Kenneth Cox, Lectures
Kenneth Cox is one of the UK's most experienced and entertaining lecturers on rhododendrons, Scottish horticulture and plant exploration. He has lectured throughout the UK, many part of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Recently talks have been given at literary festivals, botanical gardens, specialist societies as well as The Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Royal Society for Asiatic Affairs.
All Kenneth's Talks last around 1 hour, and are illustrated with powerpoint. They are suitable for specialist and general audiences alike. For his talks, Kenneth requires:
1. A well blacked-out room,
2. Digital projector and laptop, awith remote for changing the pictures. A large room may require a microphone.
3. The largest, widest screen available. A double sheet on a wall, well-stretched can make an acceptable screen. A small screen will do but the impact of the spectacular photography will be reduced.
Kenneth usually sells his books to accompany his lectures.
Charges for lectures depend on distances travelled, size of audience and potential for book sales. Email to email@example.com for more information.
Lecture Payments must be made by cheque or bank transfer. An invoice can be sent on request. Banks details will be supplied on request for electronic payments. Payments to be made to Kenneth Cox, Glendoick House, Perth, PH2 7NS.
NOTE For payments of less than £100 lectures must be paid by cheque or cash on the night please. Some organisations have demanded lengthy form filling to recover small amounts of money. Life is too short for this!
Kenneth Cox, List of Lecture Topics
New for 2012 Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland
This talk accompanies my latest book written with Caroline Beaton. The book is a practical contemporary guide to growing fruit, vegetables and herbs in Scotland covering the best techniques for growing produce, whether in a garden, allotment, patio or window box. Scotland's farmers, growers, plant breeders, show growers, head gardeners and keen amateurs have shared their wisdom, knowledge and experience with the authors, revealing how from Shetland to Galloway local conditions affect what to grow and how to best to achieve great results.
The lavishly illustrated lecture covers history, politics, diet and sound advice from gardeners all over Scotland from Shetland to the Scottish Borders. Some of the many topics covered include.
- Scotland's world-important role in breeding potatoes, blackcurrants and blackberries.
- Great fruit for Scotland: Why not try growing saskatoons or chokeberries
- How do I grow vegetables on a windswept bog in Lewis or Shetland?
- It it worth trying to grow kiwis, grapes and apricots in Scotland?
- What is the story behind the Tayberry?
- How did Scotland lead to world in 19th century glasshouse building?
- Why is the Scottish diet so poor and what can we do about it?
- Organic Gardening, a panacea or waste of time?
Including descriptions of virtually all Scotland's gardens which are open to the public, as well as nurseries and garden centres, Scotland for Gardeners is the largest survey of Scottish gardens ever published and the first gazetteer to all that Scotland can offer garden and plant lovers. Arranged by geographical area, it also includes an introduction to the history of gardening in Scotland, maps, key information on each entry and lavish colour photographs by internationally renowned garden photographer Ray Cox. This is the ideal book for the Scot or the tourist who wishes to explore the world of gardens and plants in Scotland.
The talk includes Ray Cox's stunning garden and plant photographs of the best of Scotland's gardens 12 months of the year and includes some rarely seen before. As well as garden, specialist nurseries, wildflower walks and the best woodlands are covered. Subject include woodland gardens, walled gardens, formal gardens, botanic gardens and the greening of the avant guard.
An Audio-visual delight. Ken brings the beauty, splendour and historic interest of the Scottish gardens to life. From Monastic gardens of the middle ages, to cutting edge contemporary landscaping. Audiences delight in his presentations and repeat visits are always in demand. Ken offers is encyclopedic knowledge and entertainment. His sometimes out-spoken, authoritative, information-packed talks are illustrated by photographs from Ken's brother the internationally renowned garden photographer Ray Cox.
Ken is very happy to attend bookstore events and to do signings but you will get more from him if offered a larger platform in the form of external events. He is always delighted to take part in festivals large and small as well as offer lectures to horticultural societies and organisations.
