Celebration of Horticulture

Sunday 12th June 2022
10am - 3:30pm
Free Entry - £5 Parking Donation

We will open our campus on Sunday 12th June for a 'Celebration of Horticulture'.

This will be a free event, open to everyone. You can expect a number of activities including live demonstrations of gardening activities as well as local crafters. There will be a gardeners' panel offering advice and guidance.

Opening Talk

The event opens at 10.30am with a talk from horticulturalists and lecturers Christine & Mick Lavelle celebrating their 21 years at Writtle University College.

Event Programme

Opening Talk

10:30am - 12:00pm - Christine & Mick Lavelle

Christine & Mick Lavelle share anecdotes about their experiences and describe some of the exciting developments they've pioneered over the years.

Stage Events

12:15am - 12:40am Unusual Vegetables - by Matt Oliver

Matt Oliver is the head of the magnificent Global Growth Vegetable Garden at RHS Hyde Hall in Chelmsford where he grows 350 different species of edible plants. He was a student at Writtle University College, completing a degree in horticulture. He has appeared on many TV programmes including Countryfile and Gardener's World. Today, Matt will introduce you to some of the more unusual vegetables he has cultivated and the successes and challenges that he has faced. He might also let you into the secret of growing the UK's heaviest outdoor grown pumpkin - a whopping 1498 lb (679 kg).

12:45am - 1:10pm The Garden on a Plate - by Claudio Bincoletto

Claudio Bincoletto is an Italian chef, eco-horticulturist and the Head Gardener at Keythorpe Hall in Leicestershire. He was a student at Writtle University College, completing BSC Horticulture and PGD in Sustainable Landscape Management under climate change. During his varied career he has exhibited at RHS shows and advised many top chefs, including Antonio Carluccio. Claudio is passionate about bio-diverse eating and will take your tastebuds on a journey through plants. He will introduce you to new edible plants and make you see old plant friends (or foes) in a new light - as food! Tasting is encouraged.

1:15pm - 1:40pm Hanging basket demonstration - RHS Level 2 students with Claremont Home & Garden Centre

Learn how to make hanging baskets that will turn your neighbours green with envy. We will talk about plant selection, potting up and aftercare.

1:45pm - 2:10pm Five Best Plants for Wildlife - by Christine Lavelle

Christine Lavelle introduces five best plants to use in your garden to achieve the maximum potential for attracting wildlife.

2:15pm - 2:40pm A spot for a shady spot - RHS level 2 students

We show you how to add brightness to those challenging shady corners of your garden, by planting up a colourful summer display.

3:00pm - 3:30pm Gardener's Panel

Join experienced gardeners, experts from the RHS and WUC for an informative session where we answer your questions on all things gardening. Submit your questions on the day or email/twitter beforehand.

  • Host - Ken Crowther, gardening podcaster and radio personality
  • Rob Brett - Curator of RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Chelmsford
  • Steve Coghill - Head Gardener at Kings College, University of Cambridge
  • John Cullum - Plant health expert and Senior lecturer at Writtle University College
  • Mick Lavelle - Senior Lecturer in Landscape Management at Writtle University College
  • Matt Oliver - Head of the Global Growth Vegetable Garden at RHS Hyde Hall, Chelmsford


What We Learn About Ourselves By Drawing a Tree - by Samantha Humphreys

Workshop Times: 11:00am - 12:00pm | 1:00pm | 2:00pm

Take time out for this practical wellbeing workshop that explores the relationship between us, nature and creativity. No previous experience is required and all equipment will be provided - on a first come basis. Born in Liverpool, England, Samantha Humphreys is currently lecturing at Writtle University College the Art and the Environment course. Her own art practice explores identity and in particular the boundary between the physical and online presence. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Samantha has been focusing on how creativity can facilitate good mental health and wellbeing.


Drop in all day | Soil Testing

10:30am - 11:00am | Leaf Cuttings

1:30am - 2:00pm | Softwood Cuttings

2:15pm - 2:45pm | Hardwood Cuttings

10:30am - 11:00am | Leaf Cuttings

1:30am - 2:00pm | Softwood Cuttings

2:15pm - 2:45pm | Hardwood Cuttings

Garden Tours

Mediterranean Garden

Tour Times: 12:15pm | 1:00pm - 2:15pm

Explore the fabulous dry garden that surrounds our main drive way. Learn about the plant adaptations needed to survive in this challenging environment and be inspired by the beauty of the plants.


Tour Times: 12:30pm | 1:15pm | 2:00pm

Writtle University College has an extensive tree collection including the Coastal Redwood and Giant Redwood, the tallest and biggest tree species in the world. Join the guided tour to learn about these and many more fascinating trees.


Tour Times: 12:45pm | 1:30pm | 2:15pm

Get exclusive access to the tropical and dry display glasshouses, where you will learn about plant adaptations for these conditions and enjoy the fabulous show specimens.

Event Location