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Illustrated Talks

Over many years Janette has built up a comprehensive knowledge of gardening past and present.

Much of this is shared with the growing number of people who attend her presentations throughout the country.  Following is a list of her most popular lectures, each lasting approximately one hour.


Most popular horticultural lectures:

101 of my Favourite Plants

A talk that shows plants that will work hard for you, providing interest for more than one season, with their colour, perfume or form.

A Calendar of Colour

This talk covers plants that will provide all year round interest, as well as looking at the appropriate birthday plants for each month.

Birds, Butterflies and Bees

All the information you need to plant up your garden to encourage wildlife to visit. Everything from blackbirds to hoverflies and butterflies to hedgehogs.

Brightening up the Shade

Even the darkest corner can appear lighter with the right planting and this lecture discusses the plants that will thrive in shady areas, on wet and dry soils whether it is sandy or on a clay base.

Christmas Crackers

Folk lore associated with Christmas plants, suitable plants for gifts and what is looking good in the garden over the Christmas period.


Drought Resistant Plants

With the effects of global warming, our gardens seem to be dryer and hotter, these plants are built to cope with such conditions and we'll look at the methods they use to do it.


French Renaissance Gardens

The advancement of formality, started in Italy and then developed to the grandeur of gardens created by Le Notre that spread across France and all over Europe.


Garden Design - from Roman Times to Present Day

This talk takes a look at garden features from the past and how they can be brought right up to date. Learn why the Victorians went mad on colour and bedding plants. Then discover why the monastic style for vegetable growing is still the best method today.


Gardening through the Ages

A lecture where you will discover such information as when the first Wheelbarrow  appeared; why the Crown imperial became popular; where Ellen Wilmott's fortune disappeared and what the X's stand for in a well known brand of beer.


Gardening on Walls and Fences

Discover how to fill the void above your garden with climbers and wall shrubs while tucking in tender plants at their base to give them protection. We will also explore the advantages of the shade provided and see what will successfully grow there.


Gardens of the Tsars - From Moscow to St Petersburg

How European gardens influenced Peter the Great and Catherine the Great to produce beautiful gardens with no expense spared.


Going Dutch

How dutch garden design crossed the channel and influenced English gardens at the time of William and Mary and today.


Ideas for Improving your Garden

Garden design saves money and provides a retreat that matches your lifestyle and budget. Learn how to make your garden look wider and longer. Create interest and mystery where none was there before.


Madeira – The Island of Flowers

Five climatic zones allowing plants from all over the world to thrive throughout the year.

Medieval Gardening

Looking at Monastic type gardening - where the plants came from and what they were used for. Plus gardens of the nobility and their design.


Plants for Difficult Places

There is a plant that will grow in the most awkward spot, whether it is deep shade, shallow chalk or where the rabbits love to graze.


Plants for the Month of.........

Choose a month and see what is flowering as well as learning about their other attributes.


Renaissance Gardens

16th century gardens of Italy and how they came to England changing the style and layouts of Elizabethan Gardens.

Small is Beautiful

Trees and shrubs for small gardens

Some of my Favourite Gardens

Some are internationally known, but many are little gems created by ordinary people from scratch and often on a shoestring.

Spring Fever

Plants to welcome the year and put some zing into your borders.

The Brighter Side of Winter

This talk takes into account  the wide variety of foliage, bark and berries produced. The cold season can still be made interesting and give the feeling of warmth.


The Flower Arranger's Garden

With the right planting, there should always be something in the garden to create a spectacular arrangement at any time of the year.


The Genius of the Georgians

Inspired by the European Grand Tour, the park and garden merged into one,  with lakes, grottos and amazing follies. How and why it happened and who were responsible for this dramatic change.

The Scented Garden

How to maintain an all year round fragrance using a variety of aromatic herbs, sweet scented flowers and crushed fruity foliage.


The Sensual Garden

A garden should be inviting, attracting you inside and appealing to all of your senses. Plants that are perfumed, sounds that are musical and even the spiritual feeling of a garden can be created with the right design and imaginative planting.

The Tints of Autumn

A season of foliage, flowers and fruit with the garden coming to an end in an explosion of colour.

Tudor Gardens

A time of travel and conquest turning gardens from utilitarian to works of art


Unexpected Tales of Plants and Gardens

This very popular talk covers all the topics offered by a good book. History, money, royalty, intrigue, even a little sex!


What's in a Name?

Once you understand the meaning behind a plants name, you will know where it came from, what its growth habit is and who discovered it. Secrets that help you decide whether it is a good plant for your garden.

Yesterday's Plants for Today's Gardens

This talk looks at plants that have been grown through the centuries. We will look at how they were used in the household and where they may be grown to full effect today.



'Janette Merilion is among the top five speakers visiting our club during its fifteen year existence. The 'feedback' from our members was spontaneous and enthusiastic.........Her knowledge of her subject is awesome and her style is the epitome of directness and clarity.  We have already booked her to visit us again'


Pat Sheard
New Waltham Garden Club

For more information on the gardening and horticulture lectures available, call Janette on
01526 860 270
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