Bob's Talks

Bob Flowerdew's Lecture & Talk List

  1. Organic Gardening, why it's better for us & our planet. What it's really about, not just leaving out the chemicals!. Why organic food is so tasty. What other benefits we all get from gardening.
  2. Planning a Garden, how to cooperate with nature. Easier ways to start a garden. Dig & No Dig methods. Raised & Fixed beds. What to put where? What to grow where? What not to grow?
  3. Fertility & Fertilisers, organic fertility. Green manures, the value of muck, rock dusts, seaweed products and natural fertilisers. Successful composting.
  4. Weed Control without Chemicals, the alternatives to herbicides. Hoeing, mulching, cover crops, flame-gunning. The Carpet Method.
  5. Pest & Disease Control without Poisons, wit & cunning to control problems. Companion plants, rotation, hygiene, traps, safe sprays, natural predators.
  6. Starting Right, 90% successful gardening is good husbandry. Sowing, potting, transplanting, watering and harvesting. Important Basics!!
  7. Vegetables for Food & Feast. Recommended methods, comparison of work & yields, easy & difficult crops, individual needs, resistant varieties, gourmet foods and rarities
  8. Fruits, Glorious Fruits, soft & tree fruits, and tender ones too. Their treatment and varieties, from old favourites to glorious novelties. Grow more vitamins and flavour!
  9. The Organic Flower Garden, the wild and the tamed. Flowers, Shrubs & Ornamentals for low labour & more wildlife. Organic lawn & grass care.
  10. Backyard livestock, an introduction to keeping bees, chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits and counselling against goats. Optional, gruesome, extension for curious on dispatching and butchering.
  11. The Organic Life, the range of organic products and lifestyle choices. The difference between conventional food and Organic, why, and what effect this has on us. Plus kitchen and body care.
  12. Companion Planting. How to grow plants to benefit other plants, ourselves and wildlife in the garden. A fascinating topic full of tips and interest.
  13. Magic in the Garden. A light-hearted exploration of those less than wholly scientific but rather interesting aspects of gardening myth and magic. Warning covers topics not PC or even ‘polite’ at times.
  14. The Perfumed Garden. Perfumed plants, their history, function and how to make & grow more of them. How to smell more accurately! Copious samples brought any day of year.
  15. No Work gardening, or rather least labour gardening. Ways to reduce or eliminate unnecessary chores and get more flowers, fruit and produce with much less work! Humorous vitriolic diatribe.
  16. A Load of Old Rot, compost; how to make and how to use it. The value, the process, the ways- bin, pit, trench, worm, snail, hot box, bag, making them work effectively. Then how to use compost best.
  17. Greener Home Preservation, how to store the produce. Juicing, freezing, jamming, drying, leathering, root & fruit stores, salting, smoking & pickling, cider & wine, and liqueurs.
  18. Coping with Drought. Cunning ways to make your garden productive and floriferous in the face of adversity and water companies. Includes syphons and water storage devices.
  19. Coping with Flood. Cunning ways to make your garden productive and floriferous in the face of adversity from flooding. Floating gardens, River’s orchard house method
  20. Mediterranean crops and perfumes. The fruits and vegetables and glorious perfumed plants you commonly come across in markets and gardens whilst not far abroad, and how you can grow them at home.
  21. Tropical and sub-tropical delights. Fruits, vegetables and flowers you commonly come across in markets and gardens far abroad, can and how you eat them and can you grow them at home?
  22. Don’t try this at home, or Bob’s biffing bodges. -DIY tools and equipment. Money saving methods and recipes. Curious failures. Recycling myriad things.. eg cheap warming mat- second hand waterbed heater!
  23. The Gourmets Garden. How to concentrate on the absolutely finest eating quality above all else and definitely not on how to feed a family of twelve year round from an allotment.
  24. The Answer lies in the soil. What you need to know about how our soil works, how to change or modify it and why you need sowing and potting composts in containers and how to make them.
  25. Keen gardeners do it on raised beds. The French intensive garden method of the Victorian age and how we can adapt some of it’s methods today such as hotbeds, cloches and mixed cropping.
  26. Foods for the future. Not gmos but those edible plants that may be developed into the new treats to come, and what we already have but don’t know about. Fuchsia berries are tasty!
  27. A Year in my Garden Slide show of the features, flowers, produce and seasonal change in my Norfolk, England, garden. (Conditions apply) (fee+)
  28. Plants around the world Slide show of those I ‘ve found most interesting. (Conditions apply) (fee+)
  29. A threat to us all. Armegeddon, later, as the drinks machine, the air line seat, radioactive vegetables, grandad’s watch and lighter or the train toilet get us all before then. Even more things to worry about.
  30. Poems from the Potting shed. Bob’s idiosyncratic iconoclastic and irreverent view of the world expressed in verse and song.
  31. An evening with Bob Flowerdew Two part theatre act, first 45min of horticultural humour, slander and anecdote followed by second half choice Any Questions where horticultural and or all the world’s problems are solved or Bob reads his own poetry and songs. (fee+)
  32. Talking hoarse, Fawlty towers exists. An introduction to the English hostility, oops sorry, hospitality industry. Anecdotel libels of a much travelled speaker; contains no horticultural information whatsoever and an awful lot on which hotels to avoid.
  33. Don't listen to the experts they get it all wrong. Garden advice turned on it's head showing how experts aim at different results to the home gardener so making an enjoyable productive hobby into hard work.
  34. Growing under Cover. How and what to grow in your greenhouse, conservatory or polytunnel. The alternatives, ancillary equipment (heaters, soil warming cable, artificial light, ventilation etc.), cultural methods and plants.
  35. The organic life and it’s effect on my hair’. Thirty years of being Organic, the trials and tribulations, rewards and benefits, more philosophical than horticultural content. Definitely adults only.

Length is based on 45 minutes plus questions (except 31) but can be from 30 to 90 minutes by prior arrangement. The level of horticultural information can be adjusted according to group and event, however no’s 1, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 26, 29, 30, 31 & 32 are most adaptable for non –horticultural audiences. The most popular bookings are no 15, No Work, which is by far the most requested, then 1, 3, 12, 13, 14 & 31. No equipment other than a table and a glass of water is required, except for 27 & 28 where a screen, full blackout and 35mm slide projector must be provided. Wit & humour are planned but not guaranteed.