Autumn & Winter Talks

Live talks on are Saturdays at 2.30pm, tickets £6 – email or write to the Chairman to book a place.

Zoom talks are on Thursdays at 6.00 pm. These are free to members, but we are currently limited to 100 participants for each talk. Zoom links will be sent to members before each lecture; no booking is required – first come, first served!

Please go to News to see information about more talks on Suffolk’s Unforgettable Gardens

Saturday 3nd December 2022

2.30pm at Lavenham Village Hall, CO10 9QT

Cedric Morris

Live talk – Cedric Morris and the Garden at Benton EndLucy Skellorn

Lucy will talk about Cedric’s upbringing in Wales, the meeting of his life-long partner Arthur Lett-Haines and how they came to settle at Benton End in Suffolk, making it their home, an art school and mecca to botanists and gardeners alike, revered for its vast collection of rare and unusual plants as well the bearded irises he bred. With the garden now under the care of the Garden Museum, Lucy will discuss plans to open Benton End as a place of study once more and recent plant discoveries dubbed ‘Cedric’s Ghosts’, survivors from Cedric’s garden.

Lucy trained in fine art, has a National Collection of historic irises and is a researcher for the Benton End House and Garden Trust, a subsidiary charity of the Garden Museum who recently acquired the Benton End.

Saturday 21st January 2023

2.30pm in the Music Room at Earl Stonham House, Church Lane, Earl Stonham IP14 5ED

Live talk – by kind permission of Andrew Deacon – Ideas and inspiration: The influences and gardens that have shaped my work

Frederic Whyte

Frederic graduated with a Diploma in Garden Design from the prestigious English Gardening School in 2009, and his first commissions were in Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany. He returned to London in 2011 to work with clients across the UK and on his first RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden. In 2013 he was awarded a Gold Medal for his second RHS Chelsea garden. In 2015 he returned to Suffolk, where he established a design practice. He has designed gardens throughout Suffolk, including Nacton Old Rectory garden (featured in SGT Newsletter No. 52). Current projects include an extensive walled garden in Dunwich, an Edwardian villa in Southwold, and a terraced garden with sea views in Aldeburgh. 

Thursday 9th February 2023

Zoom Talk – 6.00pm

The Gardens of Shrubland Hall.

Professor Tom Williamson

The gardens and park at Shrubland Hall are of immense historical importance, the work of Humphry Repton, Charles Barry, Donald Beaton and others. But their story has wider lessons for the garden historian, about how we should understand the development of designed landscapes, how we attribute authorship for their design, and how they should be preserved into the future.

Tom is a Professor of History at UEA, Norwich, and is widely acknowledged to be one of the leading and most influential garden historians in this country. He is the author of Suffolk’s Parks and Gardens: Designed Landscapes from the Tudors to the Victorians (Windgather Press 2000), but his interests and numerous other publications cover a much wider field of landscape history and archaeology.

Thursday 2nd March 2023

Zoom Talk – 6.00pm

Friar Park – from inspiration through execution to completion.

Yvonne Innes

As well as being a professional garden designer, lecturing on design and working with architects on outside spaces, Yvonne was also a friend of George Harrison, the Beatle. George and his wife Olivia had been keen Chelsea goers for many years and, working on their garden at Friar Park in Henley-on-Thames, Yvonne got to know them both very well. Sadly, George died in 2001 – and a few years later she had a chance to celebrate George’s life with a garden devoted to him at the Chelsea Flower Show.  This talk illustrates both the source of inspiration, as well as the process of getting the garden accepted.  It also includes the headaches of construction in a small space and the final presentation.