Garden blogs

Growing the Future Newsletter – January 15

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Welcome to Growing the Future‘s latest newsletter, if you’d like to receive it directly to your inbox, sign-up here.

See the full newsletter here.

Plants and Climate Change Talks

In 2019 the Welsh Government declared a climate emergency in Wales and has committed to achieving a carbon neutral public sector by 2030.

On three Friday lunchtimes in January, Growing the Future at the National Botanic Garden of Wales will be hosting a series of talks focusing on the impact of climate change on our plants, the research being done to tackle this and the role of botanic gardens in tackling and adapting to climate change, and conserving plants for the future.

Enjoy this FREE series while also taking advantage of FREE Garden entry on weekdays in January.

Friday January 17th: ‘Healing the Earth: Biochar for Carbon Sequestration and Habitat Restoration’ by Professor Alayne Street-Perrott.
Alayne Street-Perrott is a climate scientist with over 40 years of research experience on past climate changes and environmental impacts of human activity in the tropics, long-term changes in the global carbon cycle, and biochar as one of a potential range of natural solutions for combatting climate change.
Introductory talk titled ‘Conserving Welsh Native Plants Through Seed Banking’ by Dr Kevin McGinn, Science Officer for the Growing the Future Project.  To book your place, please visit our Eventbrite page.

Friday January 31st: ‘The Role of Botanic Gardens in Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change’ by Dr Paul Smith.
Dr Paul Smith is the Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and a Trustee of the National Botanic Garden of Wales. BGCI is the largest plant conservation network in the world, comprising over 600 member botanic gardens in 100 countries.
Introductory talk titled ‘Building Resilience Against Climate Change’ by Kim Stoddart, editor of The Organic Way and author of the Climate Change Garden Book.  To book your place, please visit our Eventbrite page.

 

Planting Design for Beginners Course

Thursday January 16th / Saturday February 15th

An overview of the key principles of planting design to give attendees an understanding of how to create a garden that ‘works’ and is pleasing to the eye.

Topics will include scale and proportion, balance, colour theory and texture.

Course at the National Botanic Garden.  Booking is essential. 10am-2pm. £40 (£36 Concessions & Garden Members) which includes entry to the Botanic Garden.  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

Planting Design: Next Steps Course

Friday January 17th / Saturday February 29th

Following on from our ‘Planting Design for Beginners’ course, this course will look at planting plans, measuring and scale drawing, as well as looking at elements of design within the Garden and discussing how these could be implemented in your own growing space.

To get the most from this course, it would be useful, though not essential, to have attended the beginners course.

Course at the National Botanic Garden.  Booking is essential. 10am-2pm. £40 (£36 Concessions & Garden Members) which includes entry to the Botanic Garden.  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

 

Sensory & Therapeutic Gardening Course

Wednesday January 29th

This half-day course is designed for anyone looking to build or use an outside space for therapeutic, sensory and edible gardening. Starting with the basics such as design and practical considerations, it will cover some of the best planting for well-being and emotional regulation from the sensory overload of our modern day living.

It will also cover project ideas and suggestions for using your outside space in this way on an ongoing basis with lots of accessible, creative and fun-inducing examples.

There will be lots of opportunity for questions and answers throughout to help empower you with the knowledge and skills to use an outside space effectively for those that would benefit.  Course taught by Kim Stoddart, author of ‘The Climate Change Garden’ book.

Course at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.  Booking is essential.  9.30am-12pm.  £35 (£32 Concessions & Garden Members).  To book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

 

Courses at the Woodland Skills Centre, Denbigh

We’re thrilled to now be working in partnership with the Woodland Skills Centre in Denbigh and to be able to offer a fab range of horticulture-based courses there!

