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Have you ever wondered about the stories behind your favourite garden flowers? How and why, they came to be there or why some cultivars go in and out of favour? 

In this talk, garden historian, TV and radio presenter, Advolly Richmond shares tales of exploration, unrequited but also enduring love, botanical piracy and excessive hybridisation bringing these beautiful flowers to life. From the flamboyant bougainvillea, collected in Rio de Janeiro by an 18th century female botanist in disguise to the deliciously scented stock which made a journey across France bearable for a 19th century traveller. These flowers have played pivotal roles in our societies across the world, from boom to bust economies, the Fuchsia hedgerows of Ireland as well as making bold fashion statements, these unassuming blooms hold treasure troves of stories. The lecture is based on Advolly’s upcoming book, A short history of flowers to be published in February 2024 with specially commissioned artworks from award-winning botanical illustrator Sarah Jane Humphrey.

About the speaker 

Advolly Richmond is a garden historian, TV and radio presenter and independent researcher in gardens, landscapes, plants and social history. A regular contributor on BBC Gardeners' World as well as on BBC Gardeners' Question Time, she is also the presenter of The Garden History Podcast, an A-Z. She lectures on a variety of subjects from the 16th through to 20th centuries. She is passionate about promoting garden history in all its branches and encourages people to value their garden and botanical heritage. 

Booking information 

Advance booking for this event is required. Tickets are £12, and £8 for RGS-IBG members. To book tickets, please visit Rheged's website. If you have any questions about this event, please email events@rgs.orgIf you require assistance with your booking, please call Rheged’s box office at 01768 868000.  

This event has been organised as part of the Society’s Regional Theatres Programme which aims to inform and inspire the public about the diverse world of geography.

Venue information 

This talk will be held at Rheged Centre, Redhills, Penrith, Cumbria
CA11 0DQ. For further information about the accessibility of this venue, please visit Rheged’s website.  

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Key Information

Open to all
15 March 2024, 7.00pm-9.00pm
Rheged Centre

Non-member £12.00, Member £8.00
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