Kenneth Cox is one of the UK's most experienced and entertaining lecturers on rhododendrons, woodland gardening, Scottish horticulture and plant exploration. He can give lectures in English, Spanish, Italian or French.

He has lectured throughout the UK, many part of Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Recently talks have been given at literary festivals, botanical gardens, specialist societies as well as The Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Royal Society for Asiatic Affairs. 

All Kenneth's Talks last around 1 hour, and are illustrated with powerpoint. They are suitable for specialist and general audiences alike. For his talks, Kenneth requires:

  • A well blacked-out room,
  • Digital projector and laptop, with remote for changing the pictures. A large room may require a microphone.
  • The largest, widest screen available. A double sheet on a wall, well-stretched can make an acceptable screen. A small screen will do, but the impact of the spectacular photography will be reduced. 

Kenneth usually sells his books to accompany his lectures. Charges for lectures depend on distances travelled, size of audience and potential for book sales. 

Email to for more information.
Lecture Payments must be made by cheque or bank transfer. An invoice can be sent on request. Banks details will be supplied on request for electronic payments. Payments to be made to Kenneth Cox, Glendoick House, Perth, PH2 7NS.

NOTE For payments of less than £100 lectures should be paid into Kennth Cox's bank account or by cheque or cash on the night please. Some organisations have demanded lengthy form filling to recover small amounts of money. Life is too short for this!

Ken Cox, Lectures. Feedback

'What can I say?! You were a wonderful, perfect key note speaker for yesterday’s event – and I’ve had nothing but great feedback about your talk – people loved it! You made such an effort to link it to the Beautiful Scotland campaign – we all very much appreciate the time and effort that will have taken.'   Juliet Camburn, Beautiful Scotland 2015

'Thank you so much for coming to give us such a brilliant lecture last week.  As you could see from the turn out you were a very popular lecturer, and your talk and your fabulous slides were very much enjoyed.'  Friends of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

'Thank you for your entertaining and informative talk to the Friends of Cruickshank this evening. And for getting us off to such a spectacular start to our lecture programme. You boosted our audience -almost double the usual attendance and with many newcomers, you obviously have a following.  Friends of the Cruikshank Botanic Garden

'Thanks for your excellent talk last night: it went down well with everyone I spoke to'. Baldernock garden club

'Many thanks for your brilliant lectures to us here at Mount Stewart. Everyone enjoyed them immensely and learned so much – as ever brilliant! Many thanks once again, thank you for coming over at short notice and stealing the show again.'   Neil Porteous, Mount Stewart, N Ireland.

Kenneth Cox - Biography

Born in 1964 into a family of renowned plantsmen, Kenneth Cox is grandson of planthunter, writer and nurseryman Euan Cox and son of Peter Cox VMH. The three generations were and are considered  the world's leading experts on rhododendrons. Kenneth, himself a nurseryman and author of numerous books on rhododendrons, has carved out his particular niche in the world of plant-hunting in leading 9 expeditions to China, South and South-East Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh, India, 1995-2013. He graduated in 1986 at the University of Birmingham, England with a BA in General Arts and a diploma in commerce.

Kenneth Cox is an experienced lecturer on rhododendrons, horticulture and exploration and has lectured throughout the UK, many part of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Recently talks have been given at literary festivals, botanical gardens, specialist societies as well as The Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Royal Society for Asiatic Affairs.

Kenneth is managing director of the family firm Glendoick Gardens Ltd in Scotland, a garden centre and mail order nursery specialising in Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Ericaceous plants, Meconopsis, Primula and other plants collected by the Cox family around the world. Kenneth is married with two sons and alongside horticulture runs a busy musical career song writing and playing live.

Ken was on the National Trust for Scotland Garden advisory panel (till they foolishly abolished it as we tended to point out their foibles), sits on the board of Scotland's therapeutic gardening charity Trellis, and is a patron of Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden in Tasmania and Blairgowrie's Bookmark Book Festival.

