We are lucky this year to have booked two well known speakers for the Garden Society this year, Tony Russell on ‘2000 years of British Garden History’ in February and Tom Hart Dyke with a talk entitled ‘Plant Hunter and Gardener with Passion’ in November.

 Here are some details about these two speakers which might interest you.

 Tony Russell is a BBC writer and broadcaster and former Head Forester of Westonbirt Arboretum and editor of the annual publication ‘Gardens to Visit’. He gives many entertaining talks and lectures to Garden Societies, Horticultural Societies and other clubs around the country. Many of them are about the various gardens he has visited in the UK.

 I have been fortunate enough to hear him speak twice, unfortunately the same talk, but I enjoyed it as much the second time around as the first and very much look forward to hearing him again as he is a very entertaining speaker.

 Tom Guy Hart Dyke is a renowned plant expert, plant hunter and TV personality. He

Is also patron of the British Cactus and Succulent Society and has been a great supporter and advocate of the Society.

Tom first shot to fame in 2000, when he was unfortunately kidnapped for nine months in the Colombian Jungle on a plant hunting expedition that went dangerously wrong. After Tom’s return to his ancestral home of Lullingstone Castle in Kent, he and Paul Winder wrote the best-selling book ‘The Cloud Garden’ detailing their experiences in the jungle. Tom’s jungle antics - building gardens in the mountains, much to the annoyance of his captors – cemented his reputation as a ‘plant nut’.

Since his release from captivity, Tom has been busy building the ‘World’ in his back garden at Lullingstone Castle, commandeering his granny’s 18th Century Walled Garden. The idea of the World Garden was born out of a time of despair while in captivity. His dream garden contains the plants he has collected from across the globe, planted out in their respective countries of origin.

In this fascinating talk Tom will discuss his interests and great passions with stories from an exciting (perhaps too exciting at times?). This promises to be a very entertaining evening and we are lucky to have speak to us.