Friends of the Garden lecture series to shed light on folklore and foliage

Posted by er134 at Jan 21, 2014 11:04 AM |
University of Leicester Botanic Garden winter lectures running from 23 January to 20 March 2014

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 21 January 2014

The Botanic Garden at the University of Leicester is running a series of lectures as part of its ‘Friends of the Garden’ association. The first of the five lectures took place on Thursday 14 November and lectures will continue to run until March 2014. Non-members are very welcome to attend.

Guest speakers include respected gardeners Doug Stewart, Stuart Phillips, Jeff Bates, Samantha Ford and Brian Ellis. They will be discussing a variety of topics throughout the lecture series, from the differences between how we used to garden sixty years ago to the significance of gardening folklore in shaping myths and legends.

Dr Richard Gornall from the Botanic Garden said: “These talks arranged by the Friends of the Garden are a valuable way for the Friends to meet up during the winter months and to further their interest in gardens.”

The remaining events, running from Thursday 23 January to Thursday 20 March 2014, are as follows:

  • Thursday 23rd January 2014

Lecture:  “The Royal Gardens, Windsor”, Jeff Bates

Venue: 7.30pm in Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 3

Jeff trained at Windsor Castle, and has worked as lecturer and designer. He has a particular interest in historic gardens. He has been a judge for East Midlands in Bloom for 25 years, and is co-Vice-Chair of Britain in Bloom.

  • Tuesday 18th February 2014

Lecture: “Unusual Vegetables From Seed”, Samantha Ford

Venue: 7.30pm in Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 2

Founder of Original Touch World Garden Seeds, her gardening talks embrace the modern culture of gardening as a way to eat healthily and interact in a more sympathetic way with our environment.

Samantha has an impressive knowledge of the origins of many of our more familiar vegetable varieties, as well as others which are more unusual. Her research has also uncovered many forgotten elements of the folklore surrounding what we eat, which will throw a whole new light on your humble vegetable garden or allotment.

  • Thursday 20th March 2014

Annual General Meeting

Lecture: “Texture & Foliage”, Brian Ellis.

Venue: 7.30pm in Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 3

Brian is a well-known nurseryman and plant enthusiast with a passion for collecting rare and unusual plants, mainly herbaceous perennials and grasses. In this illustrated talk, Brian shows how foliage is as important as flowers in the garden.

Founded in 1980, the principal aims of the ‘Friends of the Garden’ association are to promote and support the development of the Botanic Garden's plant collections and amenities.

Fund-raising activities center chiefly on an annual Open Day held at the Botanic Garden, but other events are organised from time to time. As a result a whole range of projects have been funded.

Membership to the ‘Friends of the Garden’ association is open to anyone over the age of 18 by completing an application form and paying the annual subscription. Subscriptions are normally payable on 1 January each year, but new members may join at any time. Memberships bought from 1 September are valid through to 31 December the following year. Families may subscribe at special rates.

Members are given special access to the Botanic Garden after it is closed to the public, and are provided with newsletters, opportunities to exchange plants with other members and more.

For more information and to download a membership form visit:


Notes to Editors:

For further information, please contact the Botanic Garden at: Phone/fax 0116 271 2933 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or

Share this page: