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If last week was about pruning, this week has been about propagating. We had our first Growing Under Glass course and looked at all of the ways you can use a greenhouse year round, from over-wintering pelargoniums and succulents and growing salad in the winter months to starting veg and annual flowers off in seed trays in spring, and from growing peppers, aubergines and tomatoes in summer to sowing broad beans and sweet peas in autumn. And that is before you have decided to grow melons, lemons and pineapples and all kinds of exotic plants which need the shelter of a greenhouse to flourish. In fact, by the end of the course some people were wondering if one greenhouse was enough for everything they planned to grow. They were certainly inspired by the use we are putting our Rhino to, and by the ideas we talked about during the day. We will be repeating this course in June, so do come and join us if you have a greenhouse you would like to get more use from, or if you plan to get one.
It was also seed propagation week on the Certificate in Practical Horticulture, and while we prepared seed beds and sowed various seeds in different ways outside, we also looked at how to grow from seed in the greenhouse, and the shelves are filling up with trays and pots full of seed. We hope that by the end of the course the students will be able to take lots of seedlings home with them, including some unusual squash. Next they will be learning how to grow plants from cuttings, so we expect a small forest of dogwood, willow and Viburnum twigs to be jostling for space on the benches within the next few days. There is nothing quite like the buzz of growing plants from plants, for free. Our next one day Plants for Free course is in June.
The current Introduction to Garden Design course is in its final weeks and the group have been working on their planting plans, incorporating many plants they did not know existed a few weeks ago. It has been wonderful to see how their knowledge has broadened and their confidence grown as they develop plans for their own gardens or for those of a client. The next course starts on 23rd April and has a few spaces still available if you would like to join us.
Upcoming courses with availability:
Planting for Year-Round Colour 20th March
Dahlia Workshop 26th March
Basic Slab Laying 27th March
Introduction to Veg Growing 3rd April
Easter Wreath and Spring Flower Workshops 9th April
Composting Made Simple 17th April
The Cutting Garden 21st April
Introduction to Garden Design 23rd April
Certificate in Practical Horticulture (10 week course) 29th April & 2nd May
Plant of the Week
Commonly known as Abraham-Isaac-Jacob, the Trachystemon orientalis is a perennial herb in the Boraginaceae family and is sometimes also called oriental borage. Native to eastern Europe it has blue-violet flowers from March to May which attract bees, especially early on when little else is in flower. It grows well in moist shade and spreads quickly creating effective, weed-suppressing ground cover.