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 the decision to become a horticulturist, however plants have simply always been part of my life. At 13 I had a gardening round, and an allotment, supplying the local shop with veg & earning a little pocket money.

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

After over 20 years working at a leading land-based college as Head of Horticulture, I am now relishing the freedom of working as a freelance horticultural business consultant, speaker and trainer.

The highlight of the week is co presenting The Great Outdoors, a two-hour gardening phone in on BBC Radio Humberside, and visiting the BBC allotment where we trial new varieties of veg and fruit, and it has to be said, drink far too much coffee…


New talks for 2018/19

There are FIVE new talks available for 2018 and 2019, I hope you enjoy looking through them…

A Game of Tones

As summer fades, gardens get ready to put on one last defiant, yet flamboyant show, before the winter frosts begin.

Amusing, inspiring and informative. This new talk for 2018 and 2019 considers both why and how leaves turn colour, before moving on to review the best trees and shrubs for autumn colour, autumn gardening traditions, and of course the folklore and the stories behind our favourite autumnal plants.

Monkey cups, hens n chicks, and fresh air

Doug’s cottage is filled with around 50 different houseplants, ranging from orchids, succulents and ferns through to more sinister flesh eating favourites.

In this talk Doug introduces a few of his favourites, telling their fascinating stories and sharing tips for success.

Winter thrillers

Scent, stems and stunning colour, a winter garden can have it all…

Winter gardens, filled with colour and scent really lift the spirits on even the coldest winters day, in this talk Doug reveals the secrets of creating a stunning winter garden.

Growing better tomatoes

“It is impossible to think a sad thought while eating a home grown tomato, warm from the sun”

Doug started his horticultural career growing tomatoes, and has travelled widely looking at tomato production techniques. This talk is the ultimate tomato growing masterclass reviewing the best varieties to try, outdoor and indoor cultivation along with ways to avoid pests, diseases and disorders.

One club who have booked this talk are running a tomato competition with each member getting a seedling to grow, with a prize for the heaviest ripe  tomato brought to their September meeting.

Shady Characters!

Or, growing and using shade loving herbs

That shady corner in the garden is perfect for growing lots of herbs.

Herbs like coriander are better grown in the shade, as they hate dry soils and produce much softer tastier leaves…

In this new talk for 2018/19 Doug suggests a dozen herbs that are happier growing in the shade…

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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Office number:

01482 882816

Mobile number:

07775 535753