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Talks & Illustrated Lectures by Hester Forde

Hester Forde

Hester Forde is a gardener, lecturer and writer for ‘The Irish Garden’ magazine. Her garden has featured in the RHS ‘The Garden’ (May 2017), ‘Eden’ (Autumn 2017) and ‘Gardens Illustrated’ (Feb 2018). With 30 years of gardening experience at ‘Coosheen’ in East Cork she has lectured extensively throughout Ireland during that time. She offers a diverse range of talks on all aspects of gardening.

Here is a brief summary of her available lectures.

"Spring Awakens"

This talk aims to show how you can have colour, scent, foliage, tracery and bark from mid Winter into late Spring.

It covers snowdrops, hellebores, narcissus, pulmonarias, pulsatillas, irises, paeonias, erythroniums and many more Spring beauties. Shrubs such as daphnes, rhodos, hamamelis, etc.

“Treasures To Dig For”

In the small garden by underplanting with bulbs one can achieve layers of colour for Spring, Summer and Autumn.

This talk looks at snowdrops, cyclamen, fritillarias, tulips, erythroniums, iris, corydalis, narcissus, and crocus for Spring.

For Summer into Autumn we look at agapanthus, tulbaghia, dahlias, crocosmia, nerines, colchicums, gladioli and many more.(Every garden, whatever size, can include a large variety of bulbs).

“Autumn Glory” (New Revised Edition)

A revised look at the Autumn Garden which can be presented digitally or through the use of fresh material or through a combination of both.
This talk aims to show that you can have colour in your garden right through the Autumn until the first frosts.
It takes a look at dahlias, nerines, colchicums and in particular grasses that give great colour and movement into late Autumn. Asters, cannas and the fiery shades of acers add fantastic colour to the Autumn garden. Late flowering salvias and hedychiums also add to the colour.

“Enchanting Plants”

On request from many visitors to the garden I put together my all time favourites from the garden and also plants that I have seen in other gardens. This talk aims to show the diversity of hardy plants you can grow from late Winter to late Autumn. 

“The Lazy Hazy Days of Summer”

This talk takes a look at the summer borders. It looks at plants which are the backbone of summer borders and gardens such as phlox, delphiniums, roses, cannas, alstromerias, eryngiums, hardy geraniums, verbascums, veronicastrums, etc.
It also looks at how best to combine these plants to give an appealing overall view. 

“Creative Gardening with Containers”

How to choose a container. What does frost free, frost resistant mean ?. Care and maintenance of pots. Potting medium used. A look at pots for full sun, shady positions, seasonal, etc. Looking at pots, how to achieve an eye catching effect. 

“Pushing the Boundaries”

With warmer winters and less frost we are able to experiment with more tender plants and exotics.
This lecture takes an in depth look at cannas, hedychiums, agapanthus, nerines, gladioli, salvias, fuchsias, dahlias and many more which now thrive in our gardens.
Hardy exotics like tetrapanyx and schefflera are a must to add to the tropical look.

“It’s All About the Plants”

A lecture which addresses the question if it’s ‘all about the plants’ but of course it’s the sum of a lot more. In this lecture I examine some of the choice trees and best plants which are the backbone of the garden at Coosheen.

Making room and moving things around are discussed. The aesthetics, a new greenhouse (and not any old greenhouse), cutting down and pruning are all looked at.
Plant hunting, starting a nursery, friends and influences, ‘must have’ plants are all considered.

“A Tale of Shade”

The wonder of a woodland garden is that it looks as if plants grow there by themselves.
Whether your garden is open and sunny or on the small side you can create a sylvan atmosphere with carefully chosen trees and shade loving plants.
This lecture takes an in depth look at plants and combinations that thrive in the shade. 

“Small Treasures, Troughs and Raised Beds.”

An informative lecture on how to plant an alpine trough, looking at different planting in troughs, the compost mix, the siting, how to combine the plants, bulbs and alpine shrubs, etc. An in depth look at troughs for sun and for shade and how to get the most into a small space. 

I can also bring plants to sell propagated from my own garden.

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