You can find details of our one-off How To Identify Trees lecture, as well as our Unforgettable Gardens series in conjunction with the Gardens Trust on this page.

How To Identify Trees by Greg Packman, Arboriculturalist

Thursday, 13th May 2021 6-7pm

credit Greg Packman and Caroline Ames

This talk is taking place ahead of the Urban Tree Festival which runs from 15th-23rdMay.  London Gardens Trust is delighted to promote this Festival which celebrates urban and suburban trees, woods, forests, scrubland, hedgerows and all the wild places that bring life and joy to our cities.

In his talk Greg will present tips and tricks for identifying trees in leaf; look at leaf shape and structures, flowers, fruits and bark. The presentation will cover commonly found species in UK parks and gardens, including native and introduced species.

Greg Packman is Senior Tree Inspector, London Borough of Islington  and a former Arboricultural Officer for the Royal Parks.  He leads regular tree walks and presents on a number of tree management issues; particularly London plane trees and Massaria disease of plane, of which Greg has internationally recognised expertise.  He is also a member of  the Urban Tree Festival Steering Group.

All lectures and booking online. Tickets: £4 for members of London Gardens Trust; £6 for non-members

Unforgettable Gardens Lecture Series with The Gardens Trust

May 2021

Throughout the year, we organise a number of talks in order to bring together members of our community and discuss a range of issues. We are excited to bring you, in partnership with the Gardens Trust, a new series of four online lectures in May, from the comfort of your own home.

These lectures will take place on Wednesday evenings in May between 6pm and 7pm. In addition to the live stream, the lectures will be recorded and a link will be sent to ticket-holders the following day which will be available to view for one week.

All lectures and booking online. Tickets: £5 each or all four for £16 bookable here:


A Glimpse through the Railings: A History of the London Square

Dr David Marsh – Garden historian, lecturer and writer

Wednesday, 5th May 2021 6-7pm

credit The Gardens Trust

London’s garden squares  are now seen as much needed green oases in the bustling modern city but this has not always been the case.  Once the privileged space of the wealthy residents around them with railings and gates locked against the “rudeness of the populace” many are now open to the public. They have survived changes in taste and style, war and reconstruction and all the vicissitudes of finance and management problems. They have seen their buildings refaced, redeveloped or replaced, while their layout planting, lighting, and railings have often altered. Yet they have retained their spatial integrity. David will trace their history and development and show how despite everything their successful combination of architecture and horticulture makes them one of the the defining features of London life. 

David Marsh researches, lectures and writes on any and all aspects of garden history, and helps organize the Garden History seminar at London University’s Institute of Historical Research.   He is a trustee of the Gardens Trust, and  organises their  extensive on-line programme. For the last seven years has also written a weekly garden history blog for them which you can find at


Wandsworth’s (un)Common Story: Celebrating 150 years of an unforgettable place for people and nature

Anne Lambert (Friends of Wandsworth Common Heritage Group) and Julia Bott (Co-Chair, Friends of Wandsworth Common)

Wednesday, 12th May 2021 6-7pm

credit Friends of Wandsworth Common

150 years ago Wandsworth Common, then as now a much valued green space, was nearly lost.  The Lord of the Manor, the fifth Earl Spencer, was allowing chunks to be sold off for development.  Fortunately local residents fought back and the Wandsworth Common Act 1871 was passed by Parliament, preserving the Common in perpetuity.

This talk is a celebration of  the Common as it is today, 150 years after this landmark protection.   The Common’s story will be re-told, primarily through its natural features of grassland, ponds and lakes, woodland and trees, but also through some structures and buildings of historic importance, over the last 150 years. You will hear how Friends of Wandsworth Common and the Common’s managers are now preparing to help it meet today’s challenges of climate change and increasing biodiversity, while also being a lovely place of recreation and relaxation for locals.


Brompton – A Garden Cemetery reborn

Wesley Kerr OBE  – Trustee, The Royal Parks;  Broadcaster, writer, horticulturist and historian 

Andrew Williams –  Park Manager for Kensington Gardens and Brompton Cemetery

credit Greywolf

Brompton Cemetery is located in West London and is one of Britain’s oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries.  Grade 1 listed, it is one of the seven ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries that were built in London between 1833 and 1841 to meet the demands of a rising population, with Brompton being laid out and opening in 1840.  A resting place for over 206,000 people, it combines over 35,000 memorials, listed monuments & buildings with ornamental horticulture, trees and wildlife.  Alongside are the stories of the remarkable people buried here including Emmeline Pankhurst and John Snow, as well as the plant hunter Robert Fortune, botanist Thomas Moore and horticulturist James Veitch Jr.  It has long been managed by The Royal Parks who have transformed it through a recent Lottery funded restoration.  This illustrative talk will explore how the Charity conserves and enhances this magnificent working cemetery for people, heritage and nature.


Plants, People and Transformation – Stories from Community Gardens  

Sarah Gregory – May Project Hip Hop Garden on reconnecting and transforming the lives of marginalised groups through nature 

credit Abel and Cole

“There are many pathways to community gardens and the important part is not how you get there, but that you do. This last year has shown us that May Project Gardens is not only a beautiful space where you can hear, smell, see and taste nature; it’s an essential life line for the communities we serve. In the fifteen years that we’ve been helping the most marginalised members of our community, we have learned the importance of access to green space; the empowerment that comes from learning how to grow your own food; how beneficial music is; and that reconnecting with nature can heal. We’re a small garden in Merton with a big vision. My talk for the London Gardens Trust will share our journey and our aspirations, plus some of the voices of the people we have helped along the way.”

Other community gardens to be confirmed.