Edible Essex talk by Alys Fowler

Wednesday, 23rd October 2013
19.30 – Chelmsford, Essex

Alys started gardening in her early teens and after leaving school she trained with the Royal Horticultural Society, The New Botanical Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. She won a Smithsonian scholarship to study at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. Here she furthered her work in alpine gardening. Whilst living in New York she also began volunteering in a community garden on the Lower East side in Manhattan. With only a fire escape to grow plants on, she quickly found a community that were making beautiful gardens literally from the street. This was an influential period in her training and much of the ethic, thrift and spirit that thrives in such settings is found in her work today.

After finishing her apprenticeship, she went to University College London to study a Masters in Society, Science and the Environment.  Drawing on her passion for grass-roots environmental work, she studied allotments and the benefits they bring to both nature and those who work on them.

Alys has worked as a journalist for the trade magazine, Horticulture Week and became editor of Landscape Review, the first magazine dedicated to landscape architecture in the UK.  Broadening her media work, she started working on BBC’s Gardener’s World as a horticultural researcher on both the main programme and the one-hour specials, including the groundbreaking ‘Parks’. Alys soon progressed to the role of Head Gardener and she regularly features at the Gardener’s World Live Shows.

Alys has published work in The Guardian, The Royal Horticultural Society’s magazine The Garden, Gardener’s World Magazine, Gardens Illustrated, Horticulture Week and Landscape Review.  She also writes a monthly blog for Gardener’s World. Her first book, The Thrifty Gardener was published by Kyle Cathie in 2008.

Alys’s second book called The Edible Garden was published in March 2010 by BBC Books, which tied in to her TV series called Edible Gardens which was shown on BBC2 in April 2010. Her book The Thrifty Forager, was published in 2011. Alys recently featured in the acclaimed BBC2 primetime series entitled Our Food and she is currently writing her new book out later this year.

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