Contact me: Talks

Update: 21 April 2022


April 2022

Garden Show Ireland

Once again I will be at Garden Show Ireland in Antrim this month. I have lost track of how many times I have attended the show but, after a two year break, the show is on again. The show is on from April 28-30. You can find out more details (with a link to my weekly blog for the show) here.

‘Need a speaker for your Club?

I can talk to your group on a wide variety of topics

Standard illustrated talks include:

Gardens of Ireland

powerscourt copy

EA Bowles and Myddelton House

Spring bulbs

Summer bulbs


Gardens of Tenerife

The flora of the Canary Islands

Veg and fruit growing for beginners

Growing in raised beds and containers

courgettes 152

Get to grips with pruning

Gardening with annuals

rose castle3

Seed sowing and cuttings

Weed and pest control

Colour all year round

Successful container gardening

The fragrant garden

The decorative veg garden

In addition to illustrated talks
I can host General question time sessions and give demonstrations on pruning, propagation, houseplants and seed sowing among other topics

If you are looking for a speaker for your group maybe I can help. I can create new talks to suit your group if necessary.

Contact me

You can contact me at the email address below or you can comment on the most recent blog post.

geoffsteb(at) – please replace (at) with @ –  done to avoid spam

46 Comments on “Contact me: Talks”

  1. gareth
    January 21, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    I hope you’re enjoying life in Ireland – trying contact you but your spam filter keeps rejecting me so please could you email me when it’s convenient

  2. Ali
    February 20, 2014 at 4:11 pm #


    I would like to have some seeds of the cold group brugmansias. Please let me know the availability.

    • thebikinggardener
      February 26, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

      Hello. I do not have seeds of these yet though i will pollinate some flowers in summer. It may be worth trying to contact or join a brugmansia group of enthusiasts as these are rare plants.

  3. JC
    February 26, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    The seeds of the plant I am looking for is of Lopezia Racemosa. I mean it is a different kind from brugmansia, isn’t it? I have contacted b-and-t-seeds already several weeks ago, and the seeds have never been available yet. Please let me know the way I can have the seeds or roots of that plant. Thank you.

    • thebikinggardener
      February 27, 2014 at 7:47 am #

      hello. these seeds are available from Thompson and Morgan who ship seeds world wide – good luck 🙂

  4. Mairead O'Shea
    April 8, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello Geoff,
    Can you explain to me why seeds grown leggy and spindly? as I have this problem at the moment. Are there any solutions available.

    • thebikinggardener
      April 8, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

      Hello Mairead. Seedlings usually end up spindly if they are grown too warm and with insufficient light. This is almost inevitable if you grow seedlings on a windowsill in the home. Sowing too early, when natural light is poor, can make the problem worse too. If growing seedlings in the house it is best to delay sowing till late March or April – late sowings usually catch up. You can make a reflector, with aluminium foil, behind the seedlings – to reflect the light back onto the seedlings, which may help – I will make one and post it soon! For those in the Gorey area, there are still a few places left for the seed-sowing talk this Saturday at Springmount Garden Centre too!

  5. I. Andrews
    July 6, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    I have started a Tajinaste Rojo from seed. It has sprouted but it appears there are 4 sprouts all together. Do I need to remove all but one or are the 4 sprouts possibly all connected and just one plant? Thank you.

    • thebikinggardener
      July 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

      Well done on getting it this far. Each seed should only produce one seedling and it is important that each plant only has one rosette. Having said that each flower produces a cluster of 4 seeds so it is possible you sowed four together and all 4 grew! If the seedlings are very small – say 1cm high it is unlikely that something ate the top and caused it to branch so I think you must have 4 separate seedlings growing together in which case you should carefully separate them and grow them on. Make sure the compost you put them in is well drained and put them in very small pots at first so they do not rot. Obviously your seedlings must not dry out immediately after you have transplanted them but after that they must not be waterlogged

  6. Patricia Toolan
    July 16, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    Geoff I tried to contact you re the roses at Myddelton House but the email failed.

    • thebikinggardener
      July 16, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Hello. It may have simply got caught in the spam filter. I will check

      • Patricia Toolan
        July 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

        Otherwise I will copy and paste my message to here.

