Zoom Talk: Tim Richardson

Tim Richardson will present the 2021 Margaret Helme Memorial Lecture by Zoom.

Thursday 21 October 2021 7:30pm-8:30pm

This event has now passed but a recording is available to CGT members and paid guests for a period of two weeks. Please contact admin.

Title Cambridge College Gardens.

Abstract For all who have wandered through a Cambridge College garden, a delight rarely possible over the past 18 months, Tim Richardson’s eponymous book will strike a resonance with its appreciation of the history, horticulture and atmosphere that these hallowed gardens provide. In this talk, Tim will bring his research and elegant prose to life to elaborate on the most exquisite gardens in and around the colleges, illustrated with the stunning photography of Clive Boursnell. The gardens are as rich and varied as the colleges themselves, often set within stunning architecture, and include formal quads, naturalistic planting, walled gardens, rooftop oases, productive plots and watermeadows as well as the private spaces enjoyed by senior college members and fellows.

Our Speaker Tim Richardson is a writer who specialises in garden and landscape design and history. He has been gardens editor at Country Life and landscape editor at Wallpaper magazine. He was founding editor of both the award-winning gardens magazines New Eden and Country Life Gardens. Tim contributes regularly to the Daily Telegraph, House and Garden, Gardens Illustrated and Country Life. He is the author of several notable books on gardening and even a claimed first in documenting a history of sweets and their temptations. We are delighted to welcome Tim as the CGT Margaret Helme Lecturer for 2021.

This Zoom talk is free to members of Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust. We warmly welcome guests who may be interested in hearing the talk and invite them to register via Eventbrite at a cost of £5. Joining details will be sent to all CGT members and registered guests two days before the event.

Live Talk: Beverley Glover

Professor Beverley Glover, CGT Patron and Director of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Thursday 23 September 2021 7:30pm-8:30pm

This event has now passed.

Title The Cambridge Botanic Garden’s unique role in addressing global challenges.

Abstract Cambridge University Botanic Garden was founded with a unique purpose – to support research into the science of plants. In the 21st century that purpose is more important than ever, and I will address how the Garden works to support research into the challenges facing the world today.

Our Speaker Beverley Glover obtained her BSc in Plant and Environmental Biology from the University of St Andrews in 1993, closely followed by a PhD in Plant Development from the John Innes Centre, Norwich, in 1996. Beverley became a Fellow of Queens’ College, Cambridge in 1996 and, following spells as Senior Lecturer and Reader, is currently Director of Cambridge University Botanic Garden and Professor of Plant Systematics and Evolution in the University’s Department of Plant Sciences.

Prof. Glover has received several prestigious awards, including the Linnean Society Bicentenary Medal, and consequently sits on a large number of committees, not the least being a Trustee at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. We are delighted that she has been able to find time to act as a patron for CGT and warmly welcome her offer to present this lecture.

For further details on this event, including a map of the venue at Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington, and parking information, please follow this link to the Programme page.

Zoom Talk: Mark Newman

Fountains Abbey, and the 18C Studley Royal estate which followed, adapted the River Skel for their own purposes. National Trust lead archeaologist, Mark Newman, recounts key parts of the estate history.

Thursday 8 July 2021 7:30pm-8:30pm
This event has now passed.

Title Wonder of the North: the Aislabie family’s designed landscape at Studley Royal.

Abstract Between 1670 and 1781 three generations of the Aislabie family converted an ancestral country property into one of the greatest designed landscapes created in the British Isles, which is now a World Heritage Site. In this talk Mark Newman, the National Trust’s Archaeological Consultant to the property, will tell the fascinating story of how this was achieved; how the estate was steadily expanded to provide space for each new successive eighteenth century garden fashion, and the unique landscaping genius of father and son, John and William Aislabie.

Our Speaker Mark Newman is the archaeological consultant for the Yorkshire and North East region of the National Trust and has been the NT’s archaeological adviser for Fountains Abbey and the Studley Royal Estate since 1988. Mark has an intimate knowledge of the estate, having also been a resident of Fountains Hall from 1988 to 1995. In 2015 he published what must be the definitive account to date of the historical evolution of the Studley Royal landscape that is now recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: The Wonder of the North, available from the Boydell Press.

ZOOM Talk: Alison Moller

Two intriguing images from the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, taken by Alison Moller’s husband Tosh. Zoom in on 20 May to find out what they mean!

Thursday 20 May 2021 7:30pm-8:30pm
This event has now passed but a link to a recording of the talk is available on application to: admin@cambridgeshiregardenstrust.org.uk.

