BBC gardening personality Tom Hart Dyke will be visiting a Burnham-On-sea garden centre during March to host an afternoon talk and book signing session to tie in with the launch of his new TV series.

The plantsman, who is the subject of BBC2’s Return to Lullingstone Castle being aired in March, will be at Sanders Garden World on Friday March 9th to host a talk entitled ‘World Map of Plants’.

Garden centre Managing Director, Peter Burks said: “We are delighted that Tom will be visiting the garden centre and sharing his extensive botanical knowledge with our customers. I am looking forward to watching his show on BBC2, which begins on Monday March 5th.”

Tom will be hosting the formal talk and a book signing session at the site from 1pm until 5pm.

The experienced plantsman first hit the headlines in 2000 when he was kidnapped and held hostage for nine months in the jungles of Colombia after a plant hunt went disastrously wrong. Tom had been searching for orchids in the remote ‘Darien Gap’ in Panama, South America.

After his release from captivity, Tom returned to his ancestral home at Lullingstone Castle in Kent where he set about creating something positive from his jungle experience and designed the UK’s first ever World Garden of Plants.

Tom’s garden, which is laid out in the shape of the map of the world, was a bold initiative to bring visitors back to his family castle, which was in decline.

On his return to the UK, Tom’s fight to create the World Garden of Plants at Lullingstone Castle and raise funds to keep the stately home open was made into a BBC TV series. The second series is being aired on BBC2 at the beginning of March.

He said: “The idea for the world ‘map’ garden as a tourist attraction for Lullingstone was born out of my need to distract myself from the terrible prospect of execution in the jungle.”

Tom’s journey will be highlighted in his talk, which takes place at Sanders Garden World on Friday March 9th 2007.

Tom will be at the garden centre from 1pm. The talk will take place between 2.30pm and 3.30pm and will be followed by a signing session of his top ten selling book The Cloud Garden.

Tickets for the event are priced at £8 per person and are now on sale at the garden centre.

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