Constructing Raised Beds Course
Saturday January 25th

This course will look at the advantages of growing in raised beds and the techniques for constructing and setting them up. Learn how to prepare a site and construct a raised bed in the demonstration garden at the Woodland Skills Centre before heading to the workshop to prepare a raised bed kit of 2.4m x 1.2m to take home.
Course at the Woodland Skills Centre.  Booking is essential. 9.30am-1pm. £80 (£72 Concessions & Botanic Garden Members).  To book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

 

Pruning Fruit Trees
Saturday February 15th

This course will include a demonstration by an experienced tutor on how to prune some of the fruit trees in the Heritage Orchard at the Woodland Skills Centre. The best of the prunings will be kept to be used in a grafting course later in the afternoon.
Course at the Woodland Skills Centre.  Booking is essential. 10am-12.30pm. £25 (£20 Concessions & Botanic Garden Members).  To book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

 

Grafting Fruit Trees
Saturday February 15th

This course will include a demonstration by an experienced tutor on the techniques for grafting cuttings from some of the fruit trees in the Heritage Orchard at the Woodland Skills Centre. Learn the use of different root stocks to control the eventual size and character of the new trees. Each course participant will be able to take home 2-3 new trees from the Heritage Orchard.
Course at the Woodland Skills Centre.  Booking is essential. 1.30-3.30pm. £25 (£20 Concessions & Botanic Garden Members).  To book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

Watercolour Landscapes
Sunday March 15th

This course will use the beautiful landscape that surrounds the Woodland Skills Centre along the Clwydian hills and an area of outstanding natural beauty as the inspiration for watercolour paintings.
This watercolour painting course will give you the opportunity to experience painting in the outdoors. Your tutor will be on hand to give one-to-one guidance on composition and natural focal points.
Please bring a camera/phone/tablet so you can also take photographs of the view you intend to paint. If the weather is not suitable to be outside, the course will continue in the studio. A list will be provided on the basic requirements for the day. By the end of the day, you will have a completed watercolour painting to take home.
Course at the Woodland Skills Centre.  Booking is essential.  10am-4pm.  £70 (£63 Concessions & Garden Members).  To book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

 

Garden 2020 Calendar

Are you still looking for the perfect 2020 calendar?

The National Botanic Garden’s calendar includes some great photos of the Garden, information on plants, Garden areas and the Garden mission as well as marking the Garden’s 20th anniversary year.

 

Captivating Conifers Course

Wednesday January 22nd

Conifers are a fascinating group of plants, including cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces.

During this course Growing the Future’s Science Officer, Dr Kevin McGinn, will introduce the key features used to identify different conifer families and species and will explain the origins of some ‘dwarf’ garden conifers.

The course will begin in our teaching lab, moving on to a tour of conifers in the Garden’s living collections. Beginners and improvers welcome.

Course at the National Botanic Garden.  Booking is essential. 10.30am-3pm. £35 (£32 Concessions & Garden Members) which includes entry to the Botanic Garden.  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit the Garden’s Eventbrite page.

 

Garden Tool Maintenance & Repair

Wednesday January 22nd

Learn how to properly maintain and repair your garden hand tools, including secateurs, loppers, hand forks and trowels during this practical session led by Growing the Future’s Horticultural Trainer, Ben.

The different styles of hand tools and the materials used in their construction will be discussed, as well as a more in-depth session on sharpening secateurs.

Course at the National Botanic Garden.  Booking is essential. 10am-2pm. £30 (£27 Concessions & Garden Members) which includes entry to the Botanic Garden.  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit the Garden’s Eventbrite page.

 

Sustainable Garden Design Course

Friday January 24th / Friday March 13th

Learn how to choose landscaping materials that are sustainable and have minimal impact on the environment.

Identify the best practice to reduce your carbon footprint during construction. Incorporate features to enable the harvesting of rain and grey water, composting areas, use of drought-tolerant plants, minimal use of lawns, mulching, no-dig systems, bio-diverse planting, ponds, insect hotels and wildlife habitats.

Plan your garden so that future maintenance requirements make the best use of the earth’s limited resources. Incorporate green features to reduce energy demands from buildings, such as green roofs and living walls, which also provide habitats and food for wildlife, as well as adding to the aesthetics of structures.

Course at the National Botanic Garden.  Booking is essential.  10am-2pm.  £40 (£36 Concessions & Garden Members) which includes entry to the Botanic Garden.  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit the Garden’s Eventbrite page.

