CELEBRITY gardener Chris Beardshaw wowed a packed crowd at the Barlow Institute in Edgworth on Wednesday night with a guest talk on the “100 plants that saved the world”.

The star, renowned for his roles on Gardeners’ World and as a guest on Radio Four’s Gardeners’ Question Time, was this year’s celebrity speaker for the Edgworth Horticultural Society.

Mr Beardshaw’s relaxed, humourous and informative style enraptured the 120-strong crowd at the Barlow.

During the winter, Mr Beardshaw gives roughly two talks a month up and down the country as his filming commitments usually take place solely in the spring and summer.

Mr Beardshaw said: “I go around the country to horticultural societies and talk with really enthusiastic gardeners.

“I can be anywhere from the north of Scotland one day to the Isle of Man or Jersey or wonderful villages like this the next.

“I love it because it’s a wonderful opportunity to get out and meet gardeners and everyone gardens in a slightly different way to cope with the conditions.

“Even from one end of a garden to another, conditions vary significantly, so from one end of the UK to the other they are hugely different.

"Getting about like this is really useful as gardening is all about understanding, and everyone gardens differently, so I’m sure some people in Edgworth will refer to some things that I have not come across.”

Barry Scanlon, chairman of the Edgworth Horticultural Society, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, said it was a coup for them to attract Mr Beardshaw.

“He is our third celebrity speaker, after Bolton's own Roy Lancaster and Christine Walkden,” said Mr Scanlon.

“He hardly needs an introduction to people, given the crowd he has attracted.

“We had plenty of new faces here as well, so hopefully we might get a few new members out of Mr Beardshaw’s excellent talk.”

Mr Beardshaw added: “These talks fit in very well with the calendars of gardening societies, as well as myself, and I’m booked up now for about two years which is obviously fantastic.”

No stranger to the spoken word, Mr Beardshaw gave his first gardening talk at a remarkably young age.

“I started gardening properly when I was 11, so I suppose the first talk I gave was at a garden centre when I was 13,” he said.

The talk focused on plants which have histories explaining developments to the world, as well as those which have remarkable natural uses for people.

His book, with the same title as the talk, is currently on sale from all major retailers, and one lucky guest won a signed copy at his Edgworth visit.