Anne Swithinbank A Desert Plant Dilettante

Anne Swithinbank

Time: Tuesday 20 December 2022 at 7.30pm (GMT)

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Anne Swithinbank has been a freelance gardening writer and broadcaster since 1986 and is one of the patrons of the BCSS. For as long as she can remember, Anne has enjoyed a fascination for plants and the natural world and began to collect succulents and other windowsill plants at an early age.  This early plant obsession survived teenage-hood and aged 19, Anne left home to study at Kew Gardens. After Kew, she was foreman propagator for Epsom and Ewell Parks and then Glasshouse Supervisor at RHS Wisley. To help her produce answers in her role as panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, Anne grows a wide range of plants. Cacti and succulents must compete for her time but will always have a place close to her heart.

Although now viewed in a potentially negative light, the word dilettante once meant ‘devoted amateur’ and compared to many BCSS members Anne would prefer to describe herself thus. In the talk, she will ponder the meaning of the word succulent, reveal which ones have made it into her plant collection, how they manage to survive despite attention often being diverted elsewhere, and how they help with answering questions on one of the world’s longest-running radio programmes.

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