From Captivity to a Castle


A feature of Reading Gardeners’ Winter Programmes has been the occasional addresses by eminent speakers from the world of horticulture. Over the years, at these V.I.P. evenings, we have hosted such gardening luminaries as Roy Lancaster, Sheila Dillon, Nigel Colborn, Alys Fowler and Chris Beardshaw.

This evening’s VIP speaker will be Tom Hart Dyke. Tom was on a plant hunting expedition in 2000 in the Colombian jungle when he was kidnapped. Not knowing if he would live or die, he passed the time imagining his dream garden. Since his release, Tom has been busy at Lullingstone Castle building that garden. Now that dream Jungle Garden is open to visitors. He tells his story with passion and humour. He’s been called ‘the Chris Packham of the plant world’, and ‘the new David Bellamy’.

This will be a ticket only evening costing £7 per head for members and £10 for guests. A complimentary glass of wine or soft drink with nibbles will be offered. Tickets will be available for purchase from January 2017.