Numbers, Patterns and Plants

Дата канвертавання26.04.2016
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Numbers, Patterns and Plants

This talk is a non-technical guide to looking at plants from a numeric point of view. Using a wide range of photographic examples I talk about the beauty of plants, and provide a ‘gentle’ introduction to the mathematics of plant structure, growth and development.

Plants, gardens and volcanic landscapes of Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest, and the most spectacular of the Canary Islands. Its warm climate supports a wide range of endemic and introduced plants and the volcanic scenery is amazing. In this talk I describe our 2008 visit to Tenerife to explore the landscape and the plants.

Flowers - Their structure, function and evolution

The colours, shapes, patterns and scents of flowers are a wonder to us all, but a basic understanding of their biological functions can add greatly to their interest. In this talk I show a wide range of different flowers to illustrate their structure, function, and evolutionary relationships.

A trek in the Himalayas

In October 2009 my wife and I went on an unforgettable trip to Nepal with the aim of trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in the Himalayas. I describe our experiences of this journey: the amazing country, its charming people and the wonderful scenery, vegetation and wildlife.

Plant Related Talks

Howard Wills

Fernwood Nursery, Peters Marland

Torrington, Devon, EX38 8QG

Telephone: 01805 601446



I am a life-long gardening enthusiast (plantaholic!) with many years of experience of growing a wide range of plants. I run a small nursery specialising in Sempervivums (Houseleeks) and related plants. I am also very keen on watching, recording and studying our native fauna and flora.

At Fernwood, we hold N.C.C.P.G. (Plant Heritage) National Collections® of Sempervivum, Jovibarba, Rosularia (Alpine Houseleeks) and until 2011, a National Collection of Phormium species and cultivars (New Zealand Flax).

We have exhibited at all the major Royal Horticultural Society Flower Shows and our exhibits have been awarded RHS Gold Medals at Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Palace, Gardener’s World Live, Tatton Park, Malvern and RHS Wisley Flower Shows.

The talks are professionally presented, illustrated with digital slides and I bring all my own projection equipment. Where appropriate, I bring demonstration materials and plants for sale. Talks are available on a variety of plant related topics as described overleaf.

Fees and expenses

The charge is £65.00 for the talk plus 35p/mile travelling expenses. (2012)

Please contact me by email, telephone or post for further details.

Sempervivum ‘Extra’ Tulipa ‘Slim Whitman’ Maianthemum bifolium Small Copper

Howard Wills 2012

Sempervivums (Houseleeks) and related plants

We hold Plant Heritage National Collections® of Sempervivum, Jovibarba and Rosularia. Based on a lifetime of growing experience I give an illustrated account of these beautiful, hardy, alpine succulents and their natural history, cultivation and garden uses.

Phormiums (New Zealand Flax)

In this talk I give an introduction to the species and cultivars of New Zealand Flax, and their cultivation and uses in the garden. I also describe and demonstrate how Phormium leaves can be used for plaiting and weaving crafts.

Until 2011 we held a National Collection® of Phormium.

A plant lover’s tour of New Zealand

This is an illustrated account of our 2007 visit to New Zealand when we toured both islands with the aim of seeing as much as possible of the scenic wonders and natural vegetation of the country. We also visited a number of famous botanic gardens of New Zealand.

The Beauty of Leaves

It is easy to admire plants when they are in flower but we can overlook the importance of their foliage during the rest of the year. In this talk I give many examples of the amazing range of shape, size and colour of leaves and show how they can be used to great effect in the garden.

Gardening with a Digital Camera

In recent years the introduction of relatively inexpensive digital cameras has revolutionised amateur photography in the garden. In this talk I show the results of digital photography in our own garden, and describe various other ways in which we have found a digital camera to be a useful ‘garden tool’.

Exhibiting at RHS Flower Shows

We have been awarded RHS Gold Medals for our exhibits in the floral marquee at all the major RHS flower shows including Chelsea, Hampton Court, Gardener’s World Live and Tatton Park. In this talk I give a ‘behind the scenes’ account of show preparation, transport, display setup, judging, selling and breakdown.

Plants, Gardens and Landscapes of Madeira

Madeira is known as ‘the floating garden in the Atlantic’ and is a paradise for plant lovers. As well as amazing scenery and its own unique and fascinating native flora, its gentle climate also supports a wide range of the world’s most beautiful cultivated plants.

Gardening for wildlife

One of our aims in developing our garden at Fernwood has been to encourage, support, and study our native wildlife and wild flowers. I describe our methods and results and give a number of suggestions for those wishing to enjoy their garden in an environmentally sensitive way.

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