The Farmer’s Arms (Monthly) Garden School 2022
Dates: 26 March 2022 to 29 October 2022
Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Course fees are £320 or £280 for concessionsBook Here
Pre-booking is essential by 9th March 2022 using the ‘Book Here’ button above.
Places are strictly limited to 10 places.
Nibthwaite Grange Farm, Bletherbarrow Lane, Nibthwaite (Nr Ulverston) – LA12 8DB
Perhaps lockdowns have fired your enthusiasm for gardening, but you’re not sure where to start? Or maybe you already garden, but would like to cut down on maintenance, save money or make your plot more child-friendly?
After 2021’s sell-out success, we’re thrilled to open enrolment for the 2022’s Farmer’s Arms Garden School lead again by Karen Guthrie, artist and Head Gardener at Lawson Park. Guiding you step by step through seasonal tasks in a real-life garden plot at Nibthwaite Grange Farm, the School’s programme is devised to give you the confidence to tackle your own growing space – however small – with creativity and skill.
As a 2021 student said in their feedback:
“The phrase ‘every day is a school day’ applies to gardening more than any other topic or activity I know!”
Monthly Saturday sessions across the year will teach you to grow a garden that offers food, flowers and fun. In this hands-on, practical course, tutor Karen will share tried and tested ways to grow fruit, vegetables, trees and flowers that thrive in our local climate and conditions. We’ll design, plant and maintain beautiful, wild-life friendly borders and vegetable beds, producing fresh produce and flowers for The Farmer’s Arms kitchens, with plenty to nibble on as we work too! You’ll also learn about harvesting and pruning fruit, how to propagate all kinds of plants, and how to cope with common problems from weeds to slugs to gluts. We will make our own compost and natural plant feeds, and learn how to choose, use and maintain tools.
The full 8-session course fees are £320 for 8 sessions or £280 for concessions.
The eight sessions will give you the confidence to plan and tackle your own garden projects big and small, as we focus on seasonal activities and environmentally-aware, real-world solutions to the challenges we all face in our unpredictable local climate.
You’ll learn in a small, mixed ability group of a maximum of 10, and there will be chances in every session to get answers to your gardening questions. Alternate Saturdays will be supported additionally by Grace Holland, gardener at The Farmer’s Arms, Lawson Park & Blackwell. Each session includes a refreshment break where we’ll share some home-baking in the plot’s Outdoor Classroom, a beautiful all-season shelter designed and built in 2020 by a Grizedale Arts School led by Takeshi Hayatsu and Practice Architecture.
In 2022 we’ll improve the beds and borders made in the 2021 season, extending our growing spaces to include more edibles and cut flowers and more container / raised bed gardening around The Soap Dairy studio at the farm. We also hope to schedule a few optional offsite sessions at previous students’ own gardens – something several of last year’s students suggested. These will be free sessions for any interested students, tackling a particular task or area in an established plot – such as planting a large border, overhauling a pond, or lifting and dividing a herbaceous border – all fantastic jobs to gain first-hand experience of tackling, and a lot more fun to do in a group!
The sessions run on the last Saturday of the month from March until October 2022.
Sat. 26 March - Preparing No-Dig Veg Beds / Early Planting / Signs of Life / Choose Your Battles
Sat. 30 April - Hardworking Herbaceous Plants / Sowing & Planting Easy Veg / Easy Design Hacks
Sat. 28 May - Watering How & When / Container Gardening / Annuals vs Perennials
Sat. 25 June - Low-Maintenance Tricks / Pests & Disease Prevention / Compost Know-How
Sat. 30 July - Biodiversity in the Garden / Late Summer Sowing / Holiday-Proof Your Garden
Sat. 27 August - Harvesting & Picking Know How / Keep the Colour Coming / Pests & Diseases / Action for Winter Veg
Sat. 24 September - Preserving Your Edibles / Reviewing & Rearranging / Autumnal Colour
Sat. 29 October - Harvesting & Storage / Getting Ahead for Next Year / Bulb Planting / Fruit Pruning
About the Tutor:
The course is devised and taught by artist / film-maker and head gardener Karen Guthrie. Karen is a lifelong gardener who has led the transformation of Grizedale Arts’ nearby HQ Lawson Park from fell-side to a 4-acre productive garden over the last two decades, working there with many volunteers and beginners, and opening for the prestigious National Garden Scheme for several years. At the garden’s relaunch in 2009, former BBC Gardener’s Question Time host Eric Robson called Lawson Park ‘a triumph‘.
An experienced teacher and an advocate of chemical-free, sustainable gardening, Karen’s philosophy is to promote ‘ambitious gardening for busy people’. She is especially keen on fruit and vegetable 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 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 London, Scotland, France and Japan.
Watch Karen introduce 2021’s Garden School here.
About the Venue:
The Farmer’s Arms Garden School is situated for this second year on the sunny plot at the beautiful Nibthwaite Grange Farm, where owners John and Maria run their thriving Dodgson Wood farm businesses. The plot is close to easy parking and a W.C.
With thanks to Nibthwaite Grange Farm for facilitating this initiative. This school supports the redevelopment of The Farmer’s Arms and is generously supported by funding from the Prince’s Countryside Fund.