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Caroline Holmes

Caroline Holmes is a garden historian and informative and entertaining academic. Caroline's practical and engaging talks have taken her all over the world, delving into the myriad ways people and plants have shaped landscapes. As well as being a highly revered speaker, Caroline is the author of 12 books ranging from 'Monet at Giverny' to 'Where the Wildness Pleases: The English Garden Celebrated.'

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About Caroline Holmes

Aside from her speaking and literary accolades, Caroline is known for her presenting work. During 2020 she presented Monet’s Garden at Giverny for Viking TV. In 2022, she presented ‘Explore English Homes and Gardens’ for Viking TV, as well as in her own garden.

Presenting Telling the Stories of England in 2016, Caroline was filmed in Sussex at Gravetye Manor and Petworth as well as Bury St Edmunds. She co-presented the TV series Glorious Gardens a garden design and history series for Anglia, Meridian and Channel TV as well as guesting on many gardening programmes. She has presented several BBC Radio Four series including the award-winning New Shoots, Old Tips and A Sun Parched Country about drought in Australia.

As a speaker, Caroline has spoken on every continent except Antarctica. She is an academic tutor for the University of Cambridge ICE (Institute of Continuing Education) also acting as representative on the Courses Review Panel. She is also Course Director for their International Summer Programmes and Virtual Festivals of Learning.

To book Caroline Holmes, contact The Speakers Agency on +44(0)1332 810481 or email enquiries@thespeakersagency.com

Speech Topics

A symphony in blue – the artist, the couturier and Atlas the most fabulous mountaine of all Africke

Painter and plantsman: Cedric Morris, irises and beyond 

Permission to Poison – the Alnwick Garden

The Memphis before Elvis – plants and gardens in Ancient Egypt

Australia’s Impressionists – The Heidelberg School, Fontainebleau and the zenith landscape

Impressionists in their gardens – living light and colour 

Messenger or missile – Angels with glad tidings, doom, gloom or perdition

Monet at Giverny

Artists’ Views of Australia – Aboriginal, Pioneer, Botanical and Impressionist

Engraved on my heart – Mary Tudor, the Cloth of the Field of Gold and Notre- Dame-de- Calais

Sheer Folly – weird and wonderful Garden buildings

Bory Latour-Marliac, the genius behind Monet’s Water Lilies

Step into the Christmas Card

The Folly and the Ivy

The Edwardian Garden – golden and delicious

Flowers of Impressionist Youth: World War One and their Remembrance

Herbs for Gourmet gardeners

Sheer Folly – garden history and its architectural extravaganzas

Around the world in three years with Captain James Cook and Joseph Banks – an overview of the people, plants and places 

Gainsborough and Brown – eighteenth century landscapes from wider perspectives 

A Royal country house estate – Sandringham 

Design and diversity – the University Botanical Gardens, Cambridge

Medieval Gardens fit for use or delight

Motifs and motivators – water lilies, irises and sea shells

William Robinson, Gravetye Manor and Bory Latour-Marliac, a story of water lilies, prunes and wine

How does your garden grow Mr. Shakespeare?

Historic Gardens of East Anglia

Cruise lectures include:

Still Waters Run Deep – the magic of Dutch Still Life Paintings 

Artists’ views of the life of Christ and the cryptic messages

Monet Normandy and the birth of the Impressionist movement

Pre Raphaelite paintings in Liverpool – reading the symbols

Gothic to Gaudi – history in stones, architecture and Catalan identity

Castles, Palaces and Houses of Queen Elizabeth II

Innovation and romance,  Osborne House, Isle of Wight

Serving King and country – Gallipoli and the lost Sandringham Company 

A taste for the exotic – global plants naturalised

Georgian landscape capabilities – Gainsborough and Brown

Around the world in three years – James Cook and Joseph Banks

Carl Linnaeus and horticultural exchanges across the high seas

Ruhleben – Berlin’s racecourse to WW1 internment camp

Sunlight on snow – Monet in Norway

Water as power and pomp – Peterhof, a Baroque masterpiece

A not so cool history – Sea Island Cotton 

Can you eat buccaneers? Unzip a banana and other Caribbean food stories

Fatal attraction the darker side of plants

Is Coral suffering from tooth decay?

It’s a rum solution to industrial waste

Take your Turk’s cap off to cactus

A palette of adaptation – Mediterranean garden plants

Oranges and lemons – the many zests of Mediterranean citrus 

Shellshocker – Venus, goddess of love and gardens with Flora

The Italian Garden template – the spectacular, theatrical Villa d’Este

An overview of French garden history with special reference to the Abbaye Saint-Andre

Fit for purpose – the Medieval Garden from Charlemagne to the Benedictines

Lifting the Bamboo curtain – nineteenth century new shoots to contemporary waves

Roman Gardens – architecture, illusion and plantsmanship

Seasoned landscapes – olives, vines, fruit and herbs along the Rhone

Aphorisms of Hippocrates unbound

Behind the label – Greeks immortalised in plants

Other people’s odysseys – Homer to Leigh Fermor

Vines, wines and Have some Madeira, m’dear

A Floral Mosaic – Madeira and the Canaries

A more propitious clime – glass in the garden

A right royal setting – Kew

A world resource for 200 years – the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

A walk through domestic English garden history 

A walk through grandee garden history

Fit for use of delight – Medieval Gardens

Keats and the Regency Garden

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown – moving heaven and earth

Order, Power and Conceit – Tudor Gardens

The Chelsea Gardener and Philadelphia’s Plant Hunter

Carbon trading in Mozambique 

Charles Darwin, the Beagle and other observations

Hidden histories – the Lotus and the blue water lily

Joseph Hooker – plant hunter and Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Linnaeus, his plant hunters and the 18th century botanical w.w.w.

Marianne North – a remarkable Victorian traveller and painter

People, Plants and Places – Darwin to Dylan

A Floral kingdom – plants of the Cape

Reunion – a little French history spiced with vanilla and cloves

Seychelles – land and sea

Sir Samuel Baker, the Bawa brothers and landscaping Sri Lanka

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