Courses

Plan & Plant Your Own

Fruit & Vegetable Garden

This one-day course will bring you the confidence to plan, design and plant up your very own productive and beautiful fruit and vegetable garden. The day begins with welcoming coffee and baked treats within the Victorian walled kitchen garden at East Donyland Hall. Here, you’ll gain inspiration on how to incorporate elements such as fan-trained fruit trees, productive greenhouses and, of course, dedicated vegetable beds into your very own garden.

Sit in the Garden Room which is draped with vines and overlooks the swimming pool to learn the key principles of positioning crops in their favoured locations for maximum success. After a delicious home-made, home-grown lunch we move to Lucy’s own fruit and vegetable garden just one mile down the road to see how grand kitchen garden elements can be effortlessly transferred into smaller plots. Learn how to sow for year-round home-grown produce, understand the secrets of container growing, discover how to train fruit in compact spaces and, after afternoon tea and cake, have ample opportunity to ask questions pertinent to your own plot.

Dates

28 April, 2018
22 September, 2018

Plan & Plant Your

Own Flower Border

This half-day course will give you the confidence to plan and plant up your own beautiful flower border. Learn the secrets to generating a riot of colour and masses of interest, without a hefty maintenance tag. Begin the morning with welcome coffee and home-baked treats in the garden room at East Donyland Hall. Here, Head Gardener Lucy Chamberlain will explain the fundamentals – colour themes, design tricks and planting formulas. With this key knowledge under your belt Lucy will then give a detailed tour of Donyland’s flower borders which, by June, are at their absolute peak.

Designed by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall (yes, Hugh’s mum!), the borders are 3m deep and an impressive 30m long. The hot border is a sea of reds, yellows and oranges, whereas the cool border supports a delicate blend of blue, pink and white tones. Lucy explains how these grand borders can be effortlessly recreated within smaller gardens, with no loss of impact. Clever yet easy maintenance tricks are revealed, and detailed planting lists for specific soil types, sun and shade will be provided. There will also be ample opportunity to ask Lucy questions pertinent to your own flower borders and plans.

Dates

2nd June, 2018

Beautiful Tied Posies

Half-Day

This half-day course will give you the confidence to make beautiful posies to give as gifts or to fill jars and jugs for special occasions or just to put on your kitchen table.
After welcome coffee and homemade biscuits you’ll begin the morning with a walk around the Cutting Garden at Carolines’ Nursery in Lawford.
Caroline will show you the best way to cut your flowers and how to condition them to get long vase life, you will then have the chance to wander through the beautiful blooms to cut your own selection to make your posies.
After heading back to the Summerhouse in the garden, Caroline will demonstrate the art of making tied posies and arrangements in jars.There will then be plenty of time for you to create your own arrangements to take home at the end of the morning. A lovely morning for all abilities. All equipment and flowers included.

Dates

4th August 2018

Willow weaving courses:

AM: obelisks

PM: platters

Join local willow artist, Gary Brown, for a morning at Keeper’s Nursery in Lawford, Essex. Gary has been working with willow for over ten years, and regularly exhibits at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hyde Hall garden. The day begins with welcome coffee and baked treats in Caroline’s summerhouse. Gary will then introduce you to the art of willow weaving, offering detailed advice on how to treat your willow before, during and after weaving. This expert guidance will guarantee that you end up with an obelisk that is beautiful, symmetrical and long-lived (each one will last for at least five years). We then move to the large polytunnel (or lawn, if the weather behaves itself) where you will be able to create your own obelisk. Gary will tutor you step by step, to ensure an enjoyable and successful morning. Tea and coffee will also be on tap.

If you’re staying for the whole day, you’ll then enjoy a home-grown, home-cooked lunch in Caroline’s farmhouse kitchen before moving onto our afternoon session. Alternatively, you can just book up the afternoon session and arrive after lunch. (You can also book up the afternoon session to make a second obelisk, thereby creating a pair (instead of a platter). Please let us know in advance if you’d like to do this so that we can order adequate willow supplies.)

The afternoon begins in Caroline’s summerhouse, where Gary will explain the history behind the Catalonian Tension Platter. The class will then move into the large polytunnel (or onto the lawn, weather permitting), where you’ll each be given step by step guidance on how to create your very own beautiful  platter. Gary will be on hand at all times to explain the process in detail, and we will have a mid-afternoon break for home-made tea and cake.

All equipment is provided, each person will be allocated their own dedicated workstation and your finished willow item(s) will be available to take home on the day. Willow weaving requires quite a lot of strength and detailed guidance, and so we ask that you are physically strong in order for Gary to ensure that each student can finish his or her work in the allocated time.

Dates

7th July, 2018

Cottage Garden Wedding Flowers

This One-Day Course will inspire and give you the confidence to design and arrange your own beautiful flowers for your Big Day, making Tied-Posies for you and your Bridesmaids, Buttonholes for the Groomsmen and Beautiful Table Arrangements to adorn your Reception Venue.
After welcome coffee and homemade biscuits in the pretty Summerhouse, Caroline will take you on a tour of the Cutting Garden at her Nursery in Lawford where she grows lots of beautiful flowers, here you will see how colours and textures compliment each other and give a just-picked Country garden feel. The rest of the morning will be spent at the Summerhouse making a Tied-Posy with a selection of freshly picked flowers under Carolines’ expert tuition.
After a lovely Summer lunch made with homegrown produce you’ll have plenty of time to make a Buttonhole and a Table Arrangement in a jar or jug to suit your venue, with tea and Homemade Cake to keep you going!
At the end of the day you can take all of your arrangments home to show family and friends.

