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Cambridge University Botanic Garden Courses & Events Programme

Botanical Art 2024

Improvers watercolour en plein ai

Improvers watercolour en plein air 4 Jun 2024

£75.00

Description

Tutor: John Wiltshire
Date: Tuesday 4th June 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £75
Location: Classroom

Improve your watercolour technique and develop as a watercolour painter with John Wiltshire. This course is designed to build on your existing experience with watercolour and provide you with tools which will help you to continue to grow as a watercolour painter. Over the session you will be introduced to various approaches and methods to apply your own painterly vision to your practice. We will look at the Botanic Garden and how to approach this exciting and vibrant subject for yourself ‘en plein air’. You will be briefly revisiting the basics of watercolour technique and introduced to practical applications of a limited palette technique. Materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring any materials that you would prefer to use.
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Flower collage

Flower collage 27 Jun 2024

£75.00

Description

Tutor: Caroline Henricksen
Date: Thursday 27th June 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £75
Location: Classroom

Taking inspiration from the Botanic Garden, come and join Caroline Henricksen for a fun relaxing and creative day paper collaging flowers. Caroline will take you through the process she uses to create her botanical collage pieces, starting with you creating your own collage surfaces using paints, foliage, vintage paper, magazines, old books, wallpaper, and even toothbrush and scissors. Just about anything can be used to collage. Playing with patterns and textures can produce some interesting and quite beautiful results. This workshop is aimed at beginners through to more accomplished artists who want to try something new. Caroline will be on hand throughout to give lots of one-to-one tuition. Students are welcome to bring in their own materials that they would like to work with (for example old prints, poems, books) but everything is provided on the day. Just turn up and create!
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Oil painting 'en plein air'

Oil painting en plein air 2 and 3 Jul 2024

£150.00

Description

Tutor: John Wiltshire
Date: Tuesday 2nd July 2024 and Wednesday 3rd July 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £150
Location: Classroom

Improve your oil painting skills with professional painter John Wiltshire. On this two-day course in oil painting technique, professional artist John Wiltshire will demonstrate techniques and approaches to oil painting in the open air. With enough time to create your own painting this is a rare opportunity to work in the beautiful historic setting of the Botanic Garden and explore oil painting over an extended period. Use the techniques of ‘il primatura’ and ‘a la prima’ painting and expect to learn some of the ‘tricks of the trade’ that will enhance and accelerate your own painting so that you will come away with practical insight into how to develop as a painter. Materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring any materials that you would prefer to use. This course is suitable for beginners or those looking to improve their painting technique.
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Rose buds in coloured pencil

Rose buds in coloured pencil 4 Jul 2024

£55.00

Description

Tutor: Janie Pirie
Date: Thursday 4th July 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £55
Location: Online

Sit in the comfort of your own home and follow Janie with this step-by-step lesson on ‘painting’ a beautiful rose bud using coloured pencils. This online workshop will give you the chance to learn some of the basic techniques of illustrating a botanical subject using coloured pencils. Using a limited colour palette Janie will show you how to achieve a beautifully painterly effect with coloured pencils, incorporating smooth gradations, showing you how to tackle fine details and using shine to create form. The price includes a kit of coloured pencils, sheets of art paper, and rubbers. The pack will be sent out in advance of the course and contains everything you will need to complete your drawing, including simple instructions for how to do a preliminary drawing to prepare for the course. Suitable for beginners or for those wanting to brush up on their techniques.
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Berries and cherries in coloured pencil

Berries and cherries in coloured pencil 17, 18 and 19 Jul 2024

£180.00

Description

Tutor: Janie Pirie
Date: Wednesday 17th July 2024, Thursday 18th July 2024, and Friday 19th July 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £180
Location: Classroom

There is nothing more exciting than learning how to show the glossiness of bright summer berries. Cherries are particularly beautiful, but there are many others to choose from, such as blueberries, redcurrants, blackcurrant, raspberries… the list goes on. This course will cover drawing, composition, and colouring with good quality-coloured pencils. The result will be a piece of work that is dripping with juiciness! This course is suitable for beginners and those wanting to develop their drawing technique. A suggested materials list will be provided a few weeks before the start of the course.
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Herbs and spices in coloured pencil

Herbs and spices in coloured pencil 4, 5 and 6 Sep 2024

£180.00

Description

Tutor: Janie Pirie
Date: Wednesday 4th September 2024, Thursday 5th September 2024, and Friday 6th September 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £180
Location: Classroom

A cook’s cupboard isn’t complete without a variety of herbs and spices. However, they don’t get to be observed when used in culinary situations. This three-day course will give you an opportunity to study them closely and find a beauty you didn’t know existed