August at Norfolk School of Gardening - Storm Ellen

August at Norfolk School of Gardening - Storm Ellen

Wind and rain has batted around the walled garden, and there are lots of courses about to start!

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We needed the rain, but the wind this week has been a lot less welcome. Our willow wigwam of borlotti beans was bowled over by the first strong gusts, and the tall courgette and squash leaves in the raised beds have been flattened. Some of the perennials have met an untimely end as cardoons and dahlias succumbed to the relentless pressure of Ellen followed by Francis and we have a lot of tidying up to do before we welcome our first September students to the Walled Garden next week for Lawn Care & Maintenance.

We have been glad to be inside in the Rhino greenhouse this week, doing more propagation from cuttings and some potting up. We will be using many of these cuttings on the upcoming Certificate in Practical Horticulture courses. Having removed most of the tomato plant leaves a couple of weeks ago to speed up ripening we have had to tie up many of the plants again as the beefsteak Marmande fruit get heavier. It is looking like a bit of a bumper year for tomatoes as well as the greenhouse grown cucumbers.

Last week we had the lovely news that the first cohort of students to complete the Certificate in Practical Horticulture all passed with flying colours. The course was interrupted for four months by Covid and the assessment day was earlier in the month on a blisteringly hot day, so they did particularly well to get such high marks. We are thrilled and are now really looking forward to the next two courses starting in September. Both of these courses are full and we have a growing number of people wanting to start the course in January, so do get in touch if you would like to join us or would like more information about the CPH.

This is the perfect moment to get your lawn sorted for the autumn months and find out what needs doing in the winter. We have a couple of places left on the Lawn Care & Maintenance course next week if you would like to join us. There is also one space left on our new Botanical & Textural Print Making course starting on 28th September. This promises to be a lovely course using materials found in the gardens and grounds of Ketteringham Hall and used to create unique art.



Upcoming courses with availability:

Lawn Care & Maintenance 2nd September
Planting for Year-Round Colour
25th September
Botanical & Textural Print Making (6 week course starts)
28th September
Plants for Free: Propagation Workshop
29th September
Pruning Shrubs & Roses
2nd October
Gardening Under Glass 6th October
The Cutting Garden 9th October
Gardening For a Changing Climate 13th October
Border Renovation 16th October
Introduction to Garden Design (8 week course starts) January
Certificate in Practical Horticulture (10 week course starts) January


Plant of the Week

Rudbeckia Goldstrum yellow flower


Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm'

This is very useful late summer flowering herbaceous perennial which forms a clump and grows to 60cm in height, with erect stems that do not need staking and bear narrowly ovate leaves and dark-eyed, deep yellow flowers to 12cm across. It is very easy to grow in full sun or partial shade and a moderately fertile soil that is moist but well-drained.


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