Free Talks

Free Talks daily in the Talk & Demo Tent near Eaton Site Catering

Nick Bailey, 1:30pm Friday

The Woodland Trust, 1:30pm Saturday

Ben Cross, 1:30pm Sunday

Jules Simmons, 11:30am & 2:30pm Daily

To view the slides from Jules’ talk, please click on this link

Nick Bailey

Nick Bailey

1:30pm Friday

In the Talk & Demo Tent near Eaton Site Catering


‘Revive Your Garden’

“Nick’s talk was really well thought out…it connected to the content of our show and the audience were completely engaged at all times. He presented in his natural friendly manner making his talk accessible to all levels of horticultural knowledge from the amateur gardener to the trained professional.” – RHS Autumn Garden Show 2017

Nick Bailey is a freelance horticulturalist, best-selling author, award-winning TV presenter, garden designer and speaker.

After studying horticulture at Hadlow College and Landscape Design at Greenwich University, Nick has worked in many areas over the last 25 years, including nursery stock production, garden management, garden design, teaching, public speaking writing and broadcasting.

Nick is a presenter on BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World, with an audience of over 2.5million. His film on plants associated with Shakespeare for Gardeners’ World won best TV programme at the Garden Media Guild Awards 2016. He began his broadcasting career presenting Gardens Wild and Wonderful in South Africa (’95-’96) and spent four years as a panellist on BBC Radio Norfolk’s Garden Party. Nick has since appeared on BBC 2’s Great British Garden Revival and Big Dreams Small Spaces, ITV News, BBC 1’s The One Show, BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme, and presented BBC RHS Flower Shows coverage.

His horticultural media career spans some 15 years, including work as an editor for Garden Answers and Garden News, and freelance writing for RHS The Garden, The Mail, The Times and The Telegraph. Nick currently has regular columns in Garden News, and BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine for which he was awarded Property Press Awards’ Garden Journalist of the Year 2017.

Nick’s first book ‘Chelsea Physic Garden – A Companion Guide’ was published in 2014. His second book ‘365 Days of Colour in your Garden’ was published in 2015 and has been an Amazon best seller ever since. His third book ‘Revive Your Garden’ will be published in April 2018 by Kyle Books.

As a dynamic and entertaining speaker, Nick has taught and lectured for Greenwich University, Chichester College, The English Garden School, The Mediterranean Garden Society, The Hardy Plant Society, BBC Gardeners’ World Live and many garden festivals, groups and associations internationally.

Nick has designed and managed gardens in the UK, Spain, South Africa and Australia. He created his first Main Avenue Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower show in 2016 for which he received extensive plaudits from the press and judges along with a Silver Gilt Medal. As the former Head Gardener for London’s famous Chelsea Physic Garden, Nick spent the last seven years redesigning the gardens and diversifying the plant collection.

Professor Alan Aylward

The Woodland Trust

1:30pm Saturday

In the Talk & Demo Tent near Eaton Site Catering

‘Standing Up For Trees’

Professor Alan Aylward – The Woodland Trust

My career was in space science – I worked in the space industry and computing and ended up from 1994 as the Head of the Atmospheric Physics group at UCL (University College London) where we studied the upper atmospheres of the earth, solar system planets – and lately exoplanets (planets around other stars). All of which is irrelevant to my lecture! While this career was progressing I was a member of the Woodland Trust (since the 1980s) because of my love of – and concern for the British landscape and trees in particular. My first wife was Finnish and we lived in Sweden for several years so I had plenty of exposure to forests. When my wife died in 1992 I had a small plaque to her memory placed in Joydens Wood on the London-Kent border, but until recent years my interest in the Woodland Trust was mainly just as an ordinary member. Then, 3 or 4 years ago we found out the Woodland Trust had bought Langley Vale Farm near to us and proposed to turn it into a First World War memorial site. As I was more or less retiring from my science role at the time this seemed to be an ideal opportunity to become more involved in a project that had been dear to my heart for the previous 25 years and so I have been volunteering both for work at Langley Vale and for promotion of the Woodland Trust generally. At Langley Vale I am part of an arable plant monitoring group, a general-purpose volunteer and a helper in the heritage orchard. We’ve planted trees, cleared barbed wire, laid out public paths through the site and had public days to involve the local community. A particularly important part of the latter has been to involve schools in the area and later this year several thousand trees will be planted from the Seeds-to-Trees project grown (from seed as the name suggests) by the schoolchildren. Recently a number of national initiatives involving the Trust have brought the issue of the need to protect and grow our native woodland to more public attention so this is a good time to learn more about our work and plans.

The Woodland Trust


Our trees and woodland, home to more wildlife than any other landscape, is under threat. Woodland losses over many years means the UK has one of the least wooded areas in the whole of Europe.  Past clearance of woodland for agriculture is now compounded by losses to infrastructure and development, and the growing impact of climate change and pests and disease is taking its toll. The consequences for our wildlife are devastating. Britain’s plant and animal species are declining at an alarming rate and many are at risk of being lost forever.  The consequences for people too will be equally devastating. Our woods and trees clean the air we breathe, purify the water we drink, and protect the soil we depend on to grow crops for food and provide places to play and refresh our souls. They nurture not just wildlife, but all our lives.

