Virtual Courses

Here, you’ll find a variety of online video courses that will help you get gardening and growing!

Peat-free Gardening

Peatlands are among the most important carbon stores in the world – twice as much as the world’s forests. In Wales, they are essential habitats to a large number of rare species and they help balance the environment. They are core to our efforts in tackling climate change and in this video, Adam shares some advice on how to care for plants using peat-free compost and highlights how we can adapt the way we garden.

Permaculture: Social

In the sixth and final video in our permaculture series with Wild Elements, we focus on how social permaculture design can be utilised in our lives to help us live happily and healthily while caring for the environment.

Permaculture: Buildings

In the fifth video in our permaculture series with Wild Elements, we look at buildings and resource use and how these can be adapted to be in keeping with the principles of permaculture.

Permaculture: Growing Plants

In the fourth video in our permaculture series with Wild Elements, we look at growing plants using permaculture design as well as the importance of teaching younger generations how to grow plants and connect with nature.

Permaculture: Garden Design

In the third video in our permaculture series with Wild Elements, we look at design and how garden design can allow everyone to take part and grow plants for food and fun.

Principles of Permaculture

The principles of permaculture are thinking tools that allow us to look at natural systems and integrate them into our garden designs. This ensures our designs are efficient and giving maximum output for minimum input.

Learn more on the principles of permaculture ethics in the second video in our series with Wild Elements.

Principal Ethics of Permaculture

Permaculture is a design approach based on understandings of how nature works. It was originally developed to create sustainable agricultural systems but is now used worldwide in a variety of ways.

In the first in a series of videos on permaculture, created in partnership with Wild Elements, learn the three ethical principles of permaculture and how to incorporate this design system into your own garden.

Gardening with Children: Growing Cress

Growing cress is easy and fun!

Cress germinates and grows within a week or two, therefore children can see the whole journey from growing seeds to eating fresh food on their plates. In this video, Adam shows you how to grow cress at home by using and reusing everyday household items.

Gardening with Children

Children can learn so much by spending time outdoors and connecting with nature!

In this video, Adam shows you three fun activities to enjoy in your garden this half-term – sowing seeds, building a bug hotel and making seed bombs.

Painting Willow

There are over 400 species of willow, Salix spp., ranging from small shrubs to trees.

Willow species produce catkins in the spring which provide an essential source of nectar and pollen for pollinators, especially early in the season when other sources are not yet available. In the National Botanic Garden of Wales’ honey, it was the most abundant pollen source found in April when looking at the DNA.

In this video, artist Julie Ann Sheridan shows you how to paint pussy willow, Salix caprea, using gouache.  Find out more on the best spring plants for pollinators here.

Painting Pheasant’s Eye Daffodil

The pheasant’s eye daffodil (Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus) is extremely fragrant and is often grown to extract essential oils for the perfume industry.

In this video, learn how to paint this unusual daffodil variety using watercolours.

Painting Hoop Petticoat Daffodils

Wild species of daffodil are Mediterranean plants and the Hoop Petticoat Daffodil hails from France, Spain and Portugal.

We grow this quirky character and other wild daffodil species in the Mediterranean section of the Great Glasshouse. One of the smaller daffodil species, it grows to only 15 cm high, and has very narrow, rush-like leaves.

In this video, artist Julie Ann Sheridan shows you how to draw and paint Hoop Petticoat Daffodils (Narcissus bulbocodium).

Drawing Daffodils

Learn how to draw the national flower of Wales, the daffodil, in this video by artist Julie Ann Sheridan.

Painting Whorled Caraway

It might be rare in Britain, but Carmarthenshire’s county flower thrives on some of the Botanic Garden’s cattle-grazed meadows.

Whorled caraway (Carum verticillatum) is found on old meadows in south-west Wales but is rare across the UK, it used to be rare on our Waun Las National Nature Reserve too until we flayed and grazed away dense patches of soft rush.  One special field on Waun Las, turns white with caraway flowers in mid-summer.

In this video, artist Julie Ann Sheridan shows you how to create a simple whorled caraway illustration using watercolour paints.

Drawing Ballerina Waxcaps

The ballerina is the only pink coloured waxcap fungus. It gets its name from the way the cap turns up like a tutu and from the tall white stem that looks like a ballerina poised on one leg. Around 20 years ago, it was thought to be very rare. Then, mycologists went searching for it and they found it in many more places, although every patch they found it on was free from artificial fertiliser and disturbance.

