Doug Stewart

Professional horticulturist, plant enthusiast, weekend adventurer

(when all three combine that’s when the magic happens)

Gardening talks, lectures and workshops delivered throughout the mainland UK

A little bit about myself
I never really made a conscious decision to become a horticulturist.  Plants have always been a huge part of my life. At 13 I started a gardening round, and rented an allotment, which soon led to supplying the local shop with veg & earning a little pocket money.

After training as a professional horticulturist I worked in roles as diverse as a lecturer in cucumber and tomato production, and a pumpkin grower, plant propagator, interior landscaper and garden designer.

For over 20 years Doug worked at a leading land-based college as Head of Horticulture, for the last 15 years he has been working as a horticultural business consultant, speaker and trainer.

Doug is the co presenter of The Great Outdoors, a two-hour gardening phone in on BBC Radio Humberside.

When not working Doug loves riding bikes, hiking trails, photographing nature and getting lost, A lot.

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New talks for 2020/21

There are FIVE new talks available for 2020 and 2021, I hope you enjoy looking through them…

The Largest Gardening Project in the World

RHS Garden Bridgewater is the largest gardening project in the world

RHS Garden Bridgewater opens its gates to the public in 2020.

The garden already has an incredible story with Worsley New Hall having been a magnificent garden which Queen Victoria visited in 1851 and again in 1857. However like many gardens it fell into decline after the First World War, with the hall being demolished in 1949. The gardens were left to return to nature, laving a landscape similar to the Lost Garden of Heligan.

Doug has been fortunate enough to have visited the garden, meeting the volunteers and team involved in the build, and in this talk shares the story of the world’s largest gardening project.

Photographing your garden

Learn how to take awesome images of the plants in your garden.

In this talk Doug shares tricks and techniques to photograph both gardens flooded with golden sunshine, and also individual flowers. Plants are so much easier to photograph than people, they might dance in the breeze, but they don’t need to be reminded to smile!

The 10 secrets of organic gardening

In this talk Doug shares some of the techniques used by many of the leading organic gardens around the country…

Organic gardening is an often misunderstood concept. In this talk Doug shares 10 of the top techniques being used by leading gardens throughout the UK to become more sustainable, boost biodiversity and of course produce abundant crops of flavoursome fruit and vegetables. Packed with advice from Head Gardeners this talk is filled with top tips to try out back at home…

Tales from the Riverbank

A celebration of 12 months in the life of the UK’s most northerly chalk stream

The UK’s most northerly chalk stream meanders through the Skern Wetlands, creating a wonderful wildlife habitat filled with insects, wildflowers and otters.

Doug has been making monthly visits to Skerne, to share a year in the life of an East Yorkshire riverbank…

The Secret Gardens of Yorkshire

“A whistle stop tour through some of Yorkshire’s finest, and most secret gardens”

In this talk Doug shares the stories of some of Yorkshires finest, but lesser known gardens, telling their stories and introducing us to some of the less usual plants that they contain. Gardens visited include Yorkshires own arboretum, Stillingfleet Lodge and lesser known gems such as Rosemary Cottage, a garden which opens every other year fro the National Gardens Scheme.

Six of the BEST

These are Doug’s six most popular gardening talks…

10 ways to a better garden

This has become established as Doug’s most popular gardening talk, (indeed if Doug was a chef, this would be his signature dish) and has been enjoyed by over 200 groups in the last few years.

Gaining inspiration from some of the finest gardens in the world, this talk temps you to consider 10 easy ways to create your very own dream garden.

The talk concludes with a very personal look at over 20 favourite plants, reminding us to fall in love with our gardens all over again.

The way we were…

This is fast becoming one of my most popular gardening talks. It builds on a growing passion for collecting and reading old gardening magazines, brochures and books, which as you will see are filled with some strange curiosities…

So how did we garden over 60 years ago and just how much have things changed from the humble shed, to the flower show and of course the very latest products and devices to make gardening easy?

Using the catalogues and gardening magazines of yesteryear as inspiration this talk ponders on adverts for lightweight concrete greenhouses, and why only pipe smoking men seemed to be used in adverts!

10 NEW must have plants

Working with some of the largest plant producers in the UK, I am very fortunate to see many new plants before they are launched..

Traveling widely in the UK and visiting many of the leading gardens, which are crammed with fantastic plants gives the opportunity to view many of the newest introductions, many of which we are putting through their paces on the BBC Radio Humberside allotment.

Here are just 10 of these plants, which are worthy of a place in every garden…

Superheroes – The Plant Hunters

This talk is a celebration of the lives of the Plant Hunters, men who went out all over the world for the love of rare and unusual plants…

Plant Hunters – people who braved hardship, evil warlords, cannibals and almost certain death, to bring us so many of the plants that we grow today. As one of the horticultural heroes says, “people have no idea what goes into that tiny packet of seeds.”

This talk is dedicated to them and tells their amazing inspirational story.

The Holly, the Ivy, and other Christmas stories

A great favourite for that Christmas meeting, where a short amusing talk is in order, before a buffet or similar. Some clubs have booked this with a short Quiz for a fun and festive evening!

How well do you know your festive plants and the tales they have to tell?

This is a talk of fables, folklore and legend; looking at the Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe and of course the king of all festive plants the Christmas Tree.

The Drunken Gardener

This very popular talk is ideal for Christmas Meetings, and of course, to liven up an AGM, especially when accompanied by wine and nibbles…

This talk looks at the role that many of our garden plants have in the creation of some of the worlds finest drinks…

Taking inspiration from nettle beer, through to more exotic beverages such as pulque this talk takes an amusing and sideways look at plants, gardens and favourite tipples.

Some rather lovely feedback

A few thoughts from the blog...

Edging to spring…

Wandering around the garden, looking in despair at the number of things I should be getting on with before winter arrives, suddenly I saw something to take my breath away. Earlier in the year I planted a paper bush, Edgeworthia chrysantha, which has been steadily growing and is obviously happy in its new home. but…

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How to book Doug

Booking Doug is easy!

When you know the date that you want a speaker for

You can check the fee and travel expenses here

And then simply fill in this form, give me a ring or drop me an email

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07775 535753

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