November at Norfolk School of Gardening - Design Orientated

November at Norfolk School of Gardening - Design Orientated

Getting design orientated this week, with a local designer coming in to make plans, Botanical Printmaking proving popular and Christmas wreaths on the agenda soon.

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What a treat to have some dry, sunny days after such a wet October! We have been catching up on bulb planting which always seems to be one of the most optimistic activities at this time of year: a real act of faith, burying treasure which will deliver such amazing colour, scent and loveliness for weeks on end in spring and early summer. We have planted lots of Allium in our new border as well as some unusual Muscari and Narcissi. We will share photos when they put on their show in a few months’ time.

Earlier this week we spent an exciting few hours with a designer, none other than Rajul Shah, the Norwich-based designer, The Small Gardener, who teaches our very popular garden design course. It is quite daunting inviting a designer into your space even if you can’t wait to hear their ideas and suggestions. You may wonder why it has taken us so long to create an overall design for the Walled Garden, and of course it would have been ideal to do this when we were starting out. But this is the reality for many gardeners and their gardens: time runs away with you, the seasons don’t wait and you just have to get on with what you can until you finally pause, draw breath and reflect. We do have a vision for how we want to use the space, but we needed help in pulling it all together into a cohesive design which works aesthetically and practically. We can’t wait for the next stage.

The Botanical Printmaking course is continuing to produce wonderful artwork, and this week we have put a new course into the calendar starting on 11th January. There are only eight spaces and it is already filling up, so do let us know if you would like to join us.

We are still running many courses over the coming weeks, and there are one or two spaces available on the courses below, including Plants for Free (the propagation workshop), and Planting for Year-Round Colour, a very popular course looking at how to ensure you have interest in your garden all year.

The Christmas Wreath workshops are filling up but there are still some spaces on some of these lovely festive mornings if you would like to come on your own or with friends. We are also running a Christmas Table Flowers workshop to help you create beautiful festive table settings.


Upcoming courses with availability:
  • Plants for Free – 17th November
  • Planting for Year-Round Colour – 19th November
  • Basic Slab Laying – 16th December
  • Christmas Wreath Workshops – 27th November, 4th, 6th December
  • Christmas Table Flowers Workshop – 11th December
  • Botanical Printmaking (8-week course) – 11th January
  • Certificate in Practical Horticulture (10-week course) – 20th January



Plant of the Week

Mahonia x media - tall yellow flowers with drooping bells an dark green pointed leaves


Mahonia x media

Mahonia x media is a large, evergreen, strongly growing, upright shrub. It has pinnate leaves and terminal clusters of long sprays of slightly scented yellow flowers from late autumn until spring, followed by oval, black berries. Mahonia grows well in most soils and situations. It tolerates shade as well as sun if the soil is sufficiently moist. They are best protected from freezing winds which will scorch them.

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