Advice, Chats & Talk


The Pest Clinic (Friday Only)

with Dr Ian Bedford

Come along and meet the Garden Show’s ‘Bug Man’ – Dr Ian Bedford who will be on hand to discuss plant pest problems and to advise on environmentally safe ways of keeping them under control without harming the environment.

Recently retired as Head of the Entomology department at the world-renowned John Innes Centre, Dr Ian regularly appears on Radio and TV, talking about the creatures from the bug world. 

Ian Bedford’s Garden

These fascinating creatures are so important for the environment but are sadly in decline, so why not come along and have a chat with Dr Ian to find out how you can help the bug world in your own garden. Many gardeners don’t want to replicate the countryside in their home gardens and want them to remain tidy and colourful.  However, the majority also would like to help our native wildlife and see it visiting their gardens.

My advice is that gardens don’t have to be wild and unkempt in order to benefit the wildlife and can be just as effective and beneficial as the countryside in attracting vast numbers of species by just following a few simple steps.  I do this in my own garden and it’s teeming with life (image attached).

There’s lots of garden plants that are perfect for pollinators and as food plants for many of the herbivorous creatures that support the natural food chains. By encouraging these into the garden and initially managing them in an environmentally friendly way using non-toxic products and deterrents, it doesn’t take long before nature’s predators and parasites begin to control the herbivorous bugs (the creatures we often call the plant pests!), at non-plant damaging levels.  This can eventually lead to the garden becoming a perfectly balanced system, full of wildlife and healthy plants.

This is what goes on in the countryside all around us where we don’t see plants destroyed by the herbivorous creatures because they’re being managed at plant-safe levels by the creatures further up the food chains.  A simple, natural process that for many years has often been destroyed in home gardens by off-the-shelf toxic pesticides.

Find The Pest Clinic near the Information tent by the Entrance Gate (Friday Only)



Jules & Lance

The Environmentalists

‘Having a Lush Garden in a Drought’

Jules Simmons

Learn how you can grow your garden into a happy & healthy place to be, not just for yourself but for our wildlife too. We will particularly be looking at watering and close planting this year, to help you get the most from your watering efforts and avoid the weeding.

Free Garden Soil MOT – bring us a sample and see what surprises are hidden in your garden soil!

Find Jules & Lance near the Information tent by the Entrance Gate



Ben Cross

Crossland’s Alstromeria Nursery

‘British Flowers Rock!’

Ben Cross

Ben is a 4th generation horticulturalist based in West Sussex and a tireless campaigner for British Flowers. Ben studied and worked in marine science and oceanography before returning to tend more than thirty different varieties of alstroemerias under 3 acres of glass all year round. 30 years ago there were lots of similar nurseries growing cut flowers all over the UK but the trend for importing cut flowers grown in Kenya, Colombia and Ecuador has sadly led to their demise.

‘I feel very passionate about keeping the nursery going. It is a lifestyle like farming, not a job’ says Ben with heartfelt passion

Ben will be doing his signature ‘British Flowers Rock!’ talk on Sunday at 2pm, in the round tent in Zone E.