It was only recorded on our Waun Las National Nature Reserve for the first time in 2005 but is now seen regularly every year – possibly because we farm organically and carefully graze our grasslands for waxcaps.

In this video, artist Julie Ann Sheridan shows you how to draw a simple image of ballerina waxcaps.  Find out more on fungi in the Botanic Garden here.

Winter Workshop: Wreath Making

It is traditional to bring some green from nature into our homes during the Yuletide celebrations in December.

A wreath can be made from foraged material to brighten up your home. If you have a garden, when you are doing the winter tidy-up it is an opportunity to gather material to dry or register potential forage plants for using to make your Yuletide wreath.

Downloadable resource with more information on materials needed and method available here.

Eyebright Illustration

Eyebright (Euphrasia sp.) is a small but beautiful plant that helps to keep our meadows rich in wildflowers.

Eyebrights steal water and mineral nutrients from nearby grasses, so keeping their numbers down and allowing other wildflowers to colonise – where you find eyebright you usually find lots of other wildflowers.

In this video, artist Julie Ann Sheridan shows you how to create a simple yet beautiful image of Eyebright using colouring pencils.  Learn more on eyebright in this blog by the Botanic Garden’s Head of Interpretation.

Painting Splendid Waxcap

On the Waun Las National Nature Reserve at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, there is a hillside where 23 species of waxcap have been recorded. These multi-coloured, sometimes fragrant mushrooms have become increasing rare in the Welsh countryside as they cannot tolerate fertilisers and ploughing.

But waxcaps thrive on Waun Las’ sheep and cattle grazed organically-managed fields, and on some of the Garden’s lawns. Wales is the best country in the world to see waxcap-rich grasslands.

In this video, artist Julie Ann Sheridan shows you how to paint a simple image of splendid waxcaps using watercolours.

Composting and Biochar

Composting is a natural and inexpensive process that transforms your garden and kitchen waste into a nutrient-rich food for your garden – and it’s so easy to make and use!

Biochar is a pure form of carbon that can help the composting process, as well as prevent harmful gases being emitted which can help protect our environment.

In this video, Adam takes you through the steps of creating compost at home, including the different materials that can be used, how to manage your compost bin or heap as well as discussing the benefits of adding biochar.

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is a sweet treat best enjoyed with a cup of tea, and baking them is an activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

In this video, Rebecca from Arty Cooks teaches you how to make tasty carrot cupcakes.

Recipe available here.

Pruning Made Easy

Knowing how to prune correctly is an essential skill to have in the garden, with a variety of methods that can be used.

Pruning is reducing growth around a plant, including dead branches and stems, to encourage fresh and healthy growth in the new growing season.

In this video, Adam shows you how to prune a variety of plants in the garden, including the tools required.

Mulching and No-dig

There are a number of advantages of using the no-dig method in your garden. These include less time spent on weeding, water retention and the ability to grow more vegetables and plants in a small area.

Mulching is an easy and cost-effective way of adding nutrients to your garden.

In this video, Adam looks at the benefits of mulching and the no-dig method.

How to Plant Spring Bulbs

The advantages of planting spring bulbs are endless, they bring colour to the garden following the dark, long winter months and they provide a vital early food source for our pollinating insects.

There are a wide range of bulbs available, with one to suit every garden. Spring bulbs are also very low-maintenance and easy to grow.

In this video, Adam shows us how to plant daffodil bulbs.

How to Store Home-grown Vegetables

There’s nothing quite like eating your own fresh, home-grown vegetables over the winter months.

To live a more self-sufficient lifestyle, it’s vitally important to know how to correctly store your home-grown vegetables.

In this video, Adam shows us how to store a variety of vegetables over the winter, by leaving certain vegetables in the ground and storing others indoors.

How to Make Homemade Jam

A jar of homemade jam or preserve always beats one that’s been shop-bought.

The end of summer and early autumn is the best time to pick blackberries from hedgerows, and this year has been a fantastic one for them.

In this video, Adam takes us through the steps of making blackberry jam at home, including the equipment and ingredients needed.

Creating a Wildlife Pond

Wildlife ponds are very beneficial to gardens and can help you as a gardener.

