Miss Jekyll's Gardening Boots

Russell Bowes

Notice Period:
Regular (more than one month's notice)
Paid: by arrangment
5th July 2019

When William Nicholson wanted to paint a portrait of the famous gardener Gertrude Jekyll, she was far too busy in her garden to pose for him during the day. To keep himself occupied while waiting for her, he decided to paint her gardening boots. Fortunately, other famous gardeners have not been so busy. Come and meet seven gardeners whose careers cover the last 250 years of gardening in England while they sit for their portrait.

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About Russell Bowes

Russell is a freelance garden historian and has been giving talks on the subject since 2000 and in 2003 he was awarded the University of London Diploma in Garden History. He has given talks at the National Portrait Gallery, the Imperial War Museum, Chelsea Physic Garden, The Eden Project and Blenheim Palace, as well as for many National Trust Members' Associations, over 90 branches of the U3A, the WI, and hundreds of local horticultural and historical societies as far apart as Falmouth and Durham.

He lives in South East London, and although he travels by public transport, he has never found this a major problem in giving talks - one of his mottoes being "If I can get there, I will". As well as the Greater London area, Russell can usually get to most areas in Kent and the Home Counties. For talks further afield, overnight accommodation would be necessary after an evening talk.

In 2017, Russell moved to a house with a completely derelict 130 foot garden and has spent the last year digging, pruning, having bonfires, laying bricks, fighting brambles and couch grass, swearing, sweating, coping with soil composed more or less of solid clay, cursing squirrels, giving up, starting again, and rummaging through the "Reduced plants" section at the local DIY store.

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