Title The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Abstract CGT member Alison Moller will explore the background, influences and meaning of The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, near Dumfries in southern Scotland. This important 20th/21st century garden was laid out in a 30-acre landscape by Charles Jencks. The garden, inspired by modern cosmology, is private and open to the public for only one day a year, but Alison was given rare access to explore it with her husband who took the photographs that illustrate this talk.

Our Speaker Alison Moller has an MA in Garden and Landscape History from the Institute of Historical Research and is an active researcher and educator. She is a member of Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex Gardens Trusts, for whom she has been running an Introduction to Garden History course over the past two years, under the GT umbrella. If that wasn’t enough, Alison is a professional Wine Educator, in which role she arranged the champagne reception at Fenstanton Church Centre in 2016 as part of the CGT Brown Tercentenary celebrations.

ZOOM Talk: Pippa & Steve Temple

Left: Steve and Pippa Temple’s restoration of Impington Mill. Right: the watermill at Euston Hall.

Thursday 29 April 2021 7:30pm-8:30pm
General notes on installing and using Zoom can be found here.
This event has now passed but a link to a recording of the talk is available on application to: admin@cambridgeshiregardenstrust.org.uk.

Title From one great plague to another – the history of the superb Euston Hall garden

Abstract In August 2020, when the pandemic rules were relaxed, CGT members were kindly offered the opportunity of wandering around the glorious garden of Euston Hall in Suffolk.  We were given the place to ourselves for three hours; maps of the grounds were left on a table by the entrance and we were permitted to picnic in the grounds. Out of a beautiful summer came one day of mist, murk and drizzle – the silence was palpable, as it must have been in the days of the Great Plague of 1665, when the Hall was first built and the gardens begun.
Walk in the steps of John Evelyn, William Kent, Capability Brown – and a mystery individual – a man who was to engineer the water features in that showcase of C17 gardens, Versailles.

Our Speakers Steve is an engineer by background, an inventor by profession and the vice-Chairman of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Windmill and Watermill Section – thus explaining his interest in the fascinating watermill at Euston Hall.  Pippa’s primary research was into 1903’s French parliamentary history; she lectured in French, Russian and European History before retiring, and is now free to indulge her passion for garden history. Inevitably the French connection will figure in the talk.

ZOOM Talk: Alan James

Cattle in the Ouse by Michael Monk.

Wedesday 17 March 2021 7:30pm-8:30pm
General notes on installing and using Zoom can be found here.
This event has now passed but a pdf file of selected images and links from Alan’s talk can be downloaded by clicking this link.

Title Climate, environmental and planning challenges to our gardens and parklands

Abstract The Great Ouse Valley, between Earith and Huntingdon, faces challenges from development, as government seeks to build and house a technology hub in the arc encompassing Oxford, Cambridge and London, and from climate change resulting in increasingly frequent summers of drought and winters of flood. Local organisations are responding to these challenges in seeking to protect the valley with AONB status. However, these issues affect the whole of the county. Dr Alan James, chair of the local branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) will introduce CPRE with a little about its history and current activities. He will cover the impact of climate change on the Ouse Valley and across the county and how some planning decisions and policies are adding to these effects. It was that great lady from Wisbech, Octavia Hill, who first coined the term “green belt”. We need to build upon that heritage and ensure that our green spaces, be they formal, informal or crop-growing fields, continue to protect species and to mitigate/reduce climate change. Finally, Alan will highlight CPRE campaigns and activities that seek to alleviate or avoid such impacts.

Our Speaker From a family of London firefighters turned smallholders and farmers, Alan James complemented his material science degree and a PhD in electro-optic ceramics at Sheffield with the RHS General Examination in Horticulture. A career in telecoms research and IT led to Fisons at Hauxton, and thence to two start-up IT companies which continue to flourish. Now based in Haddenham, James joined CPRE after the success of the nearby Mereham public enquiry in 2008. A decade later he became chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough branch to which he brings his particular interests of the impacts of environmental and climate change on the region’s unique landscapes and communities.

ZOOM Talk: Twigs Way

Left: print of the south side view of the Ruins at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew,
with the Temple of Aeolus in the background by Woollett and Kirby, c1763.

Tuesday 23 February 2021 7:30pm-8:30pm
General notes on installing and using Zoom can be found here.
This event has now passed.

Title Ruins in the Landscape

Abstract From hermitages to ruined abbeys, headless statues to wellheads, we scatter ruins through our gardens and designed landscapes. The Romans were the first to incorporate ruins in gardens and now we create gardens around Roman ruins. But what is the fascination with incorporating the old in the new? Why should ancient cultures rise again amongst the flowerbeds and verdant green lawns? This illustrated talk will consider the history and role of ruins in garden design.

