National Speaking Tour

Spring 2023 Tour

Dr. Sue Stuart-Smith
The Well-Gardened Mind 
March 1-13, 2023

Photo credit: Russell Sach

The Garden Conservancy National Speaking Tour brings leading thinkers and practitioners within the world of gardening to audiences throughout cities in the US. Since 2018, we have brought leading scholars, authors, and experts in the fields of design, history, research, and preservation, to numerous locations so that their work can be shared with the public. Education is a key component of our mission, and through these annual events, we aim to inspire and engage those who have a passion for gardens and want to know further about the benefits that they bring to our lives.  

The 2023 Spring Tour speaker is Dr. Sue Stuart-Smith, and she will be speaking about her book, The Well-Gardened Mind, and how psychology, mental health, and the natural world are interconnected.

The Well-Gardened Mind 

The garden is often seen as a refuge, a place to forget worldly cares, removed from the “real” life that lies outside. But when we get our hands in the earth, we connect with the cycle of life in nature through which destruction and decay are followed by regrowth and renewal. Drawing on her grandfather’s return from World War I, Sigmund Freud’s obsession with flowers, and interviews with people from gardening projects in prisons, hospitals, and in the community, Dr. Stuart-Smith will discuss how gardening can answer to deep existential needs and present findings from recent research showing how connecting to nature can alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression.

Dr. Sue Stuart-Smith, a prominent British psychiatrist and psychotherapist, graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in literature before going on to train as a doctor. She worked in the National Health Service for many years, becoming the lead clinician for psychotherapy in Hertfordshire. She currently teaches at The Tavistock Clinic in London and works for DocHealth, a not-for-profit service that helps doctors suffering from stress and burnout. She is married to Tom Stuart-Smith, the celebrated garden designer, and, over thirty years together, they have created the wonderful Barn Garden in Hertfordshire, UK. Her book, The Well-Gardened Mind, was published in 2020 and became a Sunday Times bestseller and a Times and Sunday Times book of the year. It has since been translated into seventeen languages.

The Spring Tour will begin in March and will take place in five U.S. cities:

Wednesday, March 1
Norton Museum of Art
West Palm Beach, FL
Daniels Family Garden Lecture

Friday, March 3
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Dewey Hall
Lincoln, MA

Tuesday, March 7
New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, NY
(Speaking with Tom Stuart-Smith)

Friday, March 10
Filoli Historic House & Garden
Woodside, CA

Monday, March 13
The Ebell of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

To register for an event, click on the highlighted locations above. Contact us with any questions at

For press inquiries, contact

The Garden Conservancy educational programs are made possible in part by the Coleman and Susan Burke Distinguished Lecture Fund, Courtnay and Terrence Daniels, the Lenhardt Education Fund, and Susan and William McKinley.

Additional support is provided by The Celia Hegyi Matching Challenge Grant, Ritchie Battle, the Antonia Breck Fund, Camille Butrus, Michelle and Perry Griffith, Rise S. Johnson, Sleepy Cat Farm Foundation, and John S. Troy, FASLA.

 Perfect Earth Logo

The Spring 2023 National Speaking Tour is in partnership with Perfect Earth Project

You can purchase The Well-Gardened Mind book online including

Vaux le vicomte  angleweb

2020 Speaker Series
Learn more

Dji 0232 1   ruby on thursdaysweb

2019 Speaker Series

Learn more

0e1e31ee b9e3 11e7 8c12 5661783e5589

2018 Speaker Series

Learn more