Lectures

Christine Skelmersdale has been lecturing widely for many years both in Britain and abroad to all types of gardening societies. She also specialises in day courses on bulbs. Please email or phone for details of fees etc. She has her own PowerPoint projector but requires a large screen.

Bulbs

1. The Year Round Bulb Garden  
Or a bulb for every month. A detailed look at 10 genera with the emphasis on some of the more unusual varieties.

2. Creative Gardening with Bulbs  
The use of bulbs in the garden, with the emphasis on colour, shape, texture etc.

3. Winter is not just Snowdrops   
The many bulbs that flower in winter, including a detailed look at snowdrops..

4. Using Bulbs in the Garden   
The principles behind successfully using bulbs- in sunny & shady borders, containers and for naturalising.

5. Hardy Summer Bulbs   
Bulbs to add colour and interest to the garden from May to September.

6. Winter into Spring   
A detailed look at bulbs that flower in the autumn and early spring – Colchicums, Crocus, Cyclamen and Snowdrops.

7. Galanthomania
or what the fuss is all about! A lighthearted look at the amazing world of the snowdrop fanatic as well as using and growing snowdrops in the gaden.

8. Beat the Drum !  (a detailed look at the drumstick alliums)
These tall dramatic alliums are the stalwart of the early summer border. This lecture looks at their history, cultivation and use in the garden. ( During 2014 -16 the RHS has a trial of over 100 cultivars & species.)

9. TULIP! The history of the modern tulip and using them in the garden
There are so many tulips available and  making choices can be confusing. This lecture shows you how they evolved from C Asian steppes via the courts of Constantinople to the bulb fields of Holland and how to se them, from containers to borders etc.

General Gardening Topics

10. Plants and bulbs for shade
Turn your Cinderella into a star- some uncommon plants and bulbs for shady areas. (Hellebores, cyclamen, Trilliums, erythroniums etc,etc.)

11. Species peonies
A study of this fascinating genus both in the wild and in gardens – from the mountains of China to USA via Europe.

12. A Year in a Garden
The ever-changing tapestry of colours and textures throughout the year. Trees, shrubs, annuals, herbaceous and, of course, bulbs.

13. The Late Summer Border  
Banish August ‘blues’ and add drama to your garden in August/September.

14. How did we get here from there? A brief history of our gardens.
From Apothecary’s garden & Renaissance parterre to the modern prairie planting, a quick dash through 400 years of gardening  styles.

15. Flowering Carpets
Planting for maximum effect and minimum effort

16. A Gardeners Alphabet
Pick your own lecture! Suggested titles include:
The A-Z of bulbs.
The A-Z of easy /unusual garden plants.
The A-Z of plants from round the world. etc,etc.

Travelogues

17. Where does your garden grow? or Round the world in 80 plants
We have the best gardens but very few of our plants originate in this country so just where do your favourite garden plants come from? Did you know that Buddlejas could be from a S American seashore or a Chinese Mountain, Eremurus are from C.Asian Steppes etc. Stunning photos of plants in their native habitat & in our gardens.

18. Apres Ski – or what happens when the snow melts. 
The spectacular flowers of the French Alps..

19. Violets & Volcanoes 
The amazing scenery and flora of a N Patagonian spring – the home of the rosulate violets that look just like house leeks.

20.  Return to China – The mountains of Sichuan & Yunnan  
15 years after our first visit we return to this area and see the remarkable change that has been wrought. But the flowers remain as amazing as always!

21. The summer flowering bulbs of the Drakensberg Mountains, S Africa
The amazing home of some of our most popular garden plants – nerine, eucomis, hesperantha, agapanthus, crocosmia etc and a few thousand red hot pokers.

22. The 6 lilies of N Turkey and a lot else besides
The mountains along the Black Sea coast of Turkey are home to some spectacular lilies which grow in some of the most floriferous meadows in the world.

23. The tulips of the Tien Shan
Central Asia is the birth place of the tulip. Here we meet many familiar garden plants in very unfamiliar settings of the stunning snow capped mountains of the Tien Shan