Noel Kingsbury



Noel Kingsbury


Dr. Noel Kingsbury, UK

“The Rabbit’s Eye View” – Understanding Long-term Plant Performance

Monday 9.00am – 12.30pm (Half day session)  ⇨ $195
Monday 1.30pm – 5.00pm (Half day session)  ⇨ SOLD OUT



Noel is best known as a writer and lecturer, promoting an ecological or naturalistic approach to planting design. He works as a planting design consultant for landscape companies, local government and private garden owners.

Key to Noel’s approach to planting is research and its dissemination through journalism, books and workshops. At the heart of this is his work on the long-term performance of plants in gardens and designed landscapes; a PhD at the University of Sheffield was the start of an investigation into plants used by designers.

Noel is passionate about developing teaching methods – and has run his ‘Rabbit’s Eye View’ workshop in some 12 countries, and with others, developed workshops and teaching materials, with courses on MyGardenSchool, a leading digital education provider. Mentoring and teaching are major interests; with rewarding results in Eastern Europe and Argentina/Uruguay.

At home, Noel gardens in the Welsh borders, where he looks after a four-acre plot, mostly semi-natural meadow with lush perennial borders and a productive vegetable area.



The workshop focuses on the technical aspects of understanding plants in relationship to their ecology and their use in planting design; with a real attempt to make the link between the ecology in terms of what people can see locally in natural/semi-natural habitats and what can be done in designed plantings.

  • Participants will learn how to make simple observations of perennial growth forms, and link these to long-term performance issues: longevity, rate and degree of spread, levels of self-seeding and competitiveness.
  • Participants will be able to make simple predictions of long-term plant performance.

How long will plants survive? Will they spread? Will they seed? This internationally-renowned workshop aims at encouraging participants to observe garden and landscape plants, primarily but not exclusively perennials, focusing on their growth through the year, looking at how they compete with each other, how to assess prospects for their longevity and their suitability for a variety of garden locations. Practitioners can then use their experience and knowledge of plants to plan for appropriate levels of maintenance and in particular to plan for the long-term – important for financial sustainability. Encouraged to get down on hands and knees to get ‘the rabbit’s eye view’, close observation of plant growing habits and lifecycles through the year can greatly empower us as professionals.