The Art and Craft of Gardening

Great Dixter is a renowned and innovative garden that depends on a high degree of craftsmanship to maintain and develop its year round display. This is an advanced course, exploring and teaching the skills necessary for establishing, developing and managing a garden in this style.

Teaching takes place monthly through the year from January to December, focusing on specific seasonal tasks and on understanding what’s happening in the garden at that time. The teaching is delivered through seminars, demonstrations and critical appraisal of the garden. There will be opportunities for discussion and to ask questions.

The course is suitable for students with some gardening experience whether as a keen amateur gardener or garden professional.While the course covers the fundamentals, the aim is to extend students’ plant knowledge, enhance their technical abilities and give them confidence to experiment and explore their own gardening practice.


Course topics

The course will include the following topics, each taught and explored in the style of Great Dixter:

  • History, philosophy and design of Great Dixter
  • Soil preparation and planting
  • Propagation by seed, cuttings and division
  • Supporting, staking, and tying-in plants
  • Planting for succession, and border management
  • Pruning in winter and summer
  • Shade gardening
  • Pot displays
  • Meadow gardening
  • Exotic garden
  • Bedding displays
  • Bulbs: using and planting
  • Tender plants, growing and protecting
  • Self-sowers
  • Composts and growing media
  • Cut flowers and vegetables
  • Hedges and topiary
  • Developing borders

Tutors:

Tutors for the course are Edward Flint and Siew Lee Vorley


2018 Dates – FULLY BOOKED

Wednesdays, 9am-4pm

Term 1 – 17th Jan, 21st Feb, 21st Mar, 18th Apr

Term 2 – 16th May, 20th Jun, 18th Jul, 22nd Aug
Plus summer trip (date to be arranged)

Term 3 – 19th Sept, 17th Oct, 21st Nov, 19th Dec


2019 Dates – BOOKING OPEN

Wednesdays, 9am-4pm

Term 1 –  9th January, 13th February, 13th March,  10th April

Term 2 – 8th May, 12th June, 10th July, 14th August
Plus summer trip (date to be arranged)

Term 3 –  11th September, 9th October, 13th November, 11th December

This course is based in our Education Room at Dixter Farm and in the garden at Great Dixter. Each day will start at 9am with an informal tutorial at the Long Border with seminars beginning at 10am. The day finishes at 4pm. Lunch and refreshments are provided. Course notes will be given. Group size will be limited to 20 participants.


Price:

£600 per term (3 terms). This includes Great Dixter Friends membership and associated benefits including 10% discount in the nursery and free entry to the garden, and a summer social trip with a private garden visit (date to be confirmed).


Bookings:

Our 2018 course is currently running and fully booked. Our 2019 course is now taking bookings online, alternatively to book over the telephone or for all other enquiries about this course please contact Catherine Haydock by phone: 01797 254048 or email: education@greatdixter.co.uk


Bursary Place:

Great Dixter is committed to education and professional development and as such will be offering a free bursary place on this course in 2019 for an individual under 30 years of age who might otherwise not be able to attend owing to financial constraints. We are seeking a person working or training in the area of gardening or garden design who can demonstrate that this course will significantly benefit their professional development. To apply please send a CV and covering letter to: Catherine Haydock education@greatdixter.co.uk