Our Events Committee organises an exciting programme of lectures, garden visits and study days throughout the year.  These events provide an opportunity for members to learn more about the beauty, character and historical significance of the gardens and landscapes in Surrey and surrounding counties. The winter lectures are informative and entertaining discussions about various aspects of garden history, design and horticulture.  These lectures are given by enthusiastic speakers well known in their respective fields and have included individuals such as Michael Symes, Richard Bisgrove, Steffie Shields, Jill Raggett, Val Bott and SGT members Beryl Saich and Cherrill Sands.

The Study Days can range in focus from 'John Evelyn, the Renaissance Man and his Garden' including visits to Albury Park and Wotton House to the upcoming Bicentenary Celebrations of Humphry Repton.  Our events give members an opportunity to enjoy and share their enthusiasm, knowledge and curiosity in historic gardens and landscapes.

Members (and their guests when permitted) are advised to book events in advance as spaces can sometimes be limited, particularly for garden visits that are not normally open to the public.

For enquiries about specific events or if you wish to join the Events Committee, please contact our events manager

Norney Wood Canal Garden, Surrey Gardens Trust, Garden Events, Gardening Lectures, Gardening News, Gardens in Schools, Surrey Events, Sussex Events, Garden Membership.jpg

You can explore our Upcoming Events here

Nymans, Surrey Gardens Trust, Gardening Lectures, Garden Events, Gardening News, Surrey Events.jpg

2019 Winter Lecture Series -
Head Gardeners and the Challenges of Maintaining Historic Gardens

Lectures are held at either (see details for location):


2.30PM (followed by refreshments)

Nymans daffoldils and Oliver Messel urn.JPG

23 February 2019
Joe whelan


historic garden management in the 21st century

Joe will explore some of the challenges and opportunities facing historic garden management such as increasing visitor numbers, climate change, garden restoration and maintaining spirit of place. Ludwig Messel acquired Nymans in 1870 and with the help of his head gardener, James Comber, transformed its gardens. Joe has worked in horticulture for 10 years in a range of disciplines including design, fruit and vegetable production and historic garden restoration. He was appointed Head Gardener at Nymans in April 2018.

Lecture at The Leatherhead Institute

Gilbert White, Selborne, Baker's Hill, Surrey Gardens Trust, Garden Events, Gardening Lectures, Gardening News, Surrey Events, Garden Membership.JPG

9 March 2019
David Standing


discovering gilbert white’s garden

Selborne was the home of Gilbert White (1720-1793) parson-naturalist, ecologist and author of The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne in the County of Southampton (1789). David Standing’s talk follows his progress in unearthing (quite literally) the layout of Gilbert White’s 18th century garden which had been almost lost in the intervening centuries. David has degrees in both geography and environmental planning. He was the Head Gardener at Selborne for 38 years, retiring in 2017.

Lecture at Wilfrid Noyce, Godalming

Great Fosters, Surrey Gardens Trust, Gardening Lectures, Garden Events, Gardening News, Surrey Events, Sussex Events, Garden Membership.jpg

13 april 2019
russell dixon
great Fosters


the alchemy of gardening

Russell Dixon talks about his nearly three decades long involvement with the Grade II* registered gardens of Great Fosters Hotel. Great Fosters history encompasses links with Royalty and show business spanning from the 16th century to its creation as the first country house hotel in the 1930s. The current garden is based on the Arts & Craft design by W H Romaine Walker and Gilbert Jenkins in the early 1900s, extensively restored and extended by Kim Wilkie after the Great Storm of 1987. Russell began his career at Great Fosters as a gardener, soon becoming Head Gardener then Estate Manager.

Lecture at The Leatherhead Institute

You can also explore our Past Events

Norney Wood, Surrey Gardens Trust, Garden Events, Gardening Lectures, Gardening News, Gardens in Schools, Surrey Events, Sussex Events, Garden Membership.JPG

Garden Visits 2018

We have organised an exciting programme of visits to a wonderful selection of historical gardens as well gardens being lovingly restored or designed.  Further details are provided in the Garden Visits 2018 Newsletter below.

Reel Hall, Surrey Gardens Trust, Garden Events, Gardening Lectures, Gardening News, Gardens in Schools, Surrey Events, Sussex Events, Garden Membership.JPG

thursday 21 june 2018

Reel Hall, shamley green

This is the first time that Reel Hall has been open for the Surrey Gardens Trust.  We are delighted to have been allowed access to this tranquil and elegant Arts & Crafts garden nestled in the lush, wooded landscape of the Surrey Hills.  The main part of the house dates back to the 16th century.  The house was a farm for centuries.  The garden was designed in the early 1930s by the Rooper family, who lived there throughout World War II.

There are around four acres to explore, with a stream flowing through the heart of the garden.  A small stone bridge leads to a former tennis lawn, featuring a long herbaceous border and on to an enclosed topiary garden.  A gentle climb along a rising path offers views across the valley and down over the stream.  At the top of the hill there is an apple orchard, a vegetable garden, a small wildflower meadow and extensive greenhouses. 

Owner will give a brief talk about the history of the house and garden at 10.15am, followed by a tour of the grounds.  Please note there are some steep paths that may be slippery when wet.

