Borders and Beyond
This lecture introduces the new approaches to design and planting that have been transforming the look of gardens in Britain, Europe and the U.S.A. It begins with contemporary examples of more traditional flower gardening, including S.L’s own garden in Wales. It then explores new approaches to design and decoration, and the origins and principles of the new nature-inspired styles of planting – featuring woodland and perennial schemes in Germany, Holland, and the East and West Coasts of America, as well as in Britain. S.L. has been charting these movements for a number of years, and has reported on them for BBC television, Horticulture Magazine, U.S.A, et al.

Real Gardening
Illustrated by some of the finest private gardens S.L. has encountered on his travels in Britain, Ireland, North America and elsewhere, and bolstered by his experiences at home in Wales. This talk explores the creative process of garden making from inspiration to reality. It looks at how different gardeners set about composing and framing pictures; how personality is woven into design; and how ideas translate from garden to garden, and through time. It picks out themes including ornament and water, and then, the spotlight turns onto the art and craft of planting – the interplay of plant form and foliage, the painterly use of colour, and the management of the seasons: the subject matter of ‘Real Gardening’, one of S.L.’s recent books.

Scent in the Garden
A focus on the most powerful but most neglected element in the garden. The subject has long fascinated S.L. (‘Scent in Your Garden’ was his second book) and many of the photographs are taken in his own garden on the Welsh border. The lecture explores the role of scent in plants, how and when it is released, and the diversity of fragrances in flowers and leaves – pleasant and unpleasant. It then considers the use and placing of scented plants, the making of scented features, and a season by season calendar of outstanding plants.

Gardens of the National Trust
The National Trust conserves over 150 of Britain’s most celebrated gardens, from Sissinghurst, Hidcote, Powis Castle, Bodnant, Stowe and Stourhead to the newly acquired Greenway and Tyntesfield. They range from green landscapes to formal flower gardens and exotic woodlands, and in varying climates and settings. Within them is a vast assembly of cultivated plants. This lecture is based on S.L.’s project, commissioned by the Trust, to write the principal historical and horticultural guide to all their gardens; he has recently published an updated second edition. It gives a personal insight into the Trust and its work, and surveys the changing designs, planting styles and preoccupations over some 400 years.

A Garden in the Mediterranean
This is the latest of S.L's lectures, profiling some of the finest private gardens, traditional and contemporary, seen on his travels in Italy, Spain and the South of France, and exploring the thought processes behind his recent project, to create a large garden on the island of Mallorca. It examines the crucial but more intangible elements that go into the making of a memorable garden - how you create mood and atmosphere, and give your garden style, sensuality and meaning. It draws out lessons on design, outdoor living, and above all planting, illustrating these topics also with reference to world-class gardens he has visited in other regions with similar climates, notably California and Arizona.