  7. Patricia Toolan
    July 17, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Recently I visited Myddelton House with my daughter while in the UK. I asked Bryan Hewitt whether there was a list of the roses in the garden. There was a distinctive rose in the rose garden that definitely had the wrong label – as public gardens do quite easily with the help of visitors. I knew the rose but the name would not come to me until later – ‘Leonie Lamesch’ which was on an early planting plan. In the index of ‘My Garden in Summer’ he lists La Mesch which I gather is meant to be ‘Leonie Lamesch’ Bryan gave me a photocopy of the planting plan which was in A E Bowles handwriting I gather with 6 XIII at the top. Since coming home I have been deciphering the names. Many were circa 1900 Teas – many of which are now extinct or very rare and may have died many long years ago.
    It was only when I read in ‘The Crocus King’ by Bryan Hewitt that the rose garden was weeded and restored by yourself and two gardeners in 1984 that I started to wonder if most of these old roses are now gone and replaced with other roses. Was “Leonie Lamesch’ replaced at this time?
    I am interested to hear the story of the rose garden.
    You are now in a part of the world where I fell in love with a late friend’s garden ‘Graigconna’ in Bray. Now under new ownership.
    warm regards,
    PS Your name rang a bell when I read it in the book!

  8. thebikinggardener
    October 26, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    my email is on the contact me page but I have yours now so I will contact you and get your address. I am often up Wicklow way because I try to get to Mount Usher once a month!

    • Doris Pastl, 561-737-7452
      August 30, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

      I have an Albuca Spiralis plant that a friend gave me. It has been hanging all this time. I see now that it should have a bulb. Is it possible to plant this without it having a bulb? I live in zone 12- Florida. Any advice??

      I just stuck the stalk in potting soil when I saw all the pictures of “planted” Albuca’s. Thanks.

      • thebikinggardener
        August 31, 2016 at 8:38 am #

        I am a bit confused about what you actually have! The bulb is not huge so perhaps you have not noticed it – mine were white and only just below the surface. I am a bit worried about the ‘I just stuck the stalk in’ bit! was it just a flower stalk? I dont think that Zone 12 will be an issue – it should remain evergreen in your climate and may even need a bit of shade.

  9. Margaret McCutcheon
    May 20, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

    I have just read your article on Albuca Spiralis and having aquired one 2 Xmas’s ago [unlabelled, 50pence, four curly leaves] from the local garden centre, I am in need of help. I suspect that I overwatered it during this winter, causing the main bulb and most of it’s offshoots to suddenly rot. I sacrificed all 10 flower spikes, took it out of the pot and dried out the 7 bulbils I salvaged.
    Two were good, so I re-potted them in cactus compost and have not watered them for a while.The other, smaller bulbils I have allowed to dry out leaving plump, healthy-looking, bulbs of 1cm diameter.
    What should I do now? My instinct tells me to treat the little ones like daffodils and re-plant them at the end of the summer. But do I keep the big ones growing or do I allow them to dry out? I really like this plant so would appreciate your help.
    I remember talking with you a few years ago at Gateshead Show. Maybe I will be able to visit you somewhere in Ireland someday.

    • thebikinggardener
      May 20, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

      Hello. You got a bargain there! But I am sorry your plant is not doing so well. I must admit that, apart from frost, overwatering seem to be its only enemy. I cannot quite find the ultimate answer to whether it needs a rest or not and although my instinct is that it is a winter grower and should need a summer rest my plant has shown no signs of resting in summer and seems happy being evergreen and flowered well this spring too. So I think I would start watering and get the bulbs into growth. As for the little ones – there is always a danger that small bulbs, even of things that want a summer rest, can get dehydrated and suffer if they are dry too long so I would get them moving too if they were mine. I think cactus compost is a good idea so they do not ever sit in water. I would just go careful with the watering until the new growth is strong and then things should be ok. I am only here in Ireland for the job I am doing so this time next year I should be back in the UK but if you are visiting this part of the world let me know. Thank you for visiting the blog too. I update every day so hopefully there is something else of interest. 🙂

  10. barbara symonds
    August 14, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    What do l repot my albuca frizzle sizzle in please l bought it last year and would like to repot as grown big for my pot is it cactus mixture ? I wood love to keep my bulb.