Ken's last 3 books have won UK or European Gardening books of the year. He has the gold medal from the American Rhododendron Society, The Scottish Horticultural Medal (awarded to the 50 leading living Scottish Horticulturalists), and the Loder Cup from the Royal Horticultural Society. 

Ken is the author of 12 books: 

Kenneth Cox, List of Lecture Topics 

Woodland Gardening

Kenneth Cox presents his most popular and spectacular talk, a 1 hour visual feast on his 2018 publication Woodland Gardening,

Winner of European Gardening Book of the Year 2019.

The talk covers the history and evolution of the woodland gardening style from China and Japan to Europe and around the world.

It covers many inspiring woodland gardens and the gardeners who made them, garden large and small, from Australia, New Zealand to North America and Japan to Britain, France and Italy.

The talk includes advice on designing, managing and restoring woodland gardens and selecting plants for them. Talks can be tailored to a gardening or general interest audience.

An extended two part (2 x 45 mins) presentation can be given which covers more practical advice on how to grow acid-loving plants. This version has been delivered to professional gardeners in Cornwall, Harrogate, Wales and USA and Germany.

Scotland's Finest Gardens 

Scotland for Gardeners (Birlinn 2009)  2nd Edition 2014

Winner UK Inspirational Gardening Book of the Year 2009

Including descriptions of virtually all Scotland's gardens which are open to the public, as well as nurseries and garden centres, Scotland for Gardeners is the largest survey of Scottish gardens ever published and the first gazetteer to all that Scotland can offer garden and plant lovers. Arranged by geographical area, it also includes an introduction to the history of gardening in Scotland, maps, key information on each entry and lavish colour photographs by internationally renowned garden photographer Ray Cox. This is the ideal book for the Scot or the tourist who wishes to explore the world of gardens and plants in Scotland. The talk includes Ray Cox's stunning garden and plant photographs of the best of Scotland's gardens 12 months of the year and includes some rarely seen before. As well as garden, specialist nurseries, wildflower walks and the best woodlands are covered. Subject include woodland gardens, walled gardens, formal gardens, botanic gardens and the greening of the avant garde. 

An Audio-visual delight. Ken brings the beauty, splendour and historic interest of the Scottish gardens to life. From Monastic gardens of the middle ages, to cutting edge contemporary landscaping. Ken offers encyclopedic knowledge and entertainment. His sometimes out-spoken, authoritative, information-packed talks are illustrated by photographs from Ken's brother garden photographer Ray Cox.  Ken is always delighted to take part in festivals large and small as well as offer lectures to horticultural societies and organisations.
Gardens covered include Logan, Portmore, Crathes, Drum, Dunbeath, Shepherd House, Cambo, Inverewe, Little Sparta, Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Glendoick, Crarae, Castle Kennedy, RBG Edinburgh, Edzel Castle.

There are two version of this talk. The original lecture covers 500 years of history. A new version concentrates on the new gardens from the last 5 years so is ideal for those who have already seen and enjoyed the original lecture.  A 3rd version on Scotland's Walled Gardens is also available.

Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland   2nd edition 2018

Winner UK Practical Gardening Book of the Year 2011

This talk accompanies my latest book written with Caroline Beaton. The book is a practical contemporary guide to growing fruit, vegetables and herbs in Scotland covering the best techniques for growing produce, whether in a garden, allotment, patio or window box. 

Scotland's farmers, growers, plant breeders, show growers, head gardeners and keen amateurs  have shared their wisdom, knowledge and experience with the authors, revealing how from Shetland to Galloway local conditions affect what to grow and how to best to achieve great results.

The lavishly illustrated lecture covers history, politics, diet and sound advice from gardeners all over Scotland from Shetland to the Scottish Borders. Some of the many topics covered include.

  • Scotland's world-important role in breeding potatoes, blackcurrants and blackberries.
  • Great fruit for Scotland: Why not try growing saskatoons or chokeberries.
  • How do I grow vegetables on a windswept bog in Lewis or Shetland?
  • It it worth trying to grow kiwis, grapes and apricots in Scotland?
  • What is the story behind the Tayberry?
  • How did Scotland lead to world in 19th century glasshouse building?
  • Why is the Scottish diet so poor and what can we do about it?
  • Organic Gardening, a panacea or waste of time?