Our Speaker Dr Twigs Way, previous Chair of CGT, has worked in historic landscapes for over twenty years, from medieval parks to gardens and landscapes of all periods. At present she blends lecturing, research, writing, publishing, crafting landscape management plans, visiting historic sites, and the history of female gardeners. She relaxes by weeding her own garden, sometimes with a mattock…

ZOOM Event: Gardeners’ Question Time

Thursday 14 January 2021 7:30pm-8:30pm
An informal evening to pick the gardening brains of our new Life Members
Please send your queries in advance to admin@cambridgeshiregardenstrust.org.uk
This event has now passed but you can download the list of species
suggested by Philip and Richard from here

Title Gardeners’ Question Time

Summary Philip Whaites (left) and Richard Gant (right) have kindly offered to share the benefits of their experience as Head Gardeners at two of our most important Brown landscapes at Wimpole Hall and Madingley Hall respectively. Do you have a question that you would like to put to them? It doesn’t matter whether you want to know the best planting scheme for ornamental urns, or how to deal with thugs in your backyard – this is your chance to challenge the experts! Please send your query by email, prior to the event, to admin@cambridgeshiregardenstrust.org.uk You will be invited by our compere and chair, Liz Whittle, to put your question to our illustrious panel on the evening.

Our Panellists Having started out as a motor engineer, Philip Whaites began his gardening career in 1972, attending Lancashire College of Agriculture while working in a local parks department. He joined the National Trust as Gardener in Charge at Gawthorpe Hall and restored part of the gardens, designed by Sir Charles Barry. Philip joined Wimpole Hall as Assistant Gardener in August 1981 and became Head Gardener in 1987. Since then Philip has recreated many of Wimpole’s features, enabled by successful funding applications and many volunteers. Now retired, Philip is a volunteer gardener at The Susan Countess of Hardwick Almshouses and a Trustee of Ramsey Walled Garden. He is also collection coordinator for Cambridgeshire at Plant Heritage.

Richard Gant joined the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education at Madingley Hall in 1988 and, as a formidable plantsman and all round horticulturalist, he has overseen many changes and developments to the garden since then. The glory and beauty of the garden is testament to his hard work and dedication over the years, which have seen Madingley Hall host a number of CGT events, including the 2020 social evening in September. Both Richard’s and Philip’s contributions to their landscapes and their support for CGT over the years were recognised through the award of CGT Life Membership to each of them.

Further biographical details on our panellists can be found in the November 2020 newsletter on pp3-4.

Zoom Lecture Season 2020

Following quiet months enforced by lockdown, CGT is delighted to offer members and guests an opportunity to hear a series of excellent talks covering an eclectic mix of topics. These will be streamed live on-line using Zoom and details explaining how to install and operate Zoom can be found by clicking this link. An invitation mail will be sent out enabling you to participate from the comfort and bio-security of your own home. A brief calendar of talks follows below with links (where active) to further information on each lecture. We hope you will join us for these lectures, for which there is no charge, and that you will find them stimulating and enjoyable.

Date and timeSpeakerTitle
16 September 2020
7:30pm – 8:30pm
Past event
Sue Stuart-SmithGardening for the mind
15 October 2020
Margaret Helme
Inaugural Lecture
Past event
Tom WilliamsonNew light on Repton: unlocking a system of landscape design
7 November 2020
(in AGM programme)
Past event
David MarshGarden history in the making? The story of my garden.
10 December 2020
Christmas Lecture
Past event
Gillian HovellHow Roman garden design changed gardens forever and provided the seeds for our modern garden design

ZOOM Talk: Sue Stuart-Smith

Wednesday 16 September 2020 7:30pm-8:30pm
This event has now passed. Please contact admin@cambridgeshiregardenstrust.org for access to the YouTube recording, available for two weeks from broadcast.

Title Gardening for the Mind

Abstract Combining contemporary neuroscience, psychoanalysis and compelling real-life stories, Sue Stuart-Smith will explain the remarkable effects that nature can have on our health and wellbeing and how vital gardening can be, both as an escape for the brain and to help our minds through movement as well as thought.

Our Speaker Sue Stuart-Smith is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and author of The Well Gardened Mind, a Sunday Times bestseller. She studied English Literature at the University of Cambridge before qualifying as a doctor and working in the National Health Service for many years, becoming the lead clinician for psychotherapy in Hertfordshire. She currently teaches at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in London and is a consultant at DocHealth, a not for profit, psychotherapeutic consultation service for doctors. She is married to Tom Stuart-Smith, the celebrated garden designer, and, over thirty years together, they have created the wonderful Barn Garden in Hertfordshire.