Donald and Susan Pike will be opening their garden in the Dordogne, France, by appointment during the summer months.
The garden is 4 and 1/2 acres of forest and field with a house, barn and cottage. There are two walled kitchen garden and a roof collection water stocking system. Vegetables, fruit and flowers have been grown on the plot over the last 20 years. Solar panels for hot water to the house.
Bois Sec Haut, 24540 Capdrot, Dordogne, France
Tuesday, 7 June 2016 - 10:00am to Friday, 30 September 2016 - 5:00pm
This is the perfect follow-on from our introductory course, ‘Introduction to Seed Saving’, or is ideal for those with some experience of saving seed from vegetables.
The course focuses on those annuals which cross and biennial crops of vegetables. We'll also be looking at isolation, pollination, post-harvest ripening, over-wintering of biennials, drying seed and cleaning seed.
Come and learn about how to weave a willow wreath using materials from the garden to make natural decorations and take a wreath home with you in time for Christmas!
You will be shown how to weave your own willow wreath that you can then decorate with natural materials from the gardens. We will also look at making table decorations, wall hangings and other ideas for natural decorations.
There will also be discussion around the benefits of home-grown, compostable decorations versus less sustainable options.
This course will teach you about pruning a variety of small trees and shrubs, whether that be for shape or production. Pruning can sometimes seem overly complicated, so a big aim of the session will be to discuss the main principles and boost your confidence levels.
Many people are able to grow an average crop of potatoes, but this course will help equip you with the skills for growing high-yielding and good quality organic crops.
On the day we will answer questions such as:
This is a introductory course focusing on how to start planning your organic garden focusing on crop rotation, ground preparation, and much more. The day will look at what you need to do and buy to get started growing your own fruit and veg, and will be based around the you and your own gardening situation.
Growing brassicas means so much more than just cabbage and sprouts, have you ever thought about growing any of the following?
Perennial African Kale
Or any other oriental varieties
These brassicas are a great way to spice up the salad bowl. This half day course which will look at how to prepare your ground and provide useful tips on trying to control pests and diseases. You will also get to take some Indian mustard seeds home with you.
Our gardens are important havens for wildlife, combined with their surroundings it creates a valuable network of 'wildlife corridors' across all areas. This course looks at working towards having a garden that is not only beautiful, but is a home to as many different wildlife creatures as possible, with the added benefit that these creatures will contribute to the health of the garden.
This half-day introductory course will look at what you need to do and buy to get started with growing your own fruit and veg. We will be focusing on how to start your organic garden and will be using the gardens to demonstrate how to do this. There will be a short practical growing skills session and there will be something of a seasonal nature for you to take away with you.
“How do I deal with pests and diseases without chemicals?” is a common question posed to organic gardeners. Organic systems place a strong emphasis on managing crops to prevent outbreaks rather than trying to deal with them after they have struck.
Composting makes the world go round. It recycles the nutrients that make plants (and animals) grow, feeds the bugs that keep the soil healthy and is a sustainable, low-cost way of dealing with ‘rubbish that rots’. And it can be fun too.
The contents of this course include:
An introduction to the basic components of successful composting. Including; where to site your bin, what to compost and dealing with composting problems. A guide to the creatures in your compost bin and how they create compost.
Get to know your soil as we delve deeper into what determines the health of our soils.
Healthy soils are the basis for healthy plants and the building block for any organic garden. Lawrence Hills, founder of Garden Organic described fertile soil as being “one which will continue to produce good crops indefinitely” (Fertility Gardening, 1981). This course will examine what makes a healthy soil and consider methods for testing it in your own gardens or growing spaces. We will also discuss the role that green manures can play in improving the soil.