About this Workshop

Karen Guthrie and Bethan Pettitt are the head gardeners of neighbouring Lawson Park and Brantwood respectively, so there's not much these two don't know about gardening against the odds. These workshops will demonstrate seasonal jobs, followed by an interactive Q & A where you can ask Karen and Bethan about your own garden problems and design or planting questions.

This frank and friendly session is aimed at gardeners of any level of experience, local or not. Perhaps you have a neglected corner of mud or an overgrown tree needing attention, you want to start growing some veg, or you don’t quite know where to begin with growing?

In the first half of the session, Karen and Bethan will guide participants through seasonal garden tasks for late winter and early spring, using their own gardens, photos and short videos to show real-life solutions. They’ll share labour-saving tips, favourite plants that thrive locally, and advice drawn from their varied experiences working in gardens from Japan to the Western Isles of Scotland.

In the second half of the session, we will open up to questions from participants. Feel free to share photos or videos, ask for advice on something that’s bugging you, or just listen in and learn. You can choose to attend both Ask a Gardener sessions or just one: We’ll cover different tasks for the gardener in each and these will differ slightly as the season shifts.

 
Ahead of Time (Optional):

You might like to take some photos or even a short video of part of your garden or a problem plant, so you can ask the tutors about it during the session. You can download this to your laptop ahead of the session, or if you have a good phone signal in your garden you could also show us your garden live!

Participants will need a laptop or phone with Zoom installed to take part - a laptop is preferable for its bigger screen.

Tickets are £10.00 and details to join the workshop, including the online meeting link, will be provided after booking.

Advanced booking is essential (using link provided here) by Monday 7th June: https://www.trybooking.com/uk/book/sessions?eid=19151&bof=1

If you have any access needs to enable you to attend this workshop, please contact us here.



Biographies:

Karen Guthrie is an artist and film maker, raised on the west coast of Scotland and a resident of the South Lakes for twenty years. Since 2009 she has been Warden & Head Gardener at Lawson Park, Grizedale Arts’ headquarters and residency base, a former hill farm above Coniston Water. Described by broadcaster Eric Robson as, ‘a triumph’, Karen is self-taught, and has designed and made the garden from scratch in collaboration with partner Adam Sutherland and many visiting artists and architects. The cultivated land now extends to around 4 acres including orchards, water gardens, no-dig vegetable beds, herbaceous borders, meadows, bespoke outbuildings and most things in between. Karen is especially interested in naturalistic low-maintenance herbaceous planting and in growing and preserving fruit and veg. Karen regularly works with volunteers at Lawson Park and will also do so at The Farmer’s Arms, where she will take a design role in the first garden redevelopment phase.  


Bethan Pettitt flitted between the arts and horticulture for some time before eventually settling on gardening, which had been her childhood passion. She trained with Bristol Botanic Garden and English Heritage before joining the National Trust to work on a proposed restoration of Fell Foot garden near Windermere. Her interests include garden history, native plants and apples. In early 2020 she was appointed Head Gardener at Ruskin’s former home, Brantwood, on the shores of Coniston Water and adjacent to Lawson Park, which neatly combines most of her interests. Bethan welcomes volunteer gardeners at Brantwood. Future aspirations for include some replanting, starting a National Plant Collection and propagating a small range of plants for sale which are relevant to the Brantwood story.