New for 2010 is a talk on Walled Gardens of Scotland, which concentrates on the history and variety of one of Scotland's great contributions to Gardening. Gardens covered include Logan, Portmore, Crathes, Drum, Dunbeath, Shepherd House, Cambo, Blair Castle.
Frank Kingdon Ward's Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges
ed Kenneth Cox
This is a spectacular adventure into a little-known, inaccessible area of Himalayan south east Tibet. Following in the footsteps of Frank Kingdon Ward's 1925 expeditions, the talk is based on Kenneth Cox's journeys in June 1995. June 1996 and June 1997. The talk includes wonderful pictures of landscapes, people, and Tibetan monasteries as well as Rhododendrons, Primula, Meconopsis, Lilium etc etc and describes the discovery of a new 100ft waterfall in the Tsangpo Gorges. A feast for armchair explorers, history lovers and gardeners.
Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges, ed. Kenneth Cox Price £35 plus postage. A new edition of the plant-hunter's classic. 100s of colour and black & white photographs. 2nd Edition Spring 2008. A new chapter covers conservation issues.
‘The value of the text is increased tenfold by the generous illustrations. So reluctant was I to finish the book that I rationed myself to a few pages a night; I can offer no greater praise than this.’ Roy Lancaster, Gardens Illustrated
Garden Plants for Scotland
The Book From Lerwick to Logan and from Berwick to Kintyre, this is the book for all of Scotlands' gardeners. Covering trees, conifers, fruit, shrubs, perennials, bamboos, grasses, herbs and hedging, this book is a one-volume guide for Scottish gardeners, both experienced and beginners. Authors Kenneth Cox & Raoul Curtis Machin are not afraid to say what they think. With help from most of Scotland's leading horticultural gurus and gardeners, they have scoured the country evaluating what does well where and why. Introductory chapters cover hardiness, drainage, wind, soil types, where to buy plants and coping with common pests and diseases. The main section covers 1000s of plants including many new ones only just reaching the market. Specialist and mail order Scottish nurseries are mentioned within plant entries to aid the sourcing of Scottish-grown plants.
This is the ONLY book on how to garden in Scotland currently in print. This is the books which does for Scottish Gardening what The Beechgrove Garden has done on television. It is where the gardener in Stranrar, Lerwick or Kinguissie can turn to for information in selecting plants. Standard gardening books, excellent though many of them are, have a major failing as far as gardening in Scotland is concerned. Almost without exception these books recommend plants which do not succeed in Scottish conditions. The Royal Horticultural Society use an inadaquete hardiness rating system of little or no use in Scotland.This lack of reliable information for Scottish gardeners leads to confusion and disappointment. The Scottish Gardenplant award and the new extended hardiness ratings addresses these issues.
This book has become the reference book which gardeners in Scotland turn to to choose the best plants for their conditions.
The lecture explains how we got the information and what we learned: On hardiness, climate, why some plants wont flower or grow well in Scotland. On shelter, drainage, climate change, on what really does well in Scotland and why. Its not all serious either. Ken has some fun with some of his most hated plants too! More details on Garden Plants for Scotland
Woodland Gardening in the 21st Century
This talk is not available for the time being.
Kenneth Cox has been involved in woodland gardening for much of his life. 2009 saw the publication of a guidebook to Scotland's gardens which include many of the world's finest examples of woodland gardens: Crarae, Arduaine, Inverewe and his own garden at Glendoick. This lecture looks both to the past, investigating the history of this style of gardening, as well as looking to the future with how these gardens might be affected by climate change and other issues. Kenneth is keen to apply a sense of design to woodland gardens and shows some fascinating examples of this style of garden from many parts of the world. Needless to say, there are a lot of rhododendrons covered in this talk. Issues such as shade and shelter are covered from a practical point of view.
