Over the last 40 years Patrick has given illustrated talks (and after dinner speeches) to a wide range of societies and interest groups such as Women's Institutes, Probus, Gardening Clubs, U3A, Church Groups, Natural and Local History Societies. He brought specimens, photographs and books relating to the subject. He spoke from 20 to 75 minutes, to fit meeting times (day or evening) and has spoken to audiences ranging in size from 900 down to 1! He had a loud voice and a sense of humour. His media appearances include BBC Breakfast, Richard and Judy, The Flying Gardener and Castle in the Country.
Christmas and its Customs
When was Jesus born? Who was Father Christmas? What links Christmas and holly, ivy, mistletoe, robins, candles, crackers, mince pies etc? Copies of my book on Christmas available at a discount.
A Mushroom Miscellany
Based on my book of the same name. Mushrooms in art, literature, music, folklore, murder and medicine. How to identify and cook the best edible species. From dry rot to truffles; witches to Enid Blyton – wonderful stories.
A Plant Anthology (Stories about Wild and Garden Plants)
Based on my book Patrick’s Florilegium. A look at plants in medicine, folklore, poetry, history and industry. From making bombs to preventing strokes, from glass making to cancer treatment, from Portland Sago to Wordsworth. Copies of my book available at a discount.
In Praise of Trees
How did our native trees re-colonise after the Ice Age? A look at the many fascinating uses to which trees were put – from cradles to coffins. Woodland natural history plus the folklore of trees.
Hearts of Oak – the Oak in History, Legend and Natural History
From Dryads to Druids, Robin Hood to Birnam Wood; buildings, battleships, coopers and charcoal. Bats, beef steaks, cow wheat and celandines. Kate Moss and Spike Milligan – something for all.
The Medicinal Uses of Plants
Ancient and modern medicinal uses of plants such as foxglove, cannabis and willow. A history of herbal medicine and a look at current drugs from plants such as yew, melilot and evening primrose
Spring Flowers, Castles and Palaces in the Sintra region of Portugal
A new talk based on a walking holiday in May 2018 and including two days in Lisbon.
Northern Cyprus in Spring
Wonderful wild flowers, mountain walking, Roman sites, Crusader castles and blue skies - all in the less visited (and cheaper) Turkish part of Cyprus.
The Plant Hunters
The lives, travels and plants of the men who helped transform British gardens – the two John Tradescants, Joseph Banks, David Douglas, George Forrest and Ernest (Chinese) Wilson.
Wild Flowers of the Peak District
The talk shows why the Peak District is so important for plant life. It covers flowers from a range of different habitats in the dark and white peak. Profusely illustrated with slides of the flowers.
Wild and Garden Flowers on the Isles of Scilly
A glorious mix of flowers from the most south-westerly point in Britain. Wild flowers of many hues plus the wonderful Tresco Abbey Gardens and the unique landscapes of the Scillies.
Turkey - Ancient Landscapes, Historic sites and Spring Flowers in Lycia
Based on Patrick's many study tours to the area when participants walked on the Lycian Way, visited Olympos and the sacred flames while being immersed in a fantastic array of wild flowers - a sample of the 9,000 species found in Turkey.
Food for Free
A look at the many plants and fungi that can be safely eaten or made into interesting beverages. Starters, main course ideas and wonderful puddings, not forgetting the wine and coffee!
Easter and its Customs
A new talk including the Gospel accounts, the problems with predicting the dates of future Easter Sundays and where the origin of Easter eggs, hot cross buns, simnel cake, lamb and Easter bunnies come from. Plus a look at the links with Lent, lilies, passion flowers, pancakes and the true Mothering Sunday.