Robin has always been a garden visitor and observer and through half a century his Financial Times column has constantly drawn its inspiration and information from visits to other people’s gardens. In this year’s annual lecture he will bring that experience to life in his inimitable manner, weaving stories of his own to illustrate the joys and occasional challenges for a garden visitor at the same time as emphasising how there is no better way to gain knowledge and confidence as a gardener than looking at other people’s efforts and finding out how they have done it. He will also celebrate the uniquely British ritual of charitable garden visiting that has been nurtured by the National Garden Scheme for nearly one hundred years.
Robin Lane Fox, English classicist, historian of the Ancient World, and gardening writer has been weekly gardening columnist for the Financial Times since 1970. Of the post he has held for over fifty years Robin says: “I have no intention of stopping. Expertise grows over time and my subject keeps changing, never more so than in these times of climate change, biodiversity and virus. The garden is a priceless haven for self-isolators, and the lockdown has drawn new recruits to gardening.”
He is Garden Fellow in charge of New College, Oxford gardens, visited by 75,000 visitors a year. He also gardens in his own two-acre garden in the Cotswolds. He is an Emeritus Fellow of New College Oxford where he taught ancient history and classics from 1977 to 2017. His latest book is the best-selling Homer and his Iliad, published in July.
You can attend the lecture in person at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR, or watch it live-streamed online. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the National Garden Scheme.