Rhododendrons and Azaleas on 4 Continents
Author of 6 books on the subject, Kenneth Cox probably knows as much about rhododendrons and azaleas as anyone else on planet earth (except perhaps his father).
This lavishly illustrated talk covers the huge range of species and hybrids available and takes the audience on a short tour of their wild habitats in Tibet and the Himalaya as well as cultivation of rhododendrons in garden, greenhouse and in containers, and gardening styles associated with rhododendrons. Ken's travels have taken him to every corner of the globe. From Tasmania to Tokyo and Scotland to Seattle, see the best examples of rhododendron gardening.
Stunning plant portraits include hillsides of rhododendron species in the wild in the Himalaya, as well as some of the many new rhododendron and azaleas hybrids he has created at Glendoick.If you think you know rhododendrons... think again.
Scotland's Greatest Plant Hunter: George Forrest & Caerhays The 100 year Legacy
George Forrest was Scotland's greatest Plant Hunter and Explorer in China from 1904 to 1932.
He discovered and collected hundreds of new plants, birds, butterflies and mammals and having escaped death at the hands of Tibetan monks in 1904 he died in China on his last expedition in the 1930s.
Almost every Scottish Garden contains plants which Forrest discovered or introduced: gentians, pieris, rhododendrons, Magnolia, Camellia and many more.
Kenneth Cox gave this lecture in April 2011 at Caerhays, Cornwall to celebrate the 100th anniversay of Caerhays owner J.C. Williams' hiring of Forest to collect plants in China. J. C Williams sponsored all Forrest's remaining expeditions. Kenneth has been to many of the places in China that Forrest visited and will show these with spectacular pictures. The talk also features archive material including Forrest's letters.
A combination of biography, plant hunting, dear death experiences, stunning plants and some new research, this is an ideal talk for all arm chair plant explorers and anyone interested in the origin of garden plants.
Kenneth Cox Biography & Publications
Born in 1964 into a family of renowned plantsmen, Kenneth Cox is grandson of planthunter, writer and nurseryman Euan Cox and son of Peter Cox VMH. The three generations were and are considered the world's leading experts on rhododendrons. Kenneth, himself a nurseryman and author of numerous books on rhododendrons, has carved out his particular niche in the world of plant-hunting in leading 9 expeditions to South and South-East Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh, India, 1995-to the present. He graduated in 1986 at the University of Birmingham, England with a BA in General Arts and a diploma in commerce.
Kenneth Cox is an experienced lecturer on rhododendrons, horticulture and exploration and has lectured throughout the UK, many part of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Recently talks have been given at literary festivals, botanical gardens, specialist societies as well as The Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Royal Society for Asiatic Affairs.
Kenneth is managing director of the family firm Glendoick Gardens Ltd in Scotland, a garden centre and mail order nursery specialising in Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Ericaceous plants, Meconopsis, Primula and other plants collected by the Cox family around the world. Kenneth is married with two sons and in his spare time plays several musical instruments.
Books by Kenneth Cox
The Encyclopedia of Rhododendron Hybrids Batsford 1988 (With Peter A. Cox)
A Plantsman's Guide to Rhododendrons Ward Lock 1989
Cox's Guide to Choosing Rhododendrons Batsford 1990 (with Peter Cox)
The Encyclopedia of Rhododendron Species Glendoick Publications 1997, 2nd ed. 2001 (with Peter Cox)
Rhododendrons, A Hamlyn Care Manual. Hamlyn 1998. Translated in French, Dutch, Swedish, Danish.
Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges by Frank Kingdon Ward. New Edition, ed. Kenneth Cox, Antique Collector’s Club 2001,2007
Rhododendrons and Azaleas: A Colour Guide Crowood Press 2005.
Garden Plants for Scotland Frances Lincoln 2008 (with Raoul Curtis Machin)
Scotland for Gardeners Birlinn 2009 2nd Editon 2014
Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland Birlinn 2012