Garden Plants for Scotland

2nd Edition April 2015

The Book From Lerwick to Logan and from Berwick to Kintyre, this is the book for all of Scotlands' gardeners. Covering trees, conifers, fruit, shrubs, perennials, bamboos, grasses, herbs and hedging, this book is a one-volume guide for Scottish gardeners, both experienced and beginners. Authors Kenneth Cox & Raoul Curtis Machin are not afraid to say what they think. With help from most of Scotland's leading horticultural gurus and gardeners, they have scoured the country evaluating what does well where and why. Introductory chapters cover hardiness, drainage, wind, soil types, where to buy plants and coping with common pests and diseases. The main section covers 1000s of plants including many new ones only just reaching the market. Specialist and mail order Scottish nurseries are mentioned within plant entries to aid the sourcing of Scottish-grown plants. 

This is the books which does for Scottish Gardening what The Beechgrove Garden has done on television. It is where the gardener in Stranrar, Lerwick or Kinguissie can turn to for information in selecting plants. Standard gardening books, excellent though many of them are, have a major failing as far as gardening in Scotland is concerned. Almost without exception these books recommend plants which do not succeed in Scottish conditions. The Royal Horticultural Society use an inadaquete hardiness rating system of little or no use in Scotland.This lack of reliable information for Scottish gardeners leads to confusion and disappointment. The Scottish Gardenplant award and the new extended hardiness ratings addresses these issues.

This book has become the reference book which gardeners in Scotland turn to to choose the best plants for their conditions.

The lecture explains how we got the information and what we learned: On hardiness, climate, why some plants wont flower or grow well in Scotland. On shelter, drainage, climate change, on what really does well in Scotland and why. Its not all serious either. Ken has some fun with some of his most hated plants too!  More details on Garden Plants for Scotland

Rhododendrons and Azaleas on 4 Continents

Author of 6 books on the subject, Kenneth Cox probably knows as much about rhododendrons and azaleas as anyone else on Planet Earth (except perhaps his father).  

If you think you know rhododendrons... think again. 
This lavishly illustrated talk covers the huge range of species and hybrids available and takes the audience on a short tour of their wild habitats in Tibet and the Himalaya as well as cultivation of rhododendrons in garden, greenhouse and in containers, and gardening styles associated with rhododendrons. Ken's travels have taken him to every corner of the globe. From Tasmania to Tokyo and Scotland to Seattle, see the best examples of rhododendron gardening.

Stunning plant portraits include hillsides of rhododendron species in the wild in the Himalaya, as well as some of the many new rhododendron and azaleas hybrids he has created at Glendoick.

Frank Kingdon Ward's Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges

Edited Kenneth Cox

This is a spectacular adventure into a little-known, inaccessible area of Himalayan south east Tibet. Following in the footsteps of Frank Kingdon Ward's 1925 expeditions, the talk is based on Kenneth Cox's journeys in June 1995. June 1996 and June 1997. The talk includes wonderful pictures of landscapes, people, and Tibetan monasteries as well as Rhododendrons, Primula, Meconopsis, Lilium etc etc and describes the
discovery of a new 100ft waterfall in the Tsangpo Gorges. A feast for armchair explorers, history lovers and gardeners.

 A new edition of the plant-hunter's classic. 100s of colour and black & white photographs. 2nd Edition Spring 2008. A new chapter covers
conservation issues.

 ‘The value of the text is increased tenfold by the generous illustrations. So reluctant was I to finish the book that I rationed myself to a few pages a night; I can offer no greater praise than this.’  Roy Lancaster,

Glendoick 100 Years 1919-2019

When Euan Cox accepted the invitation to go plant hunting in Burma with Reginald Farrer in 1919, the Cox rhododendron story began. Euan brought seeds back to Glendoick and the woodland garden was created in the 1920s

This talk covers the development of the gardens at Glendoick and alongside them, the specialist rhododendron and azalea nursery, founded in 1953.

