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The really big news for us this week is that we have finalised arrangements with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to run their excellent, highly respected Certificate in Practical Horticulture. We are only the third place in England to run this course (the Eden Project and Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire are the others) so we are very excited. It means that gardeners in Norfolk can now gain a recognised qualification in practical horticulture. It is a fairly intensive but highly practical ten-week course (one day a week) covering all aspects of horticulture from soil care to propagation, from planting to pruning and much more. We know it is going to be very popular and we hope to run it at least four times next year. The first course will start on 8th January.
Back in the Walled Garden we have had a busy week with a packed day of propagation in the Rhino greenhouse and Direct Plants polytunnel. We looked at when and how to take cuttings from different plants, how to save seeds and how and when to sow them. Everyone went home with pots and trays of plants in the making plus small envelopes of seeds and we look forward to hearing how they get on in the weeks and months to come. Plants for Free is a really popular course and the next one will be on 13th March if you would like to join us.
We also had a day of Renovation Pruning, looking at how to rescue shrubs which have not been pruned regularly and which may now resemble a small tree or a tangle of branches more than the neat, manageable shrub they were supposed to be. We tackled roses, Weigela, Fuchsia, privet and Griselinia. Some of this renovation will take two or three years to complete but everyone went home emboldened to prune their own shrubs in a radical but necessary fashion. Late autumn and winter is the perfect time to carry out renovation and the course runs again on 28th January.
We had our fourth floristry workshop this week covering tablescapes and the participants created an astonishing number of beautiful arrangements to decorate their dining tables. Our Christmas Wreath and Table Decoration workshops start next week and there are a very few spaces left if you would like to join us. Do get in touch.
Upcoming courses with availability:
Christmas Wreath Workshops 3rd, 5th, 12th, 13th December
Floristry Workshop - Christmas Table Decorations 10th December
Certificate in Practical Horticulture starts 8th January (10 week course)
Introduction to Garden Design starts 16th December (6 week course)
Renovation Pruning 28th January
Introduction to Veg Growing 31st January
Plant of the Week
A beautiful tree which has interest all year round. The glossy green, maple-like leaves turn the whole range of fiery red, crimson, orange and purple in autumn making it one of the most spectacular trees at this time of year. In winter the corky bark on mature trees is also striking.
The common name is sweet gum and the Latin name derives from liquidus meaning liquid and ambar meaning amber, referring to the fragrant amber essential oil, styrax, which is extracted from the tree.