Live Talks and Tours

Woman with long ginger hair looking through a glasshouse at green leafy plants.

We offer a variety of in-person talks and tours featuring a range of fabulous gardens as well as in-depth exploration of garden history topics and themes.

Upcoming events 2024


Unseen Gems of the RHS Lindley Library – from 29th April

Join us for all 3 research sessions where you’ll get to explore the fabulous hidden gems of the Lindley Library starting Mon 29th April.

Refresh your Research is a programme of research sessions for those who may be conducting garden research and could benefit from the Lindley Library as a resource. The programme will comprise of three sessions, each highlighting and contextualising a particular time period. The objects selected will aim to surprise visitors and establish the Lindley Library as a relevant archival source for garden history researchers.

Garden Visit - Exbury Gardens

Garden Tour – Exbury Gardens – 9th May

Join us for a memorable day out in this iconic Hampshire Garden, with resident Head Gardener Thomas Clarke.

Exbury Gardens were created just over 100 years ago in the golden age of woodland gardening by the banker and horticulturalist Lionel de Rothschild (VMH). The 20th century saw a transformation of the 200 acres into a spectacular collection of woodland, herbaceous, formal and wildflower gardens in this unique riverside location. It even has its own miniature steam railway to take visitors around the historic landscape.

London Talk – A glimpse at the life of William Robinson – 15th May

Irishman William Robinson (1838-1935), acclaimed as the original ‘wild gardener’, had a profound influence on gardening in Britain and beyond, in the late 19th century, and his ideas still resonate today.

In this talk Judith Nesbitt sheds light on his craving for wild beauty and variety in nature, his mission to get the nation growing food, his anger at the waste of resources and human potential. As Chief Curator at Tate Britain (2000-2010) and Director of National & International Partnerships (2010-2020) Judith curated and programmed exhibitions at Tate and beyond. Her curiosity about creative lives and personalities brings insight to Robinson’s visual approach to the world around him.

Plant with pink flowers, surrounded by mists and other green plants in a large glasshouse

Oxford Study Weekend – New Perspectives on Botanical Gardens – 31st May to 2nd June

This weekend will seek to explore and debate the contribution of botanical gardens to research, education, conservation, well-being and commerce from the 17th century to the present day.

New scholarship will be presented to illuminate the involvement of designers, plant hunters, gardeners, scientists, artists, governments and local communities – and to tell the forgotten stories of those who suffered as plants became commodities in global trade.

The weekend will include tours of the Oxford Botanic Garden (the oldest such garden in the country).

Garden Tour – Dorneywood – 4th July
Join us on a visit to Dorneywood, historic grace and favour residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and bequeathed to the National Trust by Lord Courtauld-Thomson in 1954.

The estate is today managed by the Dorneywood Trust. The Gardens Trust have been fortunate to secure a visit to the house which only opens for two weeks a year, we shall enjoy a guided tour of the ground floor rooms. Dr Sarah Rutherford will tell us about the gardens long history and Sean Walter will explain the challenge of retaining the character of the garden using modern planting schemes whilst focusing on environmental sustainability and keeping maintenance costs down.