Peter and Kenneth Cox are the UK's major rhododendron breeders and the talk covers the rhododendron and azalea hybrids raised at Glendoick, including the birds series of dwarf rhododendrons and the more recent work on cultivars with coloured foliage.

Peter and Kenneth Cox made over 30 expeditions to China and the Himalaya and the talk coveres some of their plant hunting adventures and the best plants introduced from their travels.

The talk includes stunning photos and video of the gardens at Glendoick. 

A glossy paperback booklet, Glendoick Centenary, accompanies the talk and is available for purchase. 

Ludlow and Sherriff Planthunting in Bhutan and Tibet 1930s and 1940s

Kenenth Cox and his father Peter have strong connections to this plant hunting duo. Peter Cox was inspired to go plant hunting himself through his friendship with George and Betty Sherriff who gardened at Ascreavie, not far from Glendoick. Kenneth Cox on 9 expeditions to Tibet and N.E. India has followed in the footsteps of L&S and introduced several plant species that they discovered but failed to establish in cultivation first time round. Ken has included stunning photographs and film footage in colour and black and white showing the hitherto hidden world of Tibet in the period 1943-45 before the Chinese invasion. 

Scotland's Greatest Plant Hunter: George Forrest & Caerhays The 100 year Legacy

George Forrest was Scotland's greatest Plant Hunter and Explorer in China from 1904 to 1932.

He discovered and collected hundreds of new plants, birds, butterflies and mammals and having escaped death at the hands of Tibetan monks in 1904 he died in China on his last expedition in the 1930s.

Almost every Scottish Garden contains plants which Forrest discovered or introduced: gentians, pieris, rhododendrons, Magnolia, Camellia and many more.

Kenneth Cox gave this lecture in April 2011 at Caerhays, Cornwall to celebrate the 100th anniversay of Caerhays owner J.C. Williams' hiring of Forest to collect plants in China. J. C Williams sponsored all Forrest's remaining expeditions. Kenneth has been to many of the places in China that Forrest visited and will show these with spectacular pictures. The talk also features archive material including Forrest's letters.

A combination of biography, plant hunting, dear death experiences, stunning plants and some new research.

Past Lectures

2024-22 Lectures

2024 Lectures   

Ludlow and Sherriff  Kirriemuir Saltire Society 29th Feb 2024

Rhododendron Conference  North Wales May 2024

2023 Lectures

Kells Bay , Kerry, Ireland September 2023

Letham Garden Club Nov 2023

2022 Lectures

Cruikshank Botanic Garden, Aberdeen   18th May 7.30pm   100 Years of Glendoick 

Gotenburg, Sweden 28th May Gotenburg Botanic Garden 100 Years of Glendoick

Carlow Garden Festival Ireland Say 30th July 2022    Woodland Gardening

2020, 2021 Cancelled or moved online

20th February 2020   Birnham    Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland. 

10th March 2019  Letham Gardening Society, Angus  Garden Plants for Scotland.

28th March Lakeland Hort Society   Woodland Gardening.

28 April 2019 Heronswood Gardens, WA, USA  Woodland Gardening Workshop POSTPONED

ARS 75th Anniversary Convention, Apr. 30 - May 3, 2020, Portland, Oregon.  MOVED TO 2022

GLendoick 100 years, Woodland Gardening

4th May   Hardy Plant Group Vancouver BC  Canada  Woodland Gardening CANCELLED

5th May  ARS Victoria  Woodland Gardening  CANCELLED

1st August 2020    Carlow Garden Festival, Ireland  Woodland Gardening

15th October 2020  AGS Dublin. Woodland Gardening

3rd November |Friends St Andrews Botanic garden  Woodland Gardening


June 1-5   Nova Scotia, Canada, ARS Convention

2019 Lectures

Thurs 14th February  11am Woodland Gardening Winter Words, Pitlochry (T

Feb 21st Bucklyvie, Stirling 7.30pm   Woodland Gardening,

March 5th   Trellis Conference, Perth Garden Plants for Scotland

March 13th14th 2019 Cornwall Garden Society Woodland Gardening
Tuesday 12th March  7.30pm.  Alverton      Truro      TR1 1ZQ
Wednesday  13th March  2pm  St Mellion  Saltash     PL12 6SD

