Doug Stewart

Professional horticulturist, plant enthusiast, weekend adventurer

(when all three combine that’s when the magic happens)

Gardening talks, lectures and workshops delivered daytime or evening, in person or on Zoom

About Doug

A little bit about myself
I never really made a conscious decision to become a horticulturist.  Plants have always been a huge part of my life. At 13 I started a gardening round, and rented an allotment, which soon led to supplying the local shop with veg & earning a little pocket money.

After training as a professional horticulturist I worked in roles as diverse as a lecturer in cucumber and tomato production, and a pumpkin grower, plant propagator, interior landscaper and garden designer.

For over 20 years Doug worked at a leading land-based college as Head of Horticulture, for the last 15 years he has been working as a horticultural business consultant, speaker and trainer.

Doug is the co presenter of The Great Outdoors, a two-hour gardening phone in on BBC Radio Humberside.

When not working Doug loves riding bikes, hiking trails, photographing nature and getting lost, A lot.


Featured Talks

New and Featured talks for 2024 and 2025

The largest gardening project in the world

RHS Garden Bridgewater was the largest gardening project in the world

RHS Garden Bridgewater opened its gates to the public in 2021.

Doug was fortunate enough to be able to visit the garden during its construction, meeting the volunteers and teams involved.

In this talk he shares the story of how the garden was built, including visits made to the garden since it opened.

Two truths and a lie

How good is your club’s gardening knowledge?

This is Doug’s new talk for 2024.

This can be delivered as a straightforward, fun, gardening club lecture, or the audience can sit round tables.

Doug presents ‘two truths and a lie’ about a range of topics, but can you tell the two truths from the lie?

The 10 secrets of organic gardening

In this talk Doug shares some of the techniques used by many of the leading organic gardens around the country…

Organic gardening is an often misunderstood concept. In this talk Doug shares 10 of the top techniques being used by leading gardens throughout the UK to become more sustainable, boost biodiversity and of course produce abundant crops of flavoursome fruit and vegetables. Packed with advice from Head Gardeners this talk is filled with top tips to try out back at home…

The new way to garden!

Over the last 12 months Doug has been researching and writing a book on the new way to garden

The key focus of this book is on how we can apply the latest thinking and scientific research to help us to create gardens that do good.

Sustainable gardens that benefit our soil, our plants, our wellbeing and the environment.


Easy gardening for tired joints

In this talk Doug shares ideas tips and strategies to keep gardening where the spirit is strong, but the flesh is weak

In this talk Doug investigates the tools, the tips and the techniques to allow us to garden in later years.

This talk is includes all aspects of gardening from container gardening, to growing fruit and vegetables and creating a garden filled with colour.

Tips that enable maximum enjoyment of our gardens with minimal effort are discussed in Doug’s usual informative, but light hearted style.

Six of the BEST

These are Doug’s six most popular gardening talks…

10 ways to a better garden

This has become established as Doug’s most popular gardening talk, (indeed if Doug was a chef, this would be his signature dish) and has been enjoyed by over 200 groups in the last few years.

Gaining inspiration from some of the finest gardens in the world, this talk temps you to consider 10 easy ways to create your very own dream garden.

The talk concludes with a very personal look at over 20 favourite plants, reminding us to fall in love with our gardens all over again.

The way we were…

This is fast becoming one of my most popular gardening talks. It builds on a growing passion for collecting and reading old gardening magazines, brochures and books, which as you will see are filled with some strange curiosities…

So how did we garden over 60 years ago and just how much have things changed from the humble shed, to the flower show and of course the very latest products and devices to make gardening easy?

Using the catalogues and gardening magazines of yesteryear as inspiration this talk ponders on adverts for lightweight concrete greenhouses, and why only pipe smoking men seemed to be used in adverts!

10 NEW must have plants

Working with some of the largest plant producers in the UK, I am very fortunate to see many new plants before they are launched..

Traveling widely in the UK and visiting many of the leading gardens, which are crammed with fantastic plants gives the opportunity to view many of the newest introductions, many of which we are putting through their paces on the BBC Radio Humberside allotment.

Here are just 10 of these plants, which are worthy of a place in every garden…

Superheroes – The Plant Hunters

This talk is a celebration of the lives of the Plant Hunters, men who went out all over the world for the love of rare and unusual plants…

Plant Hunters – people who braved hardship, evil warlords, cannibals and almost certain death, to bring us so many of the plants that we grow today. As one of the horticultural heroes says, “people have no idea what goes into that tiny packet of seeds.”

This talk is dedicated to them and tells their amazing inspirational story.

The Holly, the Ivy, and other Christmas stories

A great favourite for that Christmas meeting, where a short amusing talk is in order, before a buffet or similar. Some clubs have booked this with a short Quiz for a fun and festive evening!

How well do you know your festive plants and the tales they have to tell?

This is a talk of fables, folklore and legend; looking at the Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe and of course the king of all festive plants the Christmas Tree.

The Drunken Gardener

This very popular talk is ideal for Christmas Meetings, and of course, to liven up an AGM, especially when accompanied by wine and nibbles…

This talk looks at the role that many of our garden plants have in the creation of some of the worlds finest drinks…

Taking inspiration from nettle beer, through to more exotic beverages such as pulque this talk takes an amusing and sideways look at plants, gardens and favourite tipples.

Some rather lovely feedback

A few thoughts from the blog...

Another lovely card to receive…

Hi, I just wanted to share this lovely card that came through yesterday… Dear Doug Thank you for coming to talk to us yesterday evening. Your talk was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, and I have received many complements on my choice of speaker! It is also ways a pleasure to learn when the information is…

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How to book Doug

Booking Doug is easy!

When you know the date that you want a speaker for

You can check the fee and travel expenses here

And then simply fill in this form, give me a ring or drop me an email


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