At last for 2022, we took the plunge and Julian and Fiona worked towards producing their first published book.
“An Immaterial Rhapsody” is a distillation of a few images and words – poem and prose writing – which Julian has produced occasionally over the last few years, when something has moved him to write a little more creatively. Many of the accompanying selected images, have unique, untold stories in themselves.
Not particularly focused on the garden, rather it’s inspired by how living in this place, at this time, has affected him, through observations of life and the natural world. All formatting and proof checking was done by Fiona and Julian, so we can’t blame anyone but ourselves for any errors!
It’s available as a signed limited numbered edition of 100, at almost cost price to us of £20 plus p&p, or from the garden. (It cost us £1930 for the production run).
For a number of years, we’d been out on the road and given talks/films to various groups. We took a break from doing these in 2015, but Julian’s interest and research around many aspects of snowdrops, and also wildflower meadows, together with Fiona working out the benefits of Powerpoint technology, meant that in 2019 we produced a new presentation titled:
“Confessions of a Galanthophile”.
A distillation of 25 years of growing snowdrops, hundreds of hours of research, and tens of thousands of photos, this has been well received by audiences, as a different take on this subject. After an introduction on why Julian is so keen on snowdrops, the talk features sections on:
Snowdrop species and distribution
Snowdrops In The UK – History, Myth and Murk
Some of our favourite snowdrop cultivars.
If the showing time is in season, we usually bring along a selection of some favourite vigorous snowdrops for sale at competitive prices, and usually some of our hand made greeting cards, as well as a selection of our unique silk scarves designed from photos taken in the garden. (See separate page, click here.)
*** PLEASE NOTE THAT POST COVID WE’RE NOT CURRENTLY TAKING ANY MORE BOOKINGS FOR PHYSICAL TALKS/FILMS FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. BUT WE ARE ABLE TO DELIVER SOME OF OUR TALKS AS ZOOM PRESENTATIONS. PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS ***
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As an example of what one of our Zoom talk looks like, you could watch this recently recorded talk, in June 2021, on the history and development of the garden for the Garden Masterclass Thursday teatime chat series.
In February 2020 we produced another talk/presentation, which has also been given as a ZOOM presentation:
“Wildflowers, Meadows and Gardens – challenging ideas for naturalistic gardening”
This really well illustrated talk will look at various aspects of wildflower hay meadows – their biodiversity, aesthetics, creation, ecology and management;and contrasts this with currently trendy “pictorial” meadows.
Finally, it considers how we can learn from nature to develop more naturalistic and diverse plant based communities in our gardens. This section mainly focuses on our grass free multicultural meadow terrace garden: how it’s developed, is maintained and changes through the seasons..
This draws on a holistic approach to gardening which has been an area of interest and experience that Julian has been thinking about and working on for many years. In recent times these ideas have attracted more attention – even from the other side of the world (Claire Takacs, international garden photographer, visiting for the second time in May 2019).
Previous talks/films we’ve given have included the following:
A showing of an edited version of Julian’s award winning documentary film
“Epiphany In Translation”
“There was the local pleasure of seeing and hearing Mark read a poem that has meant much to me for nearly 20 years now, in location. But more generally the imagery, the editing, and above all, I think, your decision to let the valley speak and be (i.e. very few voice-overs), has resulted in a visual prose-poem, a really very beautiful film.”
Robert Macfarlane (Author of “The Old Ways”, “Landmarks”, “The Lost Words”, “Underland” etc. Click here for more.)
Earlier film/talks for gardening or other groups have focused on the benefits of encouraging biodiversity in our gardens –
“The Real Botany of Desire” is the first talk/film which we have given to very positive feedback from all who’ve seen it, and in 2013 we produced another presentation:
“Planting For Pollinators”.
Both last about 45 minutes and are HD video quality with accompanying sound, which Julian has filmed and edited at our home/garden. Julian gives an explanatory talk to accompany the film as it is showing.
We provide our own HD projection equipment, with simple sound system and screen and are used to setting up in around 30 minutes in most venues. If you’re interested in discussing this in more detail, or to arrange a booking for a group, do please contact us preferably via email :
or on : 01558 685119
“The Real Botany Of Desire” explores the merits of using insect friendly flowers in gardens. Not just to encourage a greater and more diverse insect population, but as the basis for sustaining a greater population of most other wildlife that might be found visiting our gardens. A selection of our favourite, and most popular insect friendly flowers throughout the year, are illustrated and discussed.
“Planting for Pollinators” is a stand alone presentation, first shown to Newport Gardening Club in March 2013 but also designed to follow on from the theme of “The Real Botany Of Desire”. It’s based around beneficial and attractive plants from our garden, but also explores the range of potential pollinating insects, their different flower preferences, what we might hope to achieve by encouraging more pollinating insects, which plants will benefit and some that won’t! And the consequences of not having sufficient pollinators around in our gardens.
“We all enjoyed every minute of your excellent talk and superb photography. Such a brilliant presentation needs a proper letter of appreciation which will follow!
In the midst of this late winter weather, it was quite magical to see the images of your beautiful garden throughout the season. Thank you for much needed inspiration and a reminder of how life and colour will return to our gardens in the months ahead.
I know that plans are already being made to contact you to arrange a future group visit to Gelli Uchaf, and I have already enjoyed browsing those beautiful scarves on the net.
The whole evening demanded a huge amount of background work on your part and far exceeded our expectations.
With grateful thanks ,
Programme Secretary – Newport Gardening Club”
In March 2017 Julian produced another film which has been shown at meetings of the Carmarthenshire Meadows Group (CMG). You can now watch the film on our You Tube channel, below.
This is a case study of how Fiona and I have managed to bring back about 6 acres of wet, valley-bottom meadows, which had become 70% mono-culture Soft rush, Juncus effusus, starting in September 2013.To florally and fungally diverse meadows, (including several rare waxcap mushrooms), using quite a lot of hard manual work, manual ditch clearance, and fairly low level capital machinery – a BCS Power Scythe. As well as, initially, with some well timed, selective herbicide, manual weed wiping. 120 plant species were identified in these meadows in August 2016, by the county’s botanical recorders, Richard and Kath Pryce, less than 3 years after we’d started the project. The film is also available as a DVD for £10 including P&P. The groups listed below, which we’ve visited with one of our presentations in the past, would, I guess, give an honest opinion of what they thought of our efforts, to add to the feedback above.
Newquay Gardening Club, Carmarthen GC, Llechryd GC, Llangadog GC, Llandeilo GC, Cothi Gardeners, Pembrey and Burry Port GC, Cilcennin GC, Hanes Llambed, Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre, Llanwrtyd Wells GC, Longwood Community Group, Galar, Towy Camera Club, St.Clears GC, West Wales Country Gardener’s Group, Farmyard Nursery’s Winter Gardening Weekend, Cardigan Horticultural Society, Newport (Pembrokeshire) GC, Llandrindod Wells Horticultural Society, Aberystwyth and District Bee Keeping Association, Llangain GC, Llansadwrn and Llanwrda Country Women’s Group, Shrewsbury Flower Show , Llangynin GC, Hardy Plants Society (West Wales), Llangynog GC, Builth Wells and District GC, Llandovery GC, Carmarthen Fuchsia Society, Llanfair Clydogau WI, Shropshire Plant Heritage Group, Kidwelly Garden Club, Bronwydd Gardening Club, National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llangwm GC.
Please see the ‘Visiting The Garden’ page, click here, for current public opening times.