There are endless advantages of having a pond within your garden, they are a haven for wildlife and provide habitats for frogs, toads and newts which can help control garden pests. They also provide an area for birds to drink and wash, providing such a variety of biodiversity in a small space.

In this video, Adam takes us through the steps on how to create a garden pond and some of the things to consider such as location, design, construction and planting.

Introducing the Autumn Series

As meteorological autumn has arrived, we’re announcing our exciting autumn series of videos with Adam yn yr Ardd!

There’s plenty to do in the garden to prepare for the winter and the new growing season, Adam will guide us through some of these tasks.

The Growing the Future Garden

The Growing the Future Garden within the National Botanic Garden of Wales exists to give you fresh ideas on how to lay out your own garden to grow fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers – no matter how big or small your space is!

The garden is divided into beds demonstrating different styles of growing – potager, raised beds, traditional, shade-loving and wildlife-friendly.

In this video, Adam takes us on a tour of the Growing the Future Garden and chats to our Horticultural Trainer, Ben, about the project.

Growing Cut Flowers

There are many advantages of growing our own cut flowers at home, one of the main ones is to reduce our carbon footprints by lowering the demand for imported cut flowers.

Presenting a home-grown bouquet of flowers is a thoughtful gift for a special occasion and dried flower petals are a great environmentally-friendly alternative to wedding confetti!

In this video, Adam takes us through the steps of growing cut flowers at home.

Weeding your Garden

Weeding some areas of our gardens can make them tidier and show them at their very best! Simply put, weeds are plant that we did not intend to be growing where they are.

In this video, Adam shows us how to weed our gardens by recognising which plants are weeds, techniques on how to go about weeding the garden and how to control and prevent weeds from growing in the first place.

Watering Plants

Watering correctly is one of the most important things to do when growing plants.

In this video, Adam takes us through some of the do’s and don’ts of watering, how to avoid over-watering and under-watering and some techniques on how to get the best out of your plants and garden.

Gardening with Nature

Our gardens are special places where we can connect with the natural world, and gardening with nature is vitally important.

The total area of gardens in Britain is greater than the total area of all our National Nature Reserves combined – which means if we all look after our little patch with care, we can contribute to supporting biodiversity.

In this video, Adam shows us some simple steps we can all take to encourage nature to our gardens.

Planting Flower Pots

Flower pots can help add colour and brighten up any garden or outdoor space.

In this video, Adam takes us through the simple steps of planting flower pots, including tips on drainage and arranging flowers within them.

Protecting Our Plants

Gardening is such a rewarding activity that doesn’t need to harm nature.

In this video, Adam shows us how to protect our plants and crops from a variety of garden visitors, such as birds and insects, in a nature-friendly way, including a homemade organic spray, eggshells and wool.

Growing Salads: From Garden to Plate

Growing your own food can be so rewarding and salad leaves are some of the quickest and easiest crops to grow. You can avoid waste and save money by growing ‘cut-and-come-again’ crops – as you constantly cut immature leaves, more re-grow – giving you a constant supply during the season.

In this video, Adam shows you how to easily grow five different salad crops at home to enjoy over the summer.

How to Plan Your Garden

It can be difficult to know where to start when planning your garden, while maximising the space available.

In this video, Adam takes us through the simple steps of planning and designing a garden, as well as some important things to keep in mind.

Health Benefits of Gardening

Multiple studies have shown that gardening, walking, encounters with wildlife and interacting with nature can all have a positive impact on our mental and physical health and well-being.

In this video, Adam discusses how our gardens and outdoor spaces can become our sanctuaries and how best to enjoy them.

Transplanting Seedlings

Raising plants from seeds can be a rewarding and exciting way to add new varieties of plants to your garden.

After planting lavatera seeds a fortnight ago, Adam takes us through the steps of transplanting seedlings into larger containers in this video.

Garden Tools

Gardening is easier and a lot more fun when you have the right tools for the job! In this video, Adam takes you through the top five tools you need, as well as how to use them, to become a successful gardener.

How to Sow Seeds

Sowing and growing seeds is something exciting to enjoy doing in the garden!

Lavatera are easy to grow, have beautiful pink and white flowers and are great for pollinating insects, especially bees.

Introduction to Adam yn yr Ardd