Public Speaking & Seminars
Learn from an industry leader
Graham Spencer is available to give lectures and talks on issues related to new plant development, plant variety rights and licensing, as well as on some of his favourite plants, reflecting more than 30 years experience in the industry (but he did start young!).
These talks are usually illustrated and are always light-hearted and entertaining, reflecting a passion, enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the subject.
Graham is available to present talks throughout the year and anywhere in the world (although, being based in Sussex, England, the further away you are, the greater the fee will be!). He has given presentations throughout the UK and also in the United States, France and Poland to groups ranging from small garden clubs up to major societies including the Hardy Plant Society, Plant Heritage, Royal Horticultural Society and Horticultural Trades Association.
Graham currently offers seven different subjects for his talks, but will be happy to discuss your own requirements, including shorter talks, panel discussions and other formats. If you are interested in making a booking, or just wish to check availability and fees, then please use the button shown for your preferred talk.
I’ve Got A New Plant – What Do I Do Now?
Have you ever wondered how new plant varieties are created? What goes into developing and breeding a new plant? And what do you do if you discover or create something new in your own garden?
This talk looks in depth at the new plant development process, including an introduction to Plant Variety Rights and the commercial aspects of new variety development, as well as a discussion of the qualities required to make a new plant a success. It also looks at the role of the breeders’ agent and will either give you an insight into the origin of new plants – or perhaps even inspire you to try a little plant breeding of your own!
A Beginner’s Guide To Plant Variety Rights
This talk offers a complete overview of the systems for plant protection, including Plant Variety Rights, Plant Patent and Trademark. In addition, topics such as selection of a new variety, marketing, trialling and licensing are all covered, as well as the benefits of working with a breeders’ agent. Handouts with simple notes and a list of useful contacts are provided.
This talk is comprehensive and entertaining, and is intended to provide an introduction to the complex world of protecting and marketing new plants for amateur and professional plant breeders, as well as highlighting the responsibilities of nurserymen and gardeners growing plants that are protected by variety rights. It is presented in such a way as to reduce the intimidation that many people feel when confronted by the world of plant variety rights, and doesn’t shy away from a little controversy!
This talk can be tailored for both professional and non-professional audiences. It is constantly updated to reflect changes in regulation and practice, including the likely implications of Brexit.
From Cutting to Garden Centre – how plants are grown for your garden
Most gardeners don’t know much about where their plants come from and how they reach their local nursery or garden centre. Gone are the days when they would be grown by a couple of people working in a glasshouse hidden from view!
In this talk, Graham looks at the supply chain for ornamental horticulture. Zipping around the world, looking inside laboratories, glasshouses and the inside of a lorry, Graham follows the plant from the earliest stages of production right through to the point where you pick it up in your local garden centre and put it into your trolley. It’s a more extraordinary and convoluted journey than you might imagine!
Geraniums have becoming very popular and fashionable in recent years, with new varieties appearing all the time. This talk gives a personal overview of the genus, with a focus on Graham’s favourite varieties. It includes advice on variety selection, cultivation and how to use these beautiful plants in the garden. It is lavishly illustrated with colourful photos.
Hardy Perennial Garden Plants
Nearly every garden contains some hardy perennials, and they are amongst the most popular groups of plants. A massive topic, this talk gives an overview of personal favourites from the world of perennials. It also includes some of the latest introductions. The talk is colourfully illustrated, and includes cultural advice, planting combination hints and tips, as well as a few anecdotes and a little controversy!
New Plants – The Future For Your Garden
All gardeners get excited by the prospect of a new plant. This talk provides an opportunity to get excited by recent introductions and by plants that have not yet been launched.
In this talk, Graham gives an insight into the new plant development process, including a brief introduction to Plant Variety Rights and the commercial aspects of new variety development, as well as a discussion of the qualities required to make a new plant a success. This is followed by an illustrated discussion of some of the new plants that have recently been introduced or are about to be launched through Plants For Europe – which inevitably gets the note-takers in the audience scribbling in their pads!
The History and Running of a Specialist Nursery
Graham spent fifteen years working in specialist horticulture at one of the oldest nursery sites in the UK. This gave him an exciting and interesting insight into how a small nursery firm functions on a day-to-day basis, as well as unique opportunities including staging exhibits at the Chelsea Flower Show and elsewhere.
This talk is partly illustrated with colourful and informative photos. It is fun and replete with amusing and enlightening anecdotes about the experiences and people encountered during a career in horticulture, as well as an overview of nearly 90 years of growing at Croftway Nursery.