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This was back to school week for us as we hosted our first September course and welcomed people back to the classroom. We made a lot of changes over the past week, swapping our long vintage trestle tables for some decidedly modern smaller ones which can be more easily cleaned and enable us to have more students but still allow them to sit at least a metre from each other. We were sad to see our rustic tables go but the classroom does look very spick and span and as this autumn’s classes are filling up fast we know we will need the extra space.
The first course was our seasonal Lawn Care & Maintenance, taught by Sean Coyne from Apeiron Lawn Care. We had gardeners keen to find out how to look after their own lawn more effectively and professional gardeners looking for tips to improve their clients’ lawns. It is a really good look at how to get the lawn you want and covers common pests and diseases as well as what needs to be done each month. We run this course three times a year and will be publishing the dates for next year shortly. Let us know if you would like to join our mailing list and be among the first to get the new calendar.
Many of our courses over the next few weeks are now fully booked and we have added some extra dates for the most popular courses. There is now an additional Cutting Garden course in October, and another chance to look at Planting for Year-Round Colour in November. These dates are already filling up.
In the Walled Garden some of the summer flowers are now setting seed and we have been harvesting some of this seed to use on propagation courses over the coming months. But we have also had a lovely big delivery from Chiltern Seeds which we have started sowing this week. There are lots of seeds which can be sown at this time of year, including some perennials and annuals which will not flower until next summer, but which, if sown now, will start flowering earlier than if spring sown. We will leave a lot of the perennials to over winter uncut. They may have finished flowering but many of them have strong stems and will last til spring, providing habitat for insects and food for birds. These include the cardoons, Echinacea and Verbena bonariensis as well as many of the ornamental grasses.
Upcoming courses with availability:
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
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides is a low-growing herbaceous perennial with spreading roots, from west China. The deep blue flowers appear in late summer and autumn and the leaves turn fiery reds and purples as the season ends. It grows best in moderately fertile, well-draining soil, in full sun.