ABOUT THE TALKS
These joint presentations by Pete and Jackie Murray will be of interest to general audiences and more specialist garden, photography clubs or travel groups. The themes link photography to the world of plants, from natural habitats to gardens and cultivation. We also weave in historical thread, mixed with our own travel experiences and horticultural knowledge, with music adding another dimension to what we guarantee will be an enjoyable evening for any audience.
We offer the following illustrated talks, using our own high quality images, and supply our own professional quality projection equipment.
In 2010 we were fortunate to join the AGS botanical tour to Tibet, which included a three week trek into the remote parts on the Northern side of the Himalaya. This is home to many unusual plants as well as the relatives of many more familiar garden plants. We are pleased to offer two talks based on our experiences of the plants and peoples of this region, set against the rugged backdrop of the highest mountains on earth.
TIBET- PLANT HUNTING ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD
This talk takes you on a botanical expedition from the high plateau into the Everest region in our search for the "high alpine" flora of the area, amidst some of the most spectacular but challenging parts of the Himalaya. We includes a glimpse of the life and traditional culture of this remote part of western Tibet, and experience expedition life with the highs and lows of plant-hunting on the roof of the world.
TIBET- A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY
This talk looks at the photographic dimension of expedition life. As well as journey including the spectacular scenery ,plant and animal life of Tibet, this talk explains how make the most of photographic opportunities in limited time and in difficult situations . We also take look at the life and culture of the mountain peoples and visit some of the spectacular historical sites in Lhasa, and share our experiences in this inspirational setting.
LEARNING FROM LANDSCAPES
Gardeners, growers and show-ers nurture plants that often have their homes in far away places. The key to success in growing a plant is knowledge of its native habitat. This talk looks at where plants live, what plants want, and the features that might offer some clues about their needs in cultivation. It will appeal to those with a general gardening interest, and be thought provoking for the specialist!
THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY
A popular light hearted yet provocative look at the sort of plants we like to grow, ones we would hate to grow and ones that just keep growing!
This wide ranging talk looks at a variety of garden styles and plants available to the gardener. It also includes a seasonal journey of the plants you may consider to give your garden all year round interest, as well as the pitfalls of some of the favourites.
Growing, showing or just gardening, this will talk will offer food for thought on plants you could try, and others you might decide to avoid!
MOSTLY GREEN AND WHITE – A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO SNOWDROPS
It is a fine line between a hobby and an obsession! For many, snowdrops mark the beginning of the gardeners’ year. We will take you on a brief excursion to look at their features and beauty of snowdrops, explain how to grow them, and visit some of the places where you can see them at their best. There is more to the snowdrop than just green and white – but be warned, this talk could be the start of an obsession.
ALPINES, MYTHS AND MAGIC - A PRACTICAL ACTIVITY TALK
This practical activity-talk will be of interest to garden or horticultural groups, but has been presented very successfully to a variety of 'general interest 'groups
We begin with an illustrated introduction into the 'myths and magic' of alpine plants, both in the wild and in cultivation. A practical demonstration of planting an alpine trough, and how to sew alpine seeds, follows. Everyone can then plant their own pot of alpine seeds to take away! . The cost of seeds, plants, 'pots' and planting materials are covered in the fee.
The alpine trough produced in the demonstration can be raffled or sold by the host club or society to raise funds!
SWISS COUNTRY FILE
Say “Switzerland” and we imagine rugged snow-capped mountains, flower rich meadows, contented brown and white cows, and of course chocolate! This magazine style presentation will look at life in a Swiss mountain village during the spring and early summer, to show the important traditional relationship between these aspects of Switzerland.
FOLLOWING THE SNOWMELT
A pictorial spring diary set in the spectacular Dolomites and Swiss Alps. This talk follows the story of the Alpine flora after the winter snowmelt. Not only does it show the progression of the spring flowering in the alpine valleys and high mountain habitats, but it also includes an insight into the growing conditions gardeners should provide for a wide variety of hardy plants that have their origins in the mountains.
A SEARCH FOR TWO 'KINGS 'AND A 'LOST MOUNTAIN'
Reginald Farrer was the father of the great British Rock Garden. By some feared, by others revered, he set challenges in his books to follow in his footsteps. For over twenty years we have returned to the areas he visited in the Alps, Dolomites, and Maritime Alps to complete this quest. This tells his side of the story in the early 1900's and ours almost 100 years later.
RENAISSANCE OF AN ENGLISH GARDEN - EASTON WALLED GARDENS
In the early 1900’s President Roosevelt described Easton Walled Gardens as “a dream of nirvana too good to be true”. Sadly two world wars saw the garden’s decline into a wilderness, although its structure remained along with many interesting relic plants. The new millennium saw the renaissance of this hidden garden. This is its story- past present and future.
DEADLY AND DELICIOUS – PLANTS TO AVOID OR ENJOY!
In gardens, the plants we grow a variety of plants which vary from the deadly to the delicious. This talk looks at the story behind some of our favourite, and not so favourite garden plants. We also show how both the nice and the nasty can have a place in the garden – but after this talk possibly not all the plants will be in yours in the future!
ALPINES THE 'EASY WAY’
With years of experience of looking for alpine plants in the wild, and in leading groups in the mountains, we show you how and where to find alpine plants in their natural habitats the easy way Starting 'at home' we gradually venture further afield to show how you too can see these plants in the wild at their best with the minimum of effort!