This has been another busy week with lots of preparation for the final assessments on the Certificate in Practical Horticulture course next week. We had two packed revision days when we went back over much of what has been covered in the past eight weeks, and found ourselves doing everything from seed sowing to tree planting and pruning to plant naming in the space of a few hours. Everyone now seems ready for the assessments even if they are a little nervous. This time next week it will all be over and they can relax. The next course starting in January is full, but we will run it again from late April, so if you know anyone who might be interested, whether they are a keen amateur gardener or a professional who needs a qualification, do tell them about it.

In between courses and showers we have been doing more division of perennials, more weeding, more pricking out of seedlings. It might be wet but it has certainly been a mild November so far and lots of things are still growing, even with fewer daylight hours. It is amazing to think that in a month the days will be getting longer again. We will certainly be glad of more hours to garden, though we are putting the longer evenings to good use, planning courses for next year. We are looking at several new courses including ones which focus on a single plant or group of plants, such as Wisteria or roses. We are also going to add some courses which go into greater depth for the more experienced gardener. So watch this space, and get in touch if you have ideas of courses you would like to see in our programme.

We are still running many courses over the coming weeks, and there are one or two spaces available on the courses below, including Fruit Tree Care on 11th December and Basic Slab Laying on the 16th. Courses in January and February are also booking up, so if you would like something to look forward to in your diary do have a look at our calendar.

The Christmas Wreath workshops start next week and are all nearly full, but there are a couple of spaces left on two of these lovely festive mornings. So many of you are still wanting to book that we have just added an extra workshop on Thursday 3rd December, 2-5pm, so if you would like to join us then, on your own or with a friend, do get in touch quickly to book a place.


Upcoming courses with availability:
  • Christmas Wreath Workshops – 27th November, 3rd, 6th December
  • Fruit Tree Care – 11th December
  • Basic Slab Laying – 16th December
  • Botanical Printmaking (8-week course) – 11th January
  • Planting Trees, shrubs, hedges – 13th January
  • Renovation Pruning – 22nd January



Plant of the Week

Winter Jasmine. Small yellow flower on wooden twig with crystal-looking frost

Jasminum nudiflorum

Jasminum nudiflorum, or winter jasmine, is a deciduous shrub which can be trained up a vertical framework or allowed to scramble over a wall or through a tree. It is a popular, reliable shrub from China and provides colour in the depths of winter and early spring when the bright yellow, star-shaped flowers appear on bare green stems. It will grow in sun or partial shade and prefers well-drained soil.


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Written by Ruth Darrah of NSG