£7.00 SGT Members
£9.00 Non-Members

Includes refreshments upon arrival.

Shamley Wood Estate, Surrey Gardens Trust, Garden Events, Gardening Lectures, Gardening News, Gardens in Schools, Surrey Events, Sussex Events, Garden Membership.JPG

THURSDAY 21 june 2018

Shamley Wood Estate, Shamley Green

This is a garden of contrasts, embracing the old and the new with a sense of playfulness and also theatre with its stunning views, the sound of water, hidden sculptures, and established, majestic trees.

The house was originally built in 1927 and is situated high on the North Downs, with views across Newlands Corner and the South Downs.   Ten acres of beautiful deer park form the approach to the house and its gardens of around three acres.  These included the York stone terrace, top lawns and herbaceous border, garden barn, pond and a rose garden.  

Recent improvements have been sensitively designed in keeping with the style of the house and its surroundings and include a Lavender Lawn, a heather garden and a stream.   This is also very much a family garden, with a view to eventual self-sufficiency, so a small orchard, new greenhouse, kitchen garden, a bee colony, chickens, pigs and a play area are elements of the design.  A woodland walk and wildflower meadow are also planned. 

Owner will give a brief talk about the gardens, followed by a tour.

£10.00 SGT Members
£12.00 Non-Members

Includes tea, coffee and cake.  Proceeds to NSPCC.

Busbridge Lakes, Surrey Gardens Trust, Garden Events, Gardening Lectures, Gardening News, Gardens in Schools, Surrey Events, Sussex Events, Garden Membership.JPG

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Busbridge lakes, godalming

Busbridge Lakes is a Grade II* registered Park noted for its mid 18th century follies, set within a secluded-steep sided valley.  It also has a magnificent collection of specimen trees, some of which are in the Tree Register.  The present house was formerly the coach house and stabling of the original Busbridge Hall, built in 1560.  The estate was purchased in 1748 by Philip Carteret Webb, FSA, FRS and MP for Haslemere, who was responsible for many of the garden features.  The original estate was extended to 1,391 acres as recently as the 1920s. 

The present owners acquired the property in 1966 and the grounds in their current form consist of 40 acres of parkland with three lakes, nature trails and wooded hillsides, which are home to one of the largest collections of waterbirds in the country.

Sadly, many important trees were destroyed in the 1987 storm. However, a large number of outstanding specimens survive, including a 110-foot tall sequoia, a tulip tree, a cedar of Lebanon, several varieties of beech, huge plane trees, a monkey puzzle and a Persian ironwood.  The woods are rich in box, yew, lime, sweet chestnut and several varieties of cypress, including a notable 62ft Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana ‘Youngii’.

Guided tour with Owner of Busbridge Lakes.

£14.00 SGT Members
£16.00 Non-Members

Includes tea, coffee and homemade cakes upon arrival.

Hestercombe,_Great_Plat, Surrey Gardens Trust, Garden Events, Gardening Lectures, Gardening News, Gardens in Schools, Surrey Events, Sussex Events, Garden Membership.jpg

Wednesday 8 august 2018

hestercombe gardens, somerset

Coplestone Warre-Bampfylde, a gentleman landscaper and friend of Henry Hoare II of Stourhead, inherited the Hestercombe estate in 1750.  In a fine wooded valley Bamfylde created a lake, fed by a stream flowing from a cascade.  The site contains a number of recreated garden buildings, including the Gothic Alcove, Temple Arbour, Mausoleum, Witch House and Turkish Tent.

On the far side of the house from the 18th century garden is a masterpiece created by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll, laid out from 1903, with beautiful views of the Vale of Taunton.  At its heart is the great Plat, a sunken garden flanked by terrace walks on three sides and a rose-covered pergola.  The Dutch garden contains Miss Jekyll’s typical planting, beyond which is a magnificent orangery by Lutyens.

The house, acquired from Somerset County Council, is now open to the public and contains the Column Room Restaurant, a secondhand bookshop and a contemporary art gallery.

Guided tour with Claire Greenslade, Head Gardener.

£48 SGT Members
£50 Non-Members
Includes coach transfer, buffet lunch, tea & coffee, entrance fee and tour with head gardener.  Minimum of 30 people required.

Muslim Burial Ground, Peace Garden, Surrey Gardens Trust, Garden Events, Gardening Lectures, Gardening News, Gardens in Schools, Surrey Events, Sussex Events, Garden Membership.JPG



This unique Grade II listed site is situated on the southeast corner of the Horsell Common.  Established in 1917, it was the original resting place for the 24 wounded Muslim soldiers who died at hospitals in England after serving our country during World War I and World War II.  In the 1960s the site was vandalised and the bodies were moved to the Military Cemetery at Brookwood.

The brick-walled site was neglected and fell into disrepair.  During the summer of 2013 work began to restore the structure of the Muslim Burial Ground and to create a garden of peace and reminiscence.  The garden is now a significant site and provides a focal point for acts of commemoration and remembrance.  A truly contemplative garden space has been created.  HRH The Earl of Wessex opened the garden officially on 12 November 2015.