27th April 2019 Woodland Gardening   Exbury Gardens, New Forest

Sweden Lecture Tour May 2019. Swedish Rhododendron Society

23rd May Stockholm, Sweden
24th May Göteborg, Sweden. 
25th May Lund 13.00h 

10th July   Orkney Garden Festival 

Garden Plants for Scotland an illustrated talk by Ken Cox Tue July 9th 15:00 · St Magnus Centre · Kirkwall

Fruit & Vegetables For Scotland an illustrated talk by Ken Cox Wed July 10th 19:00 · St Magnus Centre · Kirkwall

Castle Howard, Yorkshire, 12th September 2019   7.30pm 

Woodland Gardening Badendoch Gardening Society, Milngavie, October 1st 2019 7.30 Woodland Gardening

Cruikshank, Aberdeen   12th December 2019  Woodland Gardening

2018 Lectures

March 9th 2018   Trellis Conference, Perth PH2 7NS  Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland

April 21st  Mount Stewart, Co Down, I Ireland   Indentifying Rhododendron Species workshop.

16th May 2018  Book Launch   Woodland Gardening, Glendoick Garden Centre 6.30pm  

Mon 21st-Friday 25th May Bremen ARS conference Europe book launch, Woodland Gardening

Friday 1st June 2018 Gardening Scotland. Scottish Launch  Woodland Gardening

Sat 28th July 2.30pm Woodland Gardening Bookmark, Blairgowrie, Perth St. Catherine’s Centre, George Street, Blair PH10 6EY

Sat 8th September 2018 Woodland Gardening  Kells Bay, Kerry

October 2nd 2018 Woodland Gardening, The Caley Lecture Series, RBGE Edinburgh 7.30pm.

6th October 2018  Woodland Gardening   Scottish Rhododendron Society 

26-27th October 2018  Woodland Gardening  Rosemoor, Devon, RCMG Group

10th November 10th 2018 2.30 p.m. Malone Presbyterian Church Hall, Belfast   Woodland Gardening

26th November 2018 Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS), Kew Gardens, London  Woodland Gardening

2017 Lectures

November 17th-19th Drogheda Alpine Garden Soc conference

2016 Lectures

7th May 2016  Garden Praxis, Munich, Germany.

Sept 2016  Murabila di Luca, Italy (en italiano)

2015 Lectures

January  Abernethy Gardening Club

May 2015  Vancouver and Victoria BC, Canada.

28th August 2015 St Andrews University.

20th September 2015 Mount Stewart, Northern Ireland.

3rd October 2015 Blairgrowrie Book festival.

2014 Lectures

March 2014   National Library of Scotland     Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland

April 2014   Kilgraston School Perth  Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland

April 2014  Brittany, France  (en Frances)

May 23rd 2014   Bruns Landscape Symposium, Germany

May 31st Gardening Scotland, Edinburgh, RHS tent

June 21st   Scottish Allotment Association Conference, Stirling    Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland

Friday 5th September   Nairn Book Festival    Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland

Friday 10th October  Blairgowrie Book Festival 

24th November Colington Gardening Club, Edinburgh   Scotland for Gardeners

11th December 2pm  Kinross   Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland

Glendoick Garden Centre Directions Logo

Glendoick Gardens Mail Order Nursery

Mail order for Autumn 2024 to Spring 2025 is now online

Orders are delivered/collected from 1st October to end of March  when plants are dormant.  You can order at any time of year.  Our Garden Centre has stock for collection year round.

We deliver to UK including N Ireland and Norway. We are not delivering to EU countries at present (Brexit rules). We are currently able to delivery to S. Ireland but only larger orders and there may be some extra transport costs.

Minimum Mail order £120 ex vat (UK) £500 (Norway)

Postage and packing from £21 per box of up to 30 kilos (10-25 plants)

All orders must be placed online in the webshop. Please use e mail to contact us.