Ask the Experts – Elizabeth Maddock, Dave Ilett & Ian Thwaites

Time: Tuesday 7 February 2023 at 7:30pm (GMT/UTC)

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It is a while since we had an ‘Ask the Experts’ evening so this is your chance to ask any questions you may have about cacti and succulents at any level. You will be able to put your questions to our panel of experts on the night. Alternatively, you can send a question in advance, and we will invite you to ask it on the night or we can read the question out if you prefer. We look forward to answering your questions from 7:30 p.m. on 7th February.

If you wish to put a question forward in advance, please email it to .

Elizabeth Maddock has beengrowing these plants for well over 20 years and is primarily a grower of succulents, mainly Crassulaceae, concentrating on aeoniums and sedums. However, she is also keen on aloes, agaves and gasterias. Elizabeth also has about 50 cacti, many of which she has owned for a long time. Elizabeth feels passionate about how our plants are grown. She emphasises that they need the right conditions to do well and she tries to promote this in the advice she gives. She advises on what conditions they are used to growing under, which is not always easy to emulate in the UK as these are mainly desert-type plants.

David Ilett has been growing cacti and succulents since he was a teenager, and although levels of time and interest have varied over the years, he has always continued to grow a selection of plants. Some have survived through thick and thin, and (many) others have fallen by the wayside. He joined the NCSS the year before it merged and became the BCSS. His interest took off strongly again when his youngest son became interested (for a while) and it currently shows no signs of letting up. He currently runs the BCSS YouTube channel (all contributions are welcome! Emails to ).

Ian Thwaites is a past chair of the BCSS and an International Garden Photographer of the Year award-winning botanical photographer. Many of his images capture the natural beauty of the subjects whether in a formal garden, their natural environment or as a simple portrait. He is an active member of the Professional Garden Photographers’ Association and a committee member of the Garden Media Guild. His images have appeared in many European garden and specialist magazines, newspapers and online. He also writes for the popular horticultural press and has been interviewed on BBC Gardeners’ World. Ian enjoys growing a vast array of plants and can usually be found pottering in the garden or greenhouse with either a camera, a watering can, or a knife ready to take a cutting.

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