    • thebikinggardener
      August 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

      Anything that is well drained would be suitable and a good cactus mix would be perfect

  11. Carmel Ryan Secretary B H S
    September 17, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    Hi Geoff, Please send your address, as secretary, it is my duty to write and thank you for a fabulous review of our Bunclody Horticultural Society Garden Competition! And..for judging at our Annual Hort. Show. Forgot to ask on Monday. Love the bikes and it would be great to have a talk on plants with personality. Our beautiful ginger cat thinks the fluffy grasses to sleep in have cat personality, only wish I could fit in with him in the flower bed!! Ramblings of a gardener!


    • thebikinggardener
      September 17, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

      Hello 🙂 I will send that but you have already thanked me! I will see what topic the committee want 🙂

  12. Ruth Mae
    March 29, 2016 at 11:21 pm #

    Hi Geoff, Ireland is beautiful, must visit myself , just wondered when & where your planning your talks in UK this year?

    • thebikinggardener
      March 30, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

      Hello Ruth. I am returning to the UK in June. I am based in Cambs but will travel to do talks. Thank you for your interest.

  13. Olivette
    May 1, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    Hi Geoff, Thoroughly enjoyed your talk at the Limerick plants group. I am hoping to plant snowdrops and bluebells together would one overwhelm the other if they are planted together?

    • thebikinggardener
      May 1, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

      Thank you for your comment! I enjoyed the evening and you were a lovely an lively group. Snowdrops and bluebells will grow together happily because the bluebells will hardly be showing when the snowdrops are in bloom. The bluebells will not be in full leaf until the snowdrops have started to die down. Your conditions or climate may suit one plant more than the other, in theory, the two should grow together.

  14. Olivette
    May 1, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

    Thanks for your swift reply!

  15. Ruth Mae
    May 2, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    Hi Geoff, where will I need to look for upcoming info on dates of your talks etc.. Please?

    • thebikinggardener
      May 2, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

      Hello Ruth. It is on the About me page. I did my last Irish talk, apart from one more at Springmount Garden Centre, Gorey, last week. From July I will in available for talks in the UK.

  16. Karel Keesman
    June 15, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    Can we freely use a high res image of the eremurus robustus?

    • thebikinggardener
      June 23, 2016 at 9:36 am #

      You can only use the image, or any of my images, if it is credited. I assert my right to copyright on all images.

  17. wilfnoggins
    June 20, 2016 at 7:13 am #

    Hi Gareth,
    I was reading your article about the Libertia Grandiflora of which I have several in my garden and was wondering if I could cut the seed pods, dry and us to propagate?
    Best Mark.

    • thebikinggardener
      June 23, 2016 at 9:35 am #

      Hello Mark. Not sure who Gareth is. If you leave the seed pods on to turn brown they will start to open and you can collect the seeds and sow these – they germinate easily and the plants often self seed.

  18. Julia Schoenleber
    June 30, 2016 at 9:17 am #

    Dear “Biking Gardener”
    I’m quite interested to get some seeds or some rhizomes from ‘purple toothwort’. Can you help me?
    My garden is on the Isle of Mull.
    All the best Julia

  19. Mary Lordan
    July 5, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    Hello Geoff I am interested in growing peonies and have just read your informative 2015 article. Did you buy the intersectional peony in Ireland and if so where or did you source in UK? Thanks in advance Mary

    • thebikinggardener
      July 5, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

      Hello. I am not sure if you are in the UK or Ireland. If you are in Ireland, I bought mine from Leamore Nursery. – although I see they also ship to the UK. claire austin does sell some in the UK – also Kelways I think.

  20. Mary Lordan
    July 6, 2016 at 10:28 am #

    Hi Geoff, I’m in Ireland and had found Kelways online but didn’t know of any nurseries that specialised in peonies in Ireland. You have solved that thank you!

  21. Tracey Coyne
    July 14, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi, you have a lovely image of the eremurus, I am wondering if I could purchase the image to use on my website. Could you get back to me.

    • thebikinggardener
      July 14, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

      Hello. Thank you. Can you tell me what the image will be used for?

  22. Macky Miller
    August 3, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

    Have you ever cut back leaves (spikes) of the Albuca spiralis that turned brown and did it by any chance continue to grow?

    • thebikinggardener
      August 4, 2016 at 8:16 am #

      I always cut off the old (brown) flower scapes at the base and also pull out the dead leaves to keep the plant looking tidy

  23. Macky Miller
    August 4, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Thank you very much. This is my first time with the Albuca. I am delighted to hear that the plant is not dead. Most appreciatively,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews


un altro blog sul giardinaggio...


four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!


Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to save garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow


An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: