The RHS Garden Harlow Carr column with Liz Thwaite
Harlow Carr is known for many things, but carving your own kitchen utensils or making face cleansers and hair masks from garden herbs may not be the first things that spring to mind!
These are just two of the new skills you can try your hand at as part of the garden’s adult learning programme which runs right throughout the year.
Walks, talks and workshops are on offer – 80 in total – and 36 of them are brand new for 2018.
As you’d expect, a lot of the courses are designed to help people develop their understanding of plants and gardening and boost their green-fingered credentials by learning alongside Harlow Carr’s experts.
New for this year is a chance to take a walk on the wild side with our garden manager Katherine Musgrove and learn how to tell an everyday weed from a wildflower.
However, there is also a huge choice for the more creative amongst you, including a chance to make felt animal brooches and 3D bowls, a linocut course to bring patterns and prints to life retro-style and even an opportunity to ‘paint landscapes with wool’, which sounds intriguing.
Most of the workshops involve both classroom and practical outdoor sessions in the garden.
Some are simple one-day taster sessions but there are also opportunities to sign up for seasonal workshops if you’re keen to learn a skill in more depth.
They’re a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and many of our regulars come back time and again; some have even made life-long friends.
Some of our most popular courses are back due to popular demand: dry stone walling, photography skills, growing your own veg and botanical drawing are always a hit, and the very popular willow weaving workshops, run by master craftsman Phil Bradley who made the now-famous ‘Boxing Hares’ and many of the other willow sculptures throughout the garden, get booked up within days.
Personally, I’m planning to book a place on our Talking Turf course run by Kevin Fowler, our very own lawn expert.
He’s the person who somehow manages to keep the grass at Harlow Carr looking so fabulous all year round. Looking at my own lawn, I really think it’s time to get some much-needed tips!
Harlow Carr is a learning environment in so many different ways and offers something for everyone, regardless of age, knowledge or skills.
We like to start people young with our free school visits which get over 14,000 budding gardeners through the doors every year.
Together with our horticultural apprenticeship and student programme, we’re working hard to grow the talent of the future.
I’ve still got a lot to learn about plants, but I’m lucky enough to be in the right place to do so.
Pop down to Harlow Carr from Wednesday 15 November to pick up your courses and workshops brochure or visit the website.