Mike Shadrack

Topics
  • Eric Smith, Master Hybridizer
  • Chelsea Flower Show
  • A Wander Through English Gardens
  • Hosta: The Flowering Foliage Plant
  • Hosta Photography
  • Eight English Gardens 
  • "H2O" (Hosta, Hemerocallis and others)  
  • Hostas in the English Garden 
Kathy and Mike
Fees
Negotiable.

Contact Information
Email me here.

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Smug Creek Gardens
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Topic Descriptions

  • Eric Smith, Master Hybridizer
    An in-depth look at the life and works of this famous British plant hybridizer, known for his work with perennials, especially hostas and for his association with the famous gardens at Hadspen House.
    About one hour.
  • Chelsea Flower Show
    A review of the history, organization, set-up and ambiance of the world's best and most famous flower show.
    This talk can exceed one hour.
  • A Wander Through English Gardens
    A lighthearted tour through the gardening obsession in the UK showing famous as well as private gardens.
    About one hour.
  • Hosta: The Flowering Foliage Plant
    A talk geared to gardening clubs and plant society members. An introduction to the joys of hostas.
    About one hour.
  • Hosta Photography
    A simple talk about getting the best from your photographic equipment when photographing hostas and other plants by a dinosaur who is still using slide film.
    About one hour.
  • Eight English Gardens
    A tour of four pairs of gardens in different corners of southeast England, each with entirely different gardening styles and contents.
    About one hour.
  • "H2O" (Hosta, Hemerocallis and others) 
    A look at the organization of horticulture in the UK.
    About one hour.
  • Hostas in the English Garden
    A review of English gardens and how hostas feature in English gardening.

    About one hour.
Bio
Mike Shadrack is President of the Western New York Hosta Society and has been a member of The American Hosta Society since 1992 and is currently Vice-President Publications. 

He has also been a member of the British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society for twenty two years, is former Chairman and currently their executive Bulletin Editor. He has been growing hostas since 1986 and has been trying to hybridize almost as long. He came to hostas through his other hobby, fish-keeping, when the beauty of hostas reflected in the garden pond was drawn to his attention in a TV gardening program. He now has many more hostas than fish and now gardens in Western New York where with his wife Kathy he maintains a large collection of modern cultivars and a garden devoted to small hostas.

In 1996, Mike retired from London's Metropolitan Police after thirty two years service and has rarely sat down since. As a police officer he served in many parts of London including Soho (the seediest part of the West End), Whitechapel (the seediest part of the East End), and at Scotland Yard where he was responsible for Public Order and Ceremonial planning.

He is also a qualified London Tourist Board Guide and organizes garden tours both in England and specialized hosta tours in the US.

Another hobby, photography, has led to a library of about 5,800 slides of hosta varieties and hosta gardens, many of which have been published in UK and USA catalogues and magazines. In addition, he supplied the illustrations for the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley handbook, Hostas. He is co-author with Diana Grenfell and photographer of the book, The Color Encyclopedia of Hostas, (ISBN 0-88192-618-3) released by Timber Press in April, 2004. The book was named the "2005 Reference Book of the Year" by The British Garden Writers Guild. The sequel to that book – Timber Press Pocket Guide to Hostas - was released in September, 2007. In addition, a French hosta book, Les Hostas was published in early 2007 with Mike as photographer and co-author.

In February 2010 Timber Press published a new edition of Mike and Diana's The New Encyclopedia of Hostas with up-dated descriptions and photographs of new cultivars.
Mike is now the Hosta expert at large for Bowden Hostas in Devon, England, the UK's largest hosta suppliers. Through their web site at Bowdenhostas.com Mike is available to answer your Hosta questions.