Chelsea gold medal winner to headline student lecture series

November 2011

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

World renowned horticulturists and designers will be presenting and enthralling audiences at Writtle College this academic year and with headliner Garden Designer, Chelsea Judge and Gold medal winner, Andy Sturgeon presenting in February 2012 this is a series not to be missed.

Alongside Andy, who has won five Chelsea golds and won the best in show award with his 2010 garden, will be a number of other professional horticulturists, contractors and designers. The full line-up and dates for the James Hearsum Lecture series are:

15 November 2011 at 7.30pm

Dr Tim Upson, Curator of Cambridge Botanic Garden

As Curator (formerly Superintendent), Tim has overall responsibility for the 39acre botanic gardens with over 8,000 plant species in the collection. Tim will give a talk focussing on the genus Lavandula.

6 December 2011 at 7.30pm

Dusty Gedge, Green Roof specialist and Urban Ecologist

Dusty has worked for the last ten years in urban ecology, specialising in brownfield re-vegetation and green roofs. Dusty is an interesting speaker with a reputation for giving highly entertaining lectures.

24 January 2012 at 7.30pm

Stephen Crisp, Head Gardener at Winfield House

Winfield is the official London residence of US Ambassador to UK. When Stephen first came to Winfield in Regent’s Park, the further reaches of the grounds had been let go wild. Over the last two decades, he has created the magnificent gardens which enhance the house today.

21 February 2012 at 7.30pm

Andy Sturgeon, Garden Designer, Chelsea Judge and Gold medal winner

Andy will talk on ‘Making the Modern Garden’ and include aspects of garden design history and elements of garden design.

27 March 2012 at 7.30pm (Plant sales from 6pm and after the talk).

Derry Watkins, Plantswoman

Derry, along with a super range of her specialist plants for sale, will be at Writtle in March 2012. Derry’s talk is titled ‘Pushing the Boundaries - borderline hardy and tender plants you can’t live without’.

The James Hearsum lecture series – now in its sixth year – is named after the student who started the talks - James Hearsum. James, who graduated from Writtle in 2010 with a first class Honours degree, is currently in the USA on his second year of study at Delaware University on the Longwood Graduate Masters programme.

Senior Horticultural Lecturer Greg Allen, who now organises the series with the support of Writtle College degree students, commented: “On behalf of James, I thank everyone for the support and positive feedback for previous talks held at the College. The series, which runs over six months, continues because it is an idea that is too good to let go of. It has a very positive impact on our students and a numbers of students are involved in putting it together. Last year, its success resulted in a series of five travel bursaries for our students.”

Once again this year, proceeds from the series will go towards student travel bursaries. Last year a total of £2,500 was awarded to five students as part of a Travel Awards scheme run through the Centre for the Arts and Design in the Environment (CADE) website. Will Stanger, a BSc (Hons) Horticulture student received a bursary which he used towards traveling around England and France. Will said: “I tried to visit a real variety of gardens to look at different design styles and get inspiration for planting ideas. I’ve taken over 1,000 photographs and am currently compiling a presentation on the whole experience. I will also be using some of the pictures in my dissertation on historic gardens.”

All lectures will be held in Writtle College’s Northumberland Lecture Theatre.

Tickets are now on sale through Writtle College Students’ Union or Cheques by post addressed to: Greg Allen, Writtle College, Lordship Road, Writtle, CM1 3RR and payable to Writtle College SU, or email for further information. The prices for the full-series for current Writtle students (5 talks) will be £30, and for non-students £45.


Pictured - Student, Chloe Flemming receiving her travel bursary award in the 10/11 academic year. Bursary is being presented by Phil Askew, Landscape Architect on Olympic Games Park.