ONLINE COURSE Chequers, oxlips, elms and earthworks: the wildflower riches and history of the boulder-clay woods

One might think of our ancient woods as remnants of the original wildwood, but this would be a mistake.  Although they may indeed be descended indirectly from the original forest cover, they have been shaped by centuries of management that was vital because these woods were a key resource for local people.  Boulder-clay woodlands in our region have been especially closely studied and this course will explore how past and present management has created distinctive plant communities with plant species that are often otherwise rare in eastern England, including some that are specialities of ou

CLASSROOM COURSE Introduction to flower collage

Taking inspiration from the Garden, come and join Caroline Henricksen for a fun relaxing and creative day paper collaging flowers.  Caroline will take you through the process she uses to create her botanical collage pieces, starting with you creating your own collage surfaces using paints, foliage, vintage paper, magazines, old books, wallpaper, a toothbrush and scissors.  Just about anything can be used to collage.  Playing with patterns and textures can produce some really interesting and quite beautiful results.  Students are welcome to bring in their own materials that they would like t

ONLINE COURSE Introduction to pruning: science and anatomy of trees and shrubs

This online course introduces learners to the art of choosing the right tree or shrub to suit its garden setting. With a look at how trees and shrubs grow, learners will find out how and why to prune woody plants to get the desired effect. With information about the right time, tools and techniques for pruning as well as plant specific guidance, learners will complete the course feeling confident about the maintenance of woody plants.

ONLINE COURSE Medieval medicinal plants: miasmas, monks and mandrake

Take a trip back to the later Middle Ages and find out about the role of plants in medieval medicine.  We’ll explore the medieval view of illness – what were the causes of disease thought to be? And what diseases were common? Who did you go to if you got ill and how did they diagnose you? Our main focus will be on the plants involved in the prevention and treatment of disease.  Today, some of these plants have proven medicinal benefits and also other uses.

ONLINE COURSE Water gardening

Water is our planet’s most precious resource. Join Paul Herrington to explore how we can celebrate it in our gardens, however big or small.  We will look at ponds of all kinds from formal to wildlife-friendly, stand-alone water features, rain gardens, bog gardens, rills, fountains and more.  As well as discussing the pros and cons of keeping fish, and we will also discuss the risks related to water in our gardens and how to reduce them to keep us safe.  And we’ll of course look at a range of water loving plants to populate our ideas and integrate them into the wider garden.

ONLINE COURSE Lancelot Brown: reassessing the ‘Capabilities’

The architect and designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, born in 1716, is credited with formulating the iconic English landscape garden. Even today, his rolling lawns, scattered with tree clumps and ornamented with glittering lakes, continue to define our perception of rural Britain. As a result, his hundreds of landscapes have eclipsed the study of eighteenth-century garden history almost entirely.

ONLINE COURSE Exploring garden poetry

In this morning session you will be guided through some classic poems from Andrew Marvell and John Clare to more contemporary poets of flowers and gardens. You will be encouraged to share your own thoughts through writing a poem or two – even if you have never tried it before.  There will be both written and reading exercises. By the end of the session, you will have encountered some of the key forms of poetry and been inspired to begin or develop your own poems.

ONLINE COURSE Developing watercolour technique: further painting the garden landscape

In this two-part course you will begin to develop your own technique working with watercolour paint. Structured around a restricted palette of five colours we will explore the opportunity of watercolour in depicting the landscape of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Led by professional artist and award winning painter John Wiltshire, you will extend your knowledge and experience of the technique with creative and exploratory practical exercises and learn how to apply these approaches in creating your own paintings.