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Spring conference to be live streamed

The SGD Spring Conference 2019 will feature top speakers and be available online for the first time

Entitled ‘Sex In The Garden – Flowers, Fruits & Foraging’, the 2019 SGD Spring Conference will highlight how greater knowledge of the way plants grow and reproduce can help designers to create more successful schemes. The conference is on Saturday 27 April 2019 at the Royal Geographical Society in London but will also be available via live-streaming and on-demand for the first time. Subscribers to the live-streaming service will be able to watch the conference, as it happens, in the comfort of their own home or office.

With a choice to watch it individually or in groups for a discounted rate, subscribers will have access to the conference footage for a period of 12 months, while recorded sessions will also be available to download via an on-demand archive after the event.

Clockwise from top left: Olivier Filippi, Emma Desmier, Noel Kingsbury, Jim Buckland, Henrik Sjöman and Michael Marriott


The conference will be chaired by Pre-Registered SGD Member and BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Arit Anderson, and brings together acclaimed speakers Olivier Filippi, Emma Desmier, Noel Kingsbury, Michael Marriott, Henrik Sjöman and Jim Buckland, who will offer advice on species selection for a changing climate and increased biodiversity.

Olivier Filippi runs a specialist nursery in the South of France, dedicated to drought-tolerant plants. He is also a photographer and author of several books, including the forthcoming Bringing the Mediterranean Into Your Garden. His talk is entitled ‘Sex, life and death in the garrigue: understanding low-maintenance gardening in the Mediterranean region’.


Olivier Filippi’s nursery in France


Emma Desmier is a fragrance and sensory research scientist who has worked for brands including Vidal Sassoon and Dolce & Gabbana. She lectures at The Plant School and belongs to the Herb Society, the Historic Roses Group and the Hardy Plant Society. Her talk will look at the relationship between sex and scent in the human and plant worlds.


Learn about roses and using scent in gardens. Photo: Emma Desmier


Noel Kingsbury is an innovator, writer and teacher in gardening and planting design, with a research doctorate from Sheffield University. He has published around 25 books including four with Piet Oudolf, and is known for courses including the ‘Rabbit’s Eye View’ workshop, which has been delivered in 10 countries to date.


Noel Kingsbury experiments in his garden


‘Tree hunter’ Henrik Sjöman’s work is mainly focusing on developing knowledge of site-adapted plant use for urban environments. He has gained a greater understanding of plants’ ‘personalities’ through controlled research of plants’ capacities for different sites, and field expeditions around the world studying plants in the wild.


Henrik Sjöman will discuss his research trips to Caucasus and elsewhere


Michael Marriott is one of the world’s most respected rose experts, and technical manager and senior rosarian at David Austin Roses, where he has worked for more than 30 years. As a garden designer, he is known for dense, romantic beds, and has designed rose gardens and borders around the world, public and private.

Over the past 28 years, the 100-acre landscape at West Dean Gardens in Sussex has been revitalised by Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain. Jim’s talk, ‘Congress and Cornucopia – the innocent fruitfulness of West Dean Gardens’, will tell that story and discuss what makes a garden bountiful and beautiful.

Subscription to the live-stream is via the SGD website. Prices start from £60 (inc VAT) for group bookings or £95 (inc. VAT) for an individual booking. Find out more at

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