Bridport Literary Festival is holding two special talks at the town’s Bull Hotel Ballroom aimed at all those interested in gardening and horticulture.

The talks will take place on Monday, February 20.

Jim Bartos will be giving an illustrated talk at 2.30pm on his book, The Ornamental Wilderness in the English Garden and Anna Pavord will be talking about The Seasonal Gardener at 4pm.

Sandwiched in between will be tea and cakes with the authors.

The Ornamental Wilderness in the English Garden was published in 2022 by Unicorn and covers a fascinating subject in garden history.

While today we may think of a wilderness as a wild place, unspoiled by human intervention, in the 17th and 18th centuries a garden wilderness referred to a highly cultivated part of a formal garden, a place bounded by trees or high hedges with paths and occasional cultural delights within – statues, fountains or a summer house in the classical style.

In its mature form, the wilderness constituted most of the garden and the setting in which all other features were placed. The wilderness was shady and private, a place for retreat as well as social activity, with an apparent naturalness achieved through artifice. Jim’s illustrated talk explores the design and development of the English garden wilderness and its importance in the 17th and 18th century.

The Seasonal Gardener is an inspirational book which provides ideas and information for even the most experienced gardener. In it, Anna selects 60 ‘star plants’ and pairs each one with two perfect partners – whether they be shrubs, herbaceous perennials, bulbs or annuals. The result is a plethora of ideas for grouping plants to create harmonious and stunning displays with interest in every season. First published in 2001, this book has now been fully revised and updated.

Tickets are £25 for Friends of Bridport Literary Festival and £30 for non-Friends, which includes the two talks and tea and cakes. Tickets can be obtained from the Bridport Tourist Information Centre either in person or by calling 01308 424901.

Becoming a Friend of Bridport Literary Festival entitles you to an advance copy of the Festival Brochure and priority booking of tickets, along with other benefits.

Subscription costs £15 a year or £25 for couples, and starts annually from 1 January. For more information on becoming a Friend, visit