The history of trees, woods and forests is inextricably linked with our own story, and they have shaped us as much as we have shaped them. They are the backdrop to countless legends and fairy tales, and the inspiration for some of our oldest traditions: ancient venerable trees, some over one thousand years old, punctuate our landscape like no other country in Europe and, with ancient woodlands, they provide a direct, living connection to our most distant past. They are central to our sense of who we are, our sense of place, and our sense of national identity. These ancient connections still survive but we are in danger of forgetting where they came from, and why they have arisen. We need to take action now before that living source of our national identity fades forever.  

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK and a leading voice in bringing to the attention of government, land owners and the general public the state of the UK’s trees and woodland. We champion and deliver the most dynamic solutions to protect and revitalise our natural environment – the recreation of wooded landscapes on a national scale.

Working with local communities, local authorities, businesses, schools, other NGOs and the public, we’ve helped plant over 32 million trees.

Since the charity was founded in 1972, through our influence with others, we have created thousands more hectares of new native woodland and continue to restore many hectares of precious ancient woodland.

We campaign to ensure that laws governing environmental protection are enforced and that the government is held to account on environmental pledges. We also campaign vigorously with the support of local communities, to prevent any further destruction of ancient woods. Together we campaign to save hundreds of areas of threatened ancient woodland every year.

And, to further protect the UK’s natural environment, we’ve built up an estate of our own managed woodland covering the equivalent of 96 square miles across the UK of which a third is irreplaceable ancient woodland.

Ben Cross

Ben Cross

Ben Cross

1:30pm Sunday

In the Talk & Demo Tent near Eaton Site Catering

‘British Alstroemeria & The UK Cut-Flower Industry’ ‘British Flowers Rock’

Ben Cross from Crosslands Flower Nursery, a 4th generation horticulturalist based in Walberton near Arundel, West Sussex. Ben is 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. Ben’s nursery tours and talks are popular with flower clubs and horticultural societies who flock to see one of the few surviving old style horticultural establishments. ‘I feel very passionate about keeping the nursery going. It is a lifestyle like farming, not a job’ says Ben with heartfelt passion.


Jules Simmons

Jules Simmons

11:30am & 2:30pm Daily

In the Talk & Demo Tent near Eaton Site Catering
Jules Simmons, a Horticultural Environmentalist & Conservationist, will be giving two talks daily:

‘Help Mum & Dad Save Water & The Garden!’
11:30am Daily

Demonstration & talk for parents & children. Join Jules as she explains how gardening can be fun, and learn some amazing techniques to ensure your garden is well cared for. How to spot any mini beasts that have made their home there & how to cope with the wrong ones!

‘Planning & Coping With The Garden For Extreme Weather & Dealing With Drought’
2:30pm Daily

The tough weather of the winter has been forgotten as we have all had to deal with the challenging heat of this summer… and the garden needs all the help it can get!

So… join Jules and learn the best ways to cope to ensure your garden flourishes!


To view the slides from Jules’ talk, please click on this link

Steve & Val Bradley – Gardening Doctors

Daily 10.00am – 12.30pm & 1.30pm – 4.00pm

– Find Steve & Val in the Gardening Doctors tent near the Information Tent

Gardening Doctor Surgery with Steve & Val Bradley: Pick up top tips and friendly advice from the Gardening Doctors who will be on hand to answer any question relating to your plants or garden…bring your plants and questions along!

The Gardening Doctors – Steve Bradley

Steve Bradley grew up on a nursery, spent over 20 years teaching horticulture at colleges around England and is now a freelance garden writer and broadcaster. He studied horticulture at Writtle, Cannington and Pershore Colleges, achieving the RHS Master of Horticulture Diploma. He appeared on two TV series: Plant Life and Garden Doctors, three official Chelsea Flower Show videos and has made multiple gardening videos.

He can be found most Sunday mornings on BBC local radio in Kent or Surrey / Sussex, where he answers live phone-in questions. He has written (or co-written) around 50 books on a wide range of topics including pruning, pests & diseases, a revision of the famous Grafter’s Handbook and updates of some of the ever-popular ‘Expert’ books. Since 2002, he has been Gardening Correspondent for the Sun newspaper with wife Val and Peter Seabrook.

The Gardening Doctors – Val Bradley

Val Bradley is a freelance garden writer who has been gardening since she could hold a trowel. Since training at Askham Bryan College, she has worked in garden centres and nurseries (including RHS Wisley), taught at horticultural college and written (or co-written) books on many aspects of gardening including houseplants, tools, fragrant plants and town gardens. She has also written magazine articles, answered live phone-in questions on local BBC radio and been resident expert on a magazine website forum. Since 2002 she has been Gardening Correspondent for The Sun newspaper with husband Steve and Peter Seabrook. Find her on Twitter @valgardening or see the website

Find them in the GARDENING DOCTOR TENT near the Information Tent. Bring your ailing plants along; guaranteed to solve all your gardening problems! Note from the Garden Show organisers: ‘there is nothing that these two experts don’t know about gardening!’

Val and Steve are  busy rewriting the famous Gardening Expert books first made popular by Dr David Hessayon. Come and talk to them about it!