Monday 13 June 2022

On The Grow Your Own Forum With Terry Walton & Alice Bowerman

 For a number of years now I've been giving a talk at Hellen's Garden Festival. And it always feels like such an honour to be asked back. In fact it was my first talk here in 2016 that got me into public speaking and now through the autumn, winter and spring months I do a garden club talk most weeks. 

This year was a little different. I didn't need to prepare a new talk, instead I was asked if I'd join a "Grow Your Own Forum" with two other gardeners. 

I was billed to be with Alice Bowerman, who runs a no-dig market garden locally called Tuston Market Garden, and gardening royalty Terry Walton who is on many radio shows every week, but best known for his slot on BBC Radio 2. 

We met up a month or so ago to discuss how we'd do the forum, but we were all fairly relaxed about how it would happen. We all seemed to hit it off and it made me look forward to the festival even more. 

The festival were lovely and put on a beautiful lunch before the talk for us all to share. This was nice as it enabled us all to have a chat first. Alice was quite nervous, having never done any public speaking before, but from the moment we had our mics in our hands she was a complete and utter natural. 

Terry Walton and Me after the talk

I had been given a few written questions before hand in case the crowd went silent, secreted in my pocket just in case. Luckily there was no need and there were lots of questions asked, and it was lovely for all three of us to give our own unique perspective on things. We even had quite a questions after the talk and met a few people who mentioned they were coming from social media.

Like with any public speaking I've done over the last 6 years the hour flew by. Terry is the utter professional at this and had the crowd eating out of his hands from the moment he sung for his mic check! We manged to answer all the questions between us, and had something different to add for most topics and didn't have any we couldn't tackle. We were asked everything from slug control, opinions on no-dig, growing black currants, apple tree pruning, germinating parsnips, planting bamboo (don't do it was my advice to that one), and many more that I can't think of now. 

The festival was incredible as always. The family absolutely love it and I'll do a proper post on it later this week! 

Lovely weekend and lovely to get to do a talk with two such knowledgeable gardeners, made me feel quite the imposter, but I think I managed to pull it off! 


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