 

Climate Change Smart Gardening: Growing Food Course

Friday February 7th / Friday February 21st

This course is designed for everyone from complete grow-your-own beginners, to more experienced gardeners that would like to shore up their defences against the increasing extremes of weather we now face. Packed with lots of ideas, time and money saving tricks, techniques and skills to give you the knowledge to grow fruit and vegetables productively in the face of climate change.

The day will start with an introduction session over refreshments before moving on to many of the basics including; general protection and resilient tips in design and day-to-day activities. These will include what to grow and when, including perennial planting, working with wildlife and why weeds often have a part to play. Time-saving methods will also be covered, including how to minimise watering in a heat wave and protecting your plot over winter e.g. ground cover and no-dig gardening.

In the afternoon, the course will cover mixed planting systems, seed-saving and how to deal with increasing pest and disease threats naturally through the building of biodiversity. A question and answers session at the end of the session will further help you plant more resiliently.  Course taught by Kim Stoddart, author of ‘The Climate Change Garden’ book.

Course at the National Botanic Garden.  Booking is essential.  9.30am-3.30pm.  £70 (£63 Concessions & Garden Members) which includes entry to the Botanic Garden.  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit the Garden’s Eventbrite page.

 

Horticulture Courses at Insole Court

Backyard Orchards
Saturday January 25th 

An introduction to planning and planting a backyard orchard. This session will cover apple choice, how to train and prune trees accordingly as well as their routine care and maintenance. Theory-based session.
Course at Insole Court.  Booking is essential. 10am-2.30pm. £40 (£36 Concessions, Members and Volunteers of the Botanic Garden and Insole Court).  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

 

Houseplants: Bromeliads, Orchids & Succulents – GREAT FOR STUDENTS
Wednesday February 19th

An introduction to the care and growing conditions these group of plants require in the home. This course will cover everything from choosing the first plants to buy, general care and maintenance, and how to get more plants for free. This course will include theory and practical sessions.
Course at Insole Court.  Booking is essential. 1.30-3.30pm. £18.  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

 

Houseplants: Bromeliads, Orchids & Succulents
Saturday February 22nd
An introduction to the care and growing conditions these group of plants require in the home. This course will cover everything from choosing the first plants to buy, general care and maintenance, and how to get more plants for free. This course will include theory and practical sessions.
Course at Insole Court.  Booking is essential. 10am-2.30pm. £40 (£36 Concessions, Members and Volunteers of the Botanic Garden and Insole Court).  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

 

Grafting Fruit Trees
Saturday March 14th

This course will give an introduction to grafting apple trees onto rootstocks. This course will start with a theory session on the background of grafting and the different cuts used, scion wood collection and rootstock choice, before moving on to a practical session.
Course at Insole Court.  Booking is essential. 10am-2.30pm. £40 (£36 Concessions, Members and Volunteers of the Botanic Garden and Insole Court).  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

 

Garden Design: Small Spaces
Saturday April 18th

This garden design course will look at the challenges and practices behind growing in small spaces. This theory-based session will cover the principles behind garden design for courtyards, urban gardens, patio gardens and shady gardens.
Course at Insole Court.  Booking is essential. 10am-2.30pm. £40 (£36 Concessions, Members and Volunteers of the Botanic Garden and Insole Court).  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit our Eventbrite page.

 

One space for each adult course will be fully subsidised and candidates can apply to the Growing the Future Project by referral letter from GP or registered charity to gtfadmin@gardenofwales.org.uk or Growing the Future, National Botanic Garden of Wales, Middleton Hall, Llanarthne, SA32 8HN. Offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Beekeeping Taster Courses 2020

Wednesday April 22nd /
Wednesday May 13th /
Saturday June 13th /
Friday July 17th /
Wednesday August 5th

Join Growing the Future’s Ecosystems Trainer and Beekeeper, Lynda for an introduction to the Growing the Future project and why we have honeybees here at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

Learn about the honeybee colony and visit the Garden’s Bee Garden, put on a bee suit, open a hive and be shown its occupants, including workers, drones and the queen.

Course at the National Botanic Garden.  Booking is essential.  11am-2pm.  £35 (£32 Concessions & Garden Members) which includes entry to the Botanic Garden.  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or visit the Garden’s Eventbrite page.