Dates

11th August,  2018

Willow weaving day: Perching pheasant

Join local willow artist, Gary Brown, for a day at Keeper’s Nursery in Lawford, Essex. Gary has been working with willow for over ten years, and regularly exhibits at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hyde Hall garden. The day begins with welcome coffee and baked treats in Caroline’s summerhouse. Gary will then introduce you to the art of willow weaving, offering detailed advice on how to treat your willow before, during and after weaving. This expert guidance will guarantee that you end up with a pheasant that is beautiful, symmetrical and long-lived (each one will last for at least five years). We then move to the large polytunnel (or lawn, if the weather behaves itself) where you will be able to create your own bird. Gary will tutor you step by step, to ensure an enjoyable and successful morning. Tea and coffee will also be on tap. You’ll then enjoy a home-grown, home-cooked lunch in Caroline’s farmhouse kitchen before moving onto our afternoon session. Gary will be on hand at all times to explain the process in detail, and we will have a mid-afternoon break for home-made tea and cake.

All equipment is provided, each person will be allocated their own dedicated workstation and your finished pheasant will be available to take home on the day. Willow weaving requires quite a lot of strength and detailed guidance, and so we ask that you are physically strong in order for Gary to ensure that each student can finish his or her work in the allocated time.

Dates

1st September, 2018

Festive Wreath Making

Full-Day and Half-Day

 

Begin this  course with welcome coffee and homemade biscuits at Caroline’s nursery. In the cosy summerhouse you’ll be shown how easy it is to create a Christmas wreath via her practical demonstration. Guidance will also be given on how to collect all the plant materials and equipment needed for the task. You’ll then be taken to your own workstation in the nearby polytunnel so that you can create your very own wreath, step by step, under Caroline’s expert tuition.

If you’re staying for the full day course a delicious and warming home-grown lunch will be  prepared for you,enjoy this in the farmhouse kitchen with your classmates.In the afternoon you’ll be able to create your own table decoration or festive swag with lots of  help and guidance aswell as enjoying a slice of cake and a well-deserved cup of tea as you put the finishing touches to your arrangements. All your creations are for you to take home at the end of the day, and all equipment and materials are provided.

Dates

Full-day course: 1st December, 2018

Half-day course: 8th December, 2018

Rose Pruning Morning

Spend a morning at East Donyland Hall to be inspired by its vast collection of modern and old-fashioned roses. Within the grounds of this 17th-century property are dedicated display beds of bush roses and hybrid teas. A 25m-long border of shrub roses awaits, as do red brick walls covered in climbers and ramblers. After arrival coffees and baked treats, learn the theory of how to expertly prune and train all these rose groups under the tuition of East Donyland Hall’s Head Gardener, Lucy Chamberlain.

Lucy also explains the secrets to successful rose pest and disease management, plus plant nutrition. Following a tour of the garden you’ll be given the chance to apply your new-found knowledge to the roses of East Donyland in our practical session, under Lucy’s expert guidance. A rose ‘Question & Answer’ session will complete the morning. All pruning equipment is provided.

Date

24 February 2018 – you missed it!

PruningHalf & Full Day:

AM: Shrubs & Climbers

PM: Fruit Trees & Bushes

Get to grips with the basics of how to shape all the plants in your garden with our pruning courses at East Donyland Hall. In the morning session you’ll gain the confidence to shape trees, shrubs, roses and climbers under the expert tuition of Head Gardener, Lucy Chamberlain. Learn how to make a good pruning cut, renovate a neglected plant and keep your garden in good shape! Begin with welcome coffee and biscuits in the Garden Room at East Donyland Hall. Then take a garden tour for a hands-on practical session.

If you’re staying for the whole day, you’ll then enjoy a warming home-grown, home-cooked lunch in the Garden Room before moving onto our afternoon session on fruit pruning. Alternatively, you can just book up the afternoon session and arrive after lunch. Learn how to train apples, pears, cherries, gooseberries, currants and more. After listening to the theory, Lucy will then run a practical session where you’ll have a chance to prune East Donyland’s fruit collection. Return to the garden room for tea and cake, plus a Question and Answer session. All pruning equipment is provided.

Dates

24th March, 2018

Pruning Fruit Trees,

Canes and Bushes

Dispel fears and myths surrounding this topic within the beautiful red-brick walls of the 17th-century walled kitchen garden. Arrive at East Donyland Hall to welcome coffee and home-cooked treats. Within the shelter of the Garden Room, learn the theory of fruit pruning and training under the expert tuition of Head Gardener, Lucy Chamberlain. Methods for growing cane, bush and tree fruits will be covered in this comprehensive day, from the basics of how to make a good pruning cut to how to cleverly train crops in compact spaces. Following a tour of the walled kitchen garden, you’ll also visit Lucy’s garden to see how initial shapes are created on younger plants. Returning to East Donyland Hall you’ll move indoors to enjoy a delicious and warming home-cooked lunch with your classmates. In the afternoon, you’ll then re-visit the walled garden to apply your newly discovered knowledge to the crops of East Donyland.

Under Lucy’s supervision you’ll have your turn to prune the apples, pears, raspberries, currants and gooseberries that adorn the walls and dedicated fruit cage. Returning indoors for that all-essential tea and cake, you’ll then have a chance to ask Lucy questions relating to your specific plot, before the day ends. All pruning equipment is provided.

Dates

3rd March, 2018