The Farmer’s Arms Intensive Garden School with Karen Guthrie
Date: 23 April 2022
Course Fees: £1350 per person (residential) & £750 per person non-residentialBook Here
Places on this course are strictly limited to 8.
Advance booking is essential by Monday March 13 using the ‘Book Here’ button above.
Lawson Park, East of Lake, Coniston – LA21 8AD
A 6-day intensive gardening school for up to 8 participants, with optional accommodation.
Sat. & Sun. April 23rd (9.30am – 5.30pm) & 24th (9.30am – 4pm)
Sat. & Sun. July 23rd (9.30am – 5.30pm) & 24th (9.30am – 4pm)
Sat. & Sun. Oct 8th (9.30am – 5.30pm) & 9th (9.30am – 4pm)
We’re delighted to offer this 6 day course across 3 weekends, to skill up beginners and intermediate gardeners alike. Based in the Lake District’s Crake Valley, tutor Karen Guthrie (artist and Head Gardener at Grizedale Arts’ HQ Lawson Park) has devised three intensive hands-on weekend sessions across the year, each tackling seasonal garden challenges from growing the best fruit and veg, to designing your green space however small it is, to preserving fresh produce – with much more in between. Karen’s philosophy is to teach ‘ambitious gardening for busy people’, so expect a dynamic and enjoyable course full of invaluable wisdom gleaned from her lifetime of gardening.
Learning in a range of garden spaces at Lawson Park and The Farmer’s Arms, participants will gain skills in sowing, planting and growing on a range of edible crops, flowers, shrubs and trees. You’ll learn how to make small spaces beautiful with containers, start an easy no-dig vegetable bed from scratch and tackle seasonal care basics that keep colour and produce coming. Learning in a small group of max. 8 students, we will also visit the stunning teaching garden at Nibthwaite Grange Farm to see varied real-life spaces growing throughout the year.
And to make things even easier, we include some very special accommodation for participants:
Staying at the beautiful Lawson Park, Grizedale Arts’ residency high above Coniston Water with all meals included in the course fees. Partners and friends are welcome to join and room-share for an additional charge (see booking page for details).
Course Fees: £1350 per person (residential) & £750 per person non-residential
More Course Details:
Each weekend will start with a tour of Lawson Park’s gardens, reviewing progress and identifying challenges for the season ahead.
Session 1 (Spring)
Preparing the ground; an intro to planting & sowing; matching your garden to your lifestyle; encouraging biodiversity
Session 2 (Summer)
Harvesting well; keeping the colour coming; labour-saving hacks; sowing for autumn edibles; tool know-how
Session 3 (Autumn)
Glorious fruit; trouble-shooting your planting; winter-proof features; preparing for next year
What’s Included in the fee?
For up to four residential guests, inclusive accommodation is provided at Lawson Park, Grizedale Arts’ main residency base, about 20 mins drive from The Farmer’s Arms. This wonderful residence is extremely spacious and comfortably accommodates up to 8. All four double bedrooms enjoy views onto fells and gardens and are beautifully furnished with many vintage pieces and art works from Grizedale’s collections. All rooms are ensuite and one is fully accessible. The residence has a large lounge with panoramic views over the fells, a library and a dining room / kitchen. It even has a garden sauna for guest use. And of course, Lawson Park has extensive and beautiful gardens – visited in 2021 by renowned garden designer Piet Oudolf and called ‘a triumph’ by former BBC Gardener’s Question Time host Eric Robson – in which some of the course will be delivered.
For photographs and more information about Lawson Park’s rooms and facilities please see our guest rentals website here.
Residential fees include a light supper for arrivals on the Friday night, self-catered breakfast, lunch, tea & dinner on the Saturday, and self-catered breakfast, lunch and tea on the Sunday. All local transport during the course is included, but please note that there is no public transport serving Lawson Park. Residential tickets include a timed transfer from Ulverston train station to Lawson Park at the start and end of the course. Non-Residential participants will need to arrange their own transport.
Partners are welcome to share residential rooms: If not attending the course, a charge to cover meals and laundry will be chargeable (see booking page for details). They will also be required to arrange their own transport during the course.
Meals and snacks for course participants will be provided from Lawson Park’s and The Farmer’s Arms kitchens, using our own organic produce, and will be served outside in good weather.
Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance warning.
Lastly, all tuition and materials and tools are included – we only ask that you bring a pair of gardening gloves and a pair of secateurs with you.
About the Tutor:
The course is devised and taught by Karen Guthrie, who has led the transformation of Lawson Park from fell-side to a productive and beautiful garden of over 4 acres over the last two decades. An experienced teacher and an advocate of chemical-free, sustainable gardening, she is especially keen on fruit growing, old roses, and the beautiful Lake District moss.
Karen began gardening growing up in coastal Ayrshire, winning prizes at the local flower show and redesigning and replanting the garden at her family home as a teenager. She is a committed plant-based cook and fermentation enthusiast as well as an award-winning artist and film-maker. She co-designed the award-winning Abbey Gardens in East London and has advised the Whitworth Museum (Manchester) and Squash (Liverpool) on their community gardens. She has also made gardens in Scotland, France and Japan.