Home » Events » Finding Change in the Garden

Finding Change in the Garden

Discover three stories of change in the garden from South London to Japan, in this evening with Alice Fane and Charlie Hawkes, Jack Wallington, and Matt Collins, hosted by Alice Vincent.

At the start of a new gardening year, we kick off our events with an evening of three short talks about change, discovery, travel and adventure. From finding inspiration in Japanese landscapes, to redefining what we think of as an ornamental plant, these bright new voices in gardening will share their take on ripping up the rule book and starting again.


Alice Fane and Charlie Hawkes
Alice and her partner Charlie, a landscape architect in Tom Stuart-Smith’s office, took a year out in 2019 to work as gardeners at the Tokachi Millennium Forest. Under the holistic guidance of head gardener Midori Shintani, their eight month placement became a horticultural adventure far beyond their expectations. Alice and Charlie will give a glimpse into the beautiful native plants (and bear prints) of the Millennium Forest’s woodland gardens, Dan Pearson’s naturalistic planting, Japanese gardening methods, and the vast natural landscapes that surrounded them in Hokkaido.

Matt Collins
Garden Museum Head Gardener, Guardian gardening and travel writer and author of three books including Forest: Walking Among Trees, Matt Collins will be speaking about the influence of travel on his gardening and writing, and how the Garden Museum’s recently redesigned exotic courtyard garden has spurred a greater interest in plant provenance.

Jack Wallington
“Not all weeds are uncontrollable brutes, in fact, when you stop to look, some weeds are positively beautiful, with an energy and dynamism loved by wildlife. By understanding weeds better, they can bring your garden to life with stylish flowers and foliage, and absolutely no need to water or fertilise. So down trowels and join the rebellion.” South London garden designer and wild weed enthusiast Jack Wallington will talk about changing one’s view of what a garden, or an ornamental plant can be.

Speaker bios

  • Matt Collins

    Matt Collins

    Matt is head gardener at the Garden Museum and a freelance garden and travel writer for publications including The Guardian, Hortus and Gardens Illustrated. His most recent book Forest: Walking Among Trees was shortlisted for an Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award, and charts a journey through the woods of Europe and North America.

  • Charlie Hawkes and Alice Fane

    Charlie Hawkes and Alice Fane

    Charlie is a landscape designer based in London. Since returning from Japan he has started working on his own projects, rejoined Tom Stuart-Smith’s office on a freelance basis, and spends the rest of the week gardening. 

    The Tokachi Millenium Forest was Alice's first extended experience working with plants. She was previously a freelance advertising strategist, and is currently helping to develop a plant identification app.

  • Jack Wallington

    Jack Wallington

    Jack Wallington is a landscape designer who has worked on over 40 different gardens for private homes, businesses and public spaces, melding nature-inspired planting with contemporary landscaping. His aim is to bring the beauty of the wild back into people’s lives in unique, imaginative and stylish ways. Jack is also the author of new gardening book, Wild About Weeds, and maintains a column with Telegraph Gardening while contributing regularly to Gardeners World, Gardens Illustrated and RHS The Garden magazines.

  • Alice Vincent

    Alice Vincent

    Alice Vincent is an author, journalist and self-taught urban gardener. She has kept a column with The Telegraph since 2014, and brought out her first book, How to Grow Stuff: no stress gardening for beginners, in March 2017. She documents her growing adventures through Instagram and a newsletter under Noughticulture.

Image: Millennium Forest garden © Kiichi Noro