Talk and tour by Elizabeth Cuttle, SGT member and Trustee of Horsell Common Preservation Society (owners of the Muslim Burial Ground).

£5.00 SGT Members
£7.00 Non-Members

Does not include refreshments





Brookwood Cemetery, the largest in England, was opened in 1854 as a burial ground for London’s dead and served by its own railway line enabling special trains to bring mourners and their dead from Waterloo Station to the cemetery. It was a commercial enterprise. The cemetery was divided into separate areas, allotted to different London parishes and to various religious denominations as it catered for all classes and faiths.  The landscaping and extensive evergreen planting scheme carried out by a local nurseryman has matured since the 19th century and continues to give the cemetery its sombre atmosphere. 

In the 1920s a large military cemetery was laid out within the site, later extended to accommodate the World War II dead and is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It is a Grade I site on the Register of Historic Parks & Gardens and contains amongst its many memorials the Stone of Remembrance designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Guided tour with Margaret Hobbs of Brookwood Cemetery Society. Please note that the tour will take approximately 1.5 hours followed by tea back at The Lodge.  Sturdy footwear is advised

£9.00 SGT Members
£11 Non-Members

Includes tea, coffee and cake.

Deepdene Mausoleum, Surrey Gardens Trust, Garden Events, Gardening Lectures, Gardening News, Gardens in Schools, Surrey Events, Sussex Events, Garden Membership.jpg

10:00 AM


Charles Howard inherited the Deepdene Estate in 1652.  In this natural steep-sided valley, he created one of the first Italian-style gardens in England.  His grandson, Charles, built a grand Palladian mansion 116 years later on the Estate.  The estate reached its peak during the time of Thomas Hope and his son, Henry.  Thomas Hope was a well-known designer, author and artist in the 19th century.  He expanded the estate and developed the picturesque landscape, which is remembered today.  Sadly, Henry’s grandson Lord Francis Clinton Hope declared bankruptcy by the beginning of the 20th century, necessitating the breakup of the estate and the famous Hope art collection.  After decades of disrepair, the house was demolished in 1969 and the grounds left forgotten until funds were secured for the development of the Deepdene Trail.  

We will have a guided tour with Alex Bagnall, Hope Springs Eternal Project Manager, Mole Valley District Council.  The Hope Mausoleum will be open to visit as well.  We will walk approximately 3 miles of the trail.  Sturdy footwear advised.

£11.00 SGT Members
£13.00 Non-Member

Includes donation towards the Deepdene Buildings Rescue Fund, guided tour of Deepdene Trail and tea, coffee and cake at the Dorking Golf Club prior to our walk.

Humphry Repton, Surrey Gardens Trust, Garden Events, Gardening Lectures, Gardening News, Gardens in Schools, Surrey Events, Sussex Events, Garden Membership.jpg

11.00 AM

GARDEN MUSEUM, Lambeth, London

Our final event to mark the bicentenary of Humphry Repton’s death will be a visit to the Garden Museum’s exhibition exploring the full span of Repton’s career in landscape design.

Repton came to landscape design late in life after many failed careers and business ventures.  He decided to take up the mantle of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and become a landscape gardener.  He used his artistic and design skills to create his famous 'Red Books' (so called because they were bound in red leather before given to his clients). This exhibition will bring together up to 20 ‘Red Books’, more than ever assembled before. Visitors will be invited to experience the unique method by which Repton presented his designs to clients.

Introductory talk and guided tour of exhibition with Garden Museum guide.  Followed by lunch.

£34.00 SGT Members
£36.00 Non-Members

Includes tea, coffee and biscuits upon arrival, followed by lunch (main course, salad & pudding).



Hatchlands, Surrey Gardens Trust, Garden Events, Gardening Lectures, Gardening News, Gardens in Schools, Surrey Events, Sussex Events, Garden Membership.jpg

Humphry Repton Bicentenary

Celebrations of his life and work

During the course of 2018 the Surrey Gardens Trust will be hosting a series of events to celebrate the life and work of Humphry Repton, the last great English landscape designer of the 18th century.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 12.03.37.png



In 1800 George Holme Sumner hired Humphry Repton to advise on improvements to the estate inherited from his father in 1791.  Repton wanted to transform 'a large red house by the side of a high road, to a Gentleman-like residence in the midst of a Park'.  In this private tour and talk with the National Trust park manager and her conservation team, discover Repton's vision of Hatchlands Park and the NT’s plans to conserve the park for the future.  An opportunity to view a facsimile of the Repton Red Book and admire the ancient trees that date from the Repton era.  Breakfast provided. 

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 12.03.41.png


Repton Study Day at Hartsfield Manor / Betchworth House

Immerse yourself in the life and work of Repton and enjoy a rare visit to privately owned Betchworth House and its Repton designed landscape.  The day will consist of presentations from Cherrill Sands about Repton’s life and work, Martin Higgins about Betchworth and the surrounding properties during the time of Repton and an overview of Repton's proposals for Betchworth House.  After lunch, we will have a private tour of Betchworth House and grounds and afternoon tea by kind permission of Lady Hamilton.  Lunch and refreshments provided.