1. Naturalistic Planting, Perennials:
Wild about Perennials. A look at the 'new wave' of planting design with perennials. An introduction to naturalistic planting design, explaining the basic philosophy and practice of selecting plants for the ecology of the site, how to look natural, etc. also suitable for a half-day or full day interactive workshop. POPULAR
New ways with perennials. A broader look at a variety of contemporary approaches to using perennials: naturalistic, modernist, the Oudolf look etc. POPULAR
Perennials that stand up for themselves. Choosing plants for wild or minimal maintenance situations where they have to look after themselves. An introduction to some basic plant ecology and some delightfully wild gardens.POPULAR
Plant ecology for gardeners. Plant ecology has so much to teach gardeners. This is an introduction to its important lessons for plant selection and cultivation. Also suitable for a half-day or full day interactive workshop.
Contemporary European Planting Design. Aimed at academic and professional audiences, this is an overview of German Mixed Planting, seed-sown approaches developed at the University of Sheffield, the inside-view of Piet Oudolf planting, etc.
Natural Planting for Small Gardens. Using a wild style in the smaller garden.
Seedheads. A look at gardens out of season - how the seedheads of many perennials and grasses have a quiet beauty of their own, and how this can be utilised in the design of the garden.
Ecological Planting, a History. We think of naturalistic planting as new, but in fact it goes back a long way. Starting in T'ang Dynasty China we visit the English landscape movement, the late 19th century US native plant movement, both sides of Germany's inter-war political divide and modern ecologists.
Form and Foliage. Making gardeners more aware of foliage and plant shape in a variety of garden styles: period and contemporary. The role of foliage, form and texture in planting design, with both clipped and natural shape being considered. also suitable for a half-day or full day interactive course.
Contemporary Garden Design. An slightly irreverent look at modern movements in garden design, looking at both hard materials and planting.POPULAR
3. Culture and Politics of the garden.
The Politics of the Garden. The garden has always been a more political arena than has often been realised. Here I explore how gardens down the ages have played a part in politics, ideology and national identity. Illustrated with a variety of historical visual material.
Women, Men and Gardening – do we garden differently?An entertaining look at whether men and women garden differently? If so, how and why? A bit of gentle sociology illustrated with a variety of historical visual material. POPULAR
Is gardening an art? Gardening is often spoken of as an art, but is it? An in-depth but not too serious look at some of the issues that surround looking at gardening as an art. I argue that treating gardening as art involves giving it more serious attention than it does simply as a ‘hobby’ activity. Illustrated with a wide variety of visual material.
Garden travelogueWherever you go, there are gardens and plants to look at, and they can be a great focus for planning a trip. Countries covered: Germany, Netherlands, USA, Pakistan, India, Brazil, Thailand.
Gardens of China. One of the world's oldest garden traditions but poorly understood. There's a lot to learn for designers here, especially for small urban spaces. With input from Yue Zhuang, Lei Gao and Andong Lu.
The Brazilian Gardens of Roberto Burle Marx. The work of one of the twentieth century’s greatest garden designers. Private gardens and public landscapes in and around Rio de Janeiro. Nice warm subject matter for mid-winter.
Hybrid! The History of Plant Breeding The colourful story of plant breeding brings together traditional farmers, tribal shamans, eccentric entrepreneurs, dedicated scientists, faceless corporations, bold visionaries, obsessive nerds and the occasional charlatan. ( Primarily looks at food crops)
Green Roofs and Living Walls Two exciting technologies are transforming the way we think about buildings and plants. The environmental and economic case for greening architecture, the basics of construction and some examples.