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Talk | Transylvania Florilegium

Join us to celebrate botanical paintings inspired by one of Europe’s last medieval landscapes.

Many of the finest contemporary botanical artists have visited Transylvania over a five year period and painted specimens of wild flowers growing around HRH The Prince of Wales’s properties at Viscri in the Saxon Villages and the more remote Zalanpatak. These drawings, depicting the wild flora of Transylvania, are published as a fine-art limited edition in two volumes, hand-bound in leather and marbled paper and finished in gold leaf. The Transylvania Florilegium is limited to 150 numbered sets. The first is assigned to HRH The Prince of Wales, who has written the Preface and kindly agreed to sign each copy.

Dr Jamie Compton will be joined by Joe Whitlock-Blundell (Former Production Director of The Folio Society), Dr John Akeroyd (Botanist) and Helen Allen (Botanical Artist) to look at the intricate processes used to create this truly special florilegium.

The beautiful sketchbooks of Helen Allen and Mary Ellen Taylor will be on display alongside the Transylvania Florilegium before and after the talk.

Ahead of the event, we are delighted to share an exclusive extract by Dr John Akeroyd: Discovering the wild flora of Transylvania


  • Dr John Akeroyd

    Dr John Akeroyd

    Dr John Akeroyd was taught at Charterhouse School by the famous botanist Oleg Polunin, who introduced him to the flora of Europe and the Mediterranean region. He graduated from the Universities of St Andrews and Cambridge and held fellowships at the Universities of Trinity College, Dublin and Reading, researching the taxonomy of the European flora. An independent scholar, lecturer, tour guide, writer and editor, he was a co-founder and editor of Plant Talk, the first global magazine for plant conservation. He is the author or editor of eighteen books, both scientific, such as Docks and Knotweeds of Britain and Ireland and popular, including the best-selling Collins Wildguide: Flowers and The Encyclopedia of Wildflowers, as well as numerous scientific and popular articles on plants, people and places. He has travelled widely in Europe and the Mediterranean, especially Greece and Romania, where he contributes to projects in support of sustainable farming and conservation in Transylvania.

  • Joe Whitlock Blundell

    Joe Whitlock Blundell

    Joe Whitlock Blundell recently retired from The Folio Society, where he was Design and Production Director for over thirty years He was responsible for all aspects of the books’ appearance: typographic design, art direction, choice of materials and manufacturing quality. In this capacity he managed well over 1000 different titles into print. In addition, he initiated and ran the programme of Limited Edition titles for 15 years. He is also a photographer with a number of books and one-man exhibitions to his name.

  • Helen Allen

    Helen Allen

    Helen Allen trained originally as a textile designer and teacher, before studying at the English Gardening School in the Chelsea Physic Garden, London. She received the prestigious Diploma in Botanical Illustration and was a course tutor for a number of years before becoming the Diploma Course Director.

    In January 2014 she founded the Chelsea School of Botanical Art at the Chelsea Physic Garden. Helen also paints and teaches at her studio in Ham.
    With an eye for detail, fascination for pattern and a great love of plants, she delights in sharing her experience through painting and teaching.
    Helen has exhibited at galleries in the UK and overseas including Ebury Galleries, the Garden Museum, the Chelsea Physic Garden and Hortus in London, Ursus Gallery, New York and the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburg, USA, the National Botanic Garden for Wales, the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Hampton Court Palace.
    Helen’s work has been selected for inclusion in the Highgrove Florilegium and the Transylvanian Florilegium, a project she ran for five years for HRH The Prince of Wales. Her work can be found in private collections and the archives of the Hunt Institute, the Chelsea Physic Garden, Hampton Court Palace and the Kew Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives Collections.

  • Dr Jamie Compton

    Dr Jamie Compton

    James Compton did a PhD at the University of Reading on Actaea continuing there as a Research Fellow working on Cyclamen and Eranthis. He studied at RBG Kew and was Head Gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden serving later on the RHS Horticultural Board and on two Committees. He has recently co-authored Wisteria the complete guide with Chris Lane (RHS 2019) and is now Chair of the RHS Lily Group. He has written several scientific papers on the relationships of plants.