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Garden History Talks 2017

Our Garden History talks this year include sessions on Himalayan plant hunters, Saffron, Shakespeare and Flowers galore.

There are eight Garden History talks in total; five of these are linked sessions led by Garden Historian Dr Twigs Way, which will explore ‘Flowers in art and culture’. Each of these talks, which may be taken individually or collectively as a series, will focus on an individual plant, exploring their origins, discovery, history, and cultural significance. Through examining literature, art, myth, religion and even medicines, Twigs will build a vision of the role of each of these flowers both in and out of the garden. You will encounter gods, artists, plant hunters, designers, breeders, writers and poets. Although there will be an emphasis on Europe and America in art and literature we will also explore other cultural aspects.

Garden History Talks 2017

Lillies

Exploring Flowers in Art and Culture: Lilies

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Twigs Way
Date: Friday 09/06/2017
Time: 10.00am - 1.00pm
Price: £35

Playing fast and loose with the common name of 'lily' we will broaden our horizons to include not only the Lilium but also the Lily of the Valley, the Water Lily and the Tiger Lily. The Madonna must be our starting point - both through the tears that resulted in the Lily of the Valley or the purity of the Lilium candidum. The most superior of flowers the Regal Lily (with the limping plant hunter in pursuit) looks down upon the Tiger Lily, who nevertheless scorns the rose, (as envisaged by Lewis Carroll); but the 'herring boat' lily triumphed amongst the gardens of the Edwardians in colours of glowing red and orange and gained the praise of Gertrude Jekyll. Water Lilies lead us to Egypt and to France, and also to engineering, though the glasshouses at Kew before the Lily of the Valley, recalls us to soaps, scents and medieval poisons!
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Carnations

Exploring Flowers in Art and Culture: Carnations

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Twigs Way
Date: Friday 07/07/2017
Time: 10.00am - 1.00pm
Price: £35

Carnations permeate our culture from the wedding bed to the funeral wreath. Derided in Shakespeare as natures bastards they challenged the tulip as the florists favourite flower, and went on to give their blessing to both a military coup and a Soho night club. Spanning the world from the gardens of the Ottoman Empire to the Mothers Day traditions of America via Chinese medicines and French Empresses, we plunge from the traditions of the medieval marriage bed to Renaissance paintings of Madonna and child. Covering both the carnation and its little sister, the pink, this session will explore the fascination of the Lustie Gallant and the Bleeding Swain as striped and spotted varieties challenged the tulip for pre-eminence in the florists garden - never forgetting the green carnation, made famous by Oscar Wilde.
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History of Saffron

The History of Saffron

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Sally Francis
Date: Thursday 13/07/2017
Time: 10.00am - 1.00pm
Price: £35

Saffron is the dried stigmas of an autumn-flowering crocus called Crocus sativus. It is a hugely valuable spice with a fascinating history. It flavours food across the world and is used for dyeing, perfumery and in herbal medicine. Join award-winning Saffron grower Dr Sally Francis, for this short course on the history and use of Saffron which will introduce this fascinating flower. Sally will introduce you to the history of its cultivation and teach you how to get the best from this precious spice in your cookery at home.
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Shakespeare and Gardens

Shakespeare and Gardens

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Twigs Way
Date: Friday 13/10/2017
Time: 10.00am - 1.00pm
Price: £35

This morning talk will explore many aspects of Shakespeare and the garden. From gardens and plants that appear in his plays and poetry to the gardens recreated at Shakespeare's own house and Anne Hathaway's Cottage. We will spend time exploring the use and meaning of plants in Shakespeare's plays and poetry before examining the possible links between Shakespeare and the gardens of that great Elizabethan William Cecil (Lord Burghley), via the famous plantsman and 'herbalist' John Gerard. Beyond the Elizabethans we will go on to enjoy the Shakespeare themed gardens of the Edwardian period and the recreation of Shakespeare related gardens both at Stratford and Warwick. From Ophelia's innocent daisy to the canker in the rose - this morning session will send you back to your Shakespeare texts with new eyes!
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