35p/mile

Lecture Reviews

'Euphorbias' - by Jean Harris, Notts and Derby N.C.C.P.G.

On 8th January we had another fun meeting! Now you might not think that the Collection Holders' Meeting would be described as fun - but those of us who were there enjoyed a wonderful talk by Don Witton about his collection of Euphorbias and he certainly had us rolling in the aisles at times! Don is full of infectious enthusiasm and his talk was based on his wide knowledge of the subject and hands-on experience in growing Euphorbias. If Don makes his lessons at school half as enjoyable as his talk, he must surely be the most popular teacher in school!

'Euphorbias and Other Spring Flowering Perennials' - by Ruth Wood, Sheriff Hutton Gardening Club North Yorkshire

Thank you so much for coming 'up north' on Wednesday to speak to our gardening club. It was an excellent presentation and enjoyed by everyone I spoke to afterwards, both expert gardeners and evening entertainment members.

'National Collections of Great Britain' - by Sonia Saint, South Pennine H.P.S.

Don Witton started his talk by playing some music "Wonderful Land" by Mike Oldfield and took us on a whistle stop vertical journey from the highest mountains down to sea level in a matter of a few minutes. That's a first - we have not had music before, have we? Don then filled the rest of the evening with a 3000 mile trip around Britain in his usual humorous manner. Good slides, informative and entertaining, what more could we ask of a speaker?

'Living with a National Collection' - National H.P.S. Autumn Weekend

Don Witton gave an excellent after dinner speech on becoming a National Collection Holder......Don's talk was very entertaining, even Peter enjoyed it......I think I would like my grandchildren to be in Don's class, they would have fun.

'A Hardy Planter's Winter Survival Kit' - by Veronica Gillett, Kingstone Gardening Club Staffordshire

Thank you for a most enjoyable talk. It was an unusual approach, both entertaining and encouraging......your slides of Autumn colour were quite breathtaking. Your energy and enthusiasm greatly impressed our members. Two comments - "I could have listened to him all evening" and "I was inspired" - sum up very neatly the reaction to your talk.

'Perennials Throughout the Year' - by Vicky Stewart, Rotherham Chantry Ladies Group

That was a very entertaining talk......you have such enthusiasm. Every slide looked like a Christmas card. Even the non gardeners in the group enjoyed it.

'An A-Z of Garden Perennials' - by Ruth Taylor, Tickhill Horticultural Society Doncaster

Thank you very much for coming to Tickhill and giving a wonderful talk to our society. Your talk was very lively and interesting, prompting several comments on "could you come again sometime." I'll be contacting you for a return visit at some future date.

'Walking with Flowers' - by Betty Gallimore, Newton Solney Village Hall Horticultural Section Staffordshire

Just writing to offer our sincere thanks to you for visiting us last Tuesday evening and for a very entertaining evening. Many of our members have made a point of telling me how much they enjoyed the lecture and slide show - especially as it combined the two subjects of wild flowers and walking. We only do one lecture a year, but I am sure we will be getting in touch with you again to see if you are able to come and talk to us on one of your other subjects. Happy travelling and good walking!

'Summer Perennial Colour' - by Caroline Turner, Paxton Horticultural Society Leeds

Thank you for coming to visit us last week. We all enjoyed your presentation enormously. Not only was it informative and thought provoking, but amusing and entertaining too. At our committee meeting after your visit we decided we would like you to visit us again.

'Herbaceous Perennials and Borders' - by Jean Collins, Kelsay Garden Club Lincolnshire

I thought I must just drop you a line to say how we appreciated you and your wife braving the elements last night to come so far to talk to the Club.  I hope you had a trouble-free journey home.   Members were coming up to me and saying how much they enjoyed your talk and I will certainly be contacting you again to book you for 2011 once I get the dates confirmed.

'Once Seen Never Forgotten' -by Joy Duncan, Glenfield Gardeners' Association Leicestershire

On behalf of all the members of Glenfield Gardeners' Association can I say a big 'thank you' for your excellent presentation on Tuesday. The feedback from members was fantastic, incuding cries of 'Can we have him again please?' So I need to ask if you can pay us another visit next year?

'AGMs - A Glorious Medley of Plants' - by Madeleine Edwards, Chorlton Gardeners Manchester

Just a quick note to say many thanks for such a wonderful, entertaining and well researched talk this evening. The care with which you clearly prepare your presentations was very much appreciated by us all. Thanks also to your wife for the friendly service on the plant stall. We look forward to growing our purchases and sharing them at our plant sale next year. We look forward to further talks in the future!

Euphorbia Study Days

Learn all you need to know about this wonderfully diverse and popular genus by booking a half day study day. The programme includes 2 sessions lasting around an hour, tailored to your groups' needs.

Session 1 - Practical

  1. The unique floral structure
  2. Seed production and collection
  3. Propagation

Session 2 - Slide presentation

  1. Variety of life
  2. Cultivation
  3. Euphorbias throughout the year
  4. Using euphorbias in the garden

The maximum group size 30. The cost is £120 plus travel currently at 35p per mile.

A study day can be booked in Harthill and then the 2 sessions can be combined with a visit to the collection to make a full day. Use contact page for further details.