Virtual events

The programme of virtual events has three main categories:

  • Garden Musings: Garden walk and talk
  • Expeditions: Tales from and of plant hunters
  • Plant Passions: Discussions and interviews

In addition, there will also be two other types of events:

  • Workshops
  • Snippets

The snippets can be seen on our YouTube channel 

Please note -  Filming, photography, recording and broadcasting may take place during the event. By attending you give your express consent to the use of photographs, videos or other images taken at the event for the sole purpose and use for RCM Group publicity , either on-line, on our website or printed material.

A talk for the Plant Passions series of online events.
Harewood’s Himalayan Garden
by Trevor Nicholson, Head Gardener
Saturday 19th March 2022 at 14:00 UK time
Trevor Nicholson

The RCM group is very excited to bring you a talk by Trevor Nicholson, Head Gardener at Harwood’s Himalayan Garden, which is situated in a sunken glade below ‘Capability’ Brown’s 32-acre lake at Harewood in West Yorkshire.

The Garden was laid out in the early 1930s at the request of HRH Princess Mary and her husband the 6th Earl of Harewood. Both were interested in Himalayan plants – rhododendrons and Asiatic primulas in particular.  Falling into decline during World War II, the former Rock Garden has seen a major transformation over the past twenty years. Now renamed the Himalayan Garden, as well as its collection of Himalayan plants, it also contains a unique Stupa built by Bhutanese monks - just part of the fascinating journey Head Gardener Trevor Nicholson has overseen at Harwood over the past 27 years.

Join us on Saturday 19th March to hear about the Garden’s revival as Trevor takes us on that journey. Sharing his knowledge of the history of the Harewood Himalayan Garden and the people who created it. We will discover the transformation of the garden, the development of its wonderful plant collection, and Trevor’s travels to China, Nepal and Bhutan to study the plants in their native habitats. It’s going to be a wonderful experience, we can’t wait to see you then!

A talk for the Plant Passions series of online events.
Bhutan - Kingdom of Rare Plants
by Rosemary Legrand
Saturday 29th January 2022 at 14:00 UK time
This lecture was recorded and can be seen on our YouTube channel or on this page.

We are very happy to welcome once again, the delightful plantswoman, Rosemary Legrand, for the first of our 2022 online talks for the Expeditions Series. Join Rosemary as she treks through the unique country of Bhutan, high in the Himalayas, for an opportunity to delight in both the fascinating culture and the amazing native plants she experienced, growing in this rare habitat.

Books mentioned by Rosemary in her talk

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet

ISBN 1-86450-145-6


‘Bhutan’ by Francoise Pommaret

Timeless Books  ISBN 10:962-217-702-6

A Portrait of Bhutan’

‘A Portrait of Bhutan’ by Ashi Dorj Wangmo Wangchuck. Queen of Bhutan

ISBN 13: 978-0-67099-901-9
ISBN 10: 0-67099-901-6

Flowers of the Himalaya

Flowers of the Himalaya
by Oleg Polunin and Adam Stainton

Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0192176234 / ISBN 13: 9780192176233

Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon
by Freda Ferne
ISBN 978-0-9560296-0-7

A talk for the Plant Passions series of online events.
My Life in Azaleas and Rhododendrons - A nurseryman’s daughter
by Rosemary Legrand
Thursday 22nd of July at 6.30pm UK time
This lecture was recorded and can be seen on our YouTube channel or on this page.
We are so excited to have the first online talk in our ‘Plant Passions’ series being given by Rosemary Legrand, which will be a real treat for all Azalea and Rhododendron lovers! Ranging from the Himalayas in Bhutan to her childhood garden with her nurseryman father, we look forward to you joining us for this special talk.
Rosemary is a former nursery owner, who keeps very occupied as a speaker. Her late father George Hyde was a hybridist of azaleas and rhododendrons who raised numerous award winning plants, many of which are grown commercially.
Rosemary has been giving her illustrated talks for nearly 30 years, to a wide range of international organisations and cruise lines. She is on the RHS Speaker’s Register and for NAFAS ( National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies ).
Having written a number of contributions to the book ‘1001 Gardens You Must See Before You’ as well as articles for various RHS publications, she is Chairman of the New Forest Branch of the Group.

A talk for the Expeditions series of online events.
In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker: Expeditions in the Sikkim Himalaya.
by Seamus O’Brien
Saturday 5 June 2021, 13:30 GMT
This lecture was recorded and can be seen on our YouTube channel or on this page.
A talk by Seamus O’Brien, one of Ireland’s best known contemporary plantsmen, followed by questions and a panel discussion where Seamus will be joined by Sikkimese rhododendron expert and plant explorer, Sailesh Pradhan, horticulturist and specialist nurseryman David Millais, and botanical artist, gardener and scholar, Dr. Wendelin Morrison.
This exciting talk is the third in the ‘Expeditions’ series for the Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group of the RHS. Seamus O’Brien, Head Gardener at the historic National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh in Ireland, will take us on a fascinating journey with him through his expeditions in the Sikkim Himalaya.
Seamus is not only a plantsman with expertise in the management of Botanic Gardens gained experience as well as a diploma from Kew Gardens, he is a plant explorer, a published author of books and articles and an active committee member for both the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group and the Woody Plant Committee.
We look forward to you joining us to hear Seamus tales of his adventures on mountainous routes, and recounting the historic explorations and rich flora collected by the intrepid Victorian botanist and plant hunter, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker. See you there!

A talk for the Expeditions series of online events.
A Galician Journey: Camellias in Six Spanish Gardens on the Camellia Route
by Steve Lyus
Tue, 13 Apr 2021, 18:00 BST
This lecture was recorded and can be seen on our YouTube channel or on this page.
North-Western Spain offers a rich and unexpectedly verdant environment for plants, providing the perfect growing conditions for camellias. In his talk, Steve Lyus will take us through his journey to Pontevedra in the autonomous community of Galicia, to explore six of the best gardens on the local ‘Camellia Route’ promoted during the 2014 International Camellia Society biennial congress. Entwining aspects of Galician Heritage, with its Celtic roots into his discussion of these wonderful gardens, and touching on camellia insights from further afield gained during the Congress, this promises to be a talk full of hidden gems.
Steve is a plantsman with a passion for sharing his love of plants and the many journeys he has made to gardens here in the UK and abroad. Having retired from a career in the software industry, Steve lives on the Wirral in NW England, where he has created an ericaceous garden with the many plants he has propagated over the years. Having taken a keen interest in the botanical heritage of Liverpool, he volunteers at Ness Botanic Gardens and is Chair of the New Ferry Butterfly Park. Steve sits on the Botanicals sub-committee of Sefton Park Palm House, is a volunteer at the World Museum Herbarium and is also an RHS Camellia Show Judge as well as a committee member of the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group.

Due to copyright reasons this talk is no longer available.

Wanderings in the Wild - Plant Hunting on the Pacific Rim
by Rama Lopez-Rivera
17th March 2021

In his lecture Rama will talk about his trips to Taiwan, Japan & Korea looking for Rhododendrons in the high mountains of these fascinating and diverse countries in the Western Pacific. Rama will have a special focus on his searches for R. yakushimanum and R. pachysanthum through often highly challenging and remote trips to their known, and lesser known locations in the wild.

Rama Lopez-Rivera has been working as a horticulturist for 18 years, spending time in leading gardens in the United Kingdom, United States and beyond. He is chair of the International Branch of the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group. With a particular passion for the peoples, cultures and plants of the Far East, he has traveled extensively in the region searching for plants in Asia's wild places.

Photograph of Rama Lopez-Rivera