On three Friday lunchtimes in January, Growing the Future at the National Botanic Garden of Wales is hosting a series of talks starring inspirational women in horticulture.

There’s also an opportunity to learn more about the scientific research and horticultural developments going on in the Botanic Garden with introductory talks by Garden PhD students and horticulturists.

Enjoy this free series while also taking advantage of free Garden entry during weekdays in January.

On Friday, January 11, Miranda Janatka will give a talk entitled ‘From Kew Gardens to Gardeners’ World - my life in horticulture’, where she’ll discuss her career path from training and working at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew to her current role as a writer and researcher for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine.

Miranda worked as an primary school teacher in inner-city London, organising community gardening projects for children and their families before training formally in horticulture.

Work at Kew included propagating plants for the restoration of the Temperate House and teaching propagation to staff at a botanic garden overseas.

There will be an introductory talk by Lucy Witter, a Garden PhD Student, giving an update on her seed mix trials from the summer with some preliminary results and her plans for next year’s trials.

On Friday, January 18, The Garden will be joined by the award-winning designer Sarah Price, who will give a talk entitled ‘Plants First’. Sarah believes in plant-driven design.

She is developing a visual vocabulary using plants; their shapes, forms and patterns to compose her designs. Through an overview of past and current work, she will give real examples and how her design processes work. Originally trained in fine art and having graduated with a first, Sarah is now a renowned garden designer, winning gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012 and playing an integral part in the design of the Olympic Park gardens in 2012.

There’ll be an introductory talk by Garden Horticulturist, Carly Green. She will discuss her three-week trip to California in April 2018, where she explored how wild plants are recovering from 2017’s wildfire season.

The Curator of Treborth Botanic Garden, Natalie Chivers, completes the trio of inspirational women in horticulture on Friday, January 25, with a talk entitled ‘Treborth Botanic Garden - small garden, big plans’.

Like many botanic gardens, Treborth has a fascinating history and Natalie will be sharing some of the key milestones and exciting plans for the future.

As well as caring for more than 2,000 species of plants and planning the future of her Garden’s collections, Natalie has a keen interest in garden design and has worked for designers at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show since 2014.

There will be an introductory talk by Abigail Lowe, a Garden PhD Student, on her research which uses pollen DNA metabarcoding to discover which plants pollinators are using within the Garden and the Waun Las National Nature Reserve.

Talks start at 12noon in the Garden’s Principality House. To book a space on these talks, please visit the Garden’s Eventbrite page.

These talks are part of the Growing the Future project at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, which aims to champion Welsh horticulture, plants for pollinators, the protection of wildlife and the virtues of growing plants for food, fun, health and well-being.

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.