Garden Talks

Ian Cooke- Gardening Talks

All garden talks are illustrated from my  collection of 26,000 recent digital pictures and presented using a modern digital projector. These are prepared and popular topics but I am open to suggestions for new talks. And if you wonder if my talks are any good or worth the money, scroll to the bottom of this page to read the unsolicited letter from the Great Glen Gardening Club.

To contact me click here

From the Tropics to the Trent

Big, brash bananas & other bold foliage to create the current fashionable jungle look - cool ideas for exotic gardening without a hot-house.

Accompanying Book  'Exotic Gardening'

Design of Small Gardens

A complete new design or a fresh look for an existing garden. Lots of ideas, hints & tips for creating a fabulous garden in a small space.  

Book - 'Designing Small Gardens'

Trees, Friend or Foe?

Love ‘em or hate ‘em? A celebration of trees, the good the bad and the ugly. How to appreciate them and care for them.


Better Bedding

A little garden history, plus hot tips for  creating stunning bedding displays, baskets and planters. From the traditional look to contemporary uses of bedding.


Shrubs for Year-Round Colour 
The shrubbery comes of age! Choosing, planting, and care of shrubs for year round interest . 

Book - 'Shrubs a Gardener's Handbook'

Victorian Gardens and Gardeners

Some say that the 19C was the heyday of horticulture. Let’s look and see what made Victorian gardens and their creators so special.

Avoiding Boring Borders

Creating perfect plantings,  looking at colour, texture and structure of plants in order to create beautiful beds & borders.

Water Features  

Ponds, pools and fountains. Pride of place or pain in the neck! Some thoughts and practical advice on water gardens and aquatic plants including the dealing with pond problems!

Fabulous Foliage 

Celebrating the wonders of leaves! Big & beautiful, coloured, green or silver. Includes bananas, bamboos, grasses & many inspiring plants.

Gardening in Paradise

The beautiful desert gardens  & plants of Palm Springs, California, my winter home from 2008. Bougainvillea to cacti and lush lawns to desert.

In Bloom

All about creating winning entries, whether it be Britain in Bloom, Best Kept Village or Best Front Garden. The inside story about Nottingham's winning displays, plus lots of insights, ideas and  colourful  pictures to help your community become a winner too.

Down the Border - a new talk

Herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses for beds, borders and containers. From the traditional herbaceous border to the modern prairie bed.

Climbers and Wall Shrubs

Sun or shade, January to December, plants to brighten walls, trellises or fences at any season. From Actinidia to Wisteria!

Those Dreadful Latin Names 

A well illustrated and hopefully enlightening look at the meanings of botanical names. Genus, species and cultivars and why common names can be confusing

I am now only in the UK and available for talks  for a few weeks each summer   and I am in the USA the rest of the year.  If you are interested in booking me for a talk do enquire about availability. Fees and traveling expenses by negotiation - reduced fees for small groups.

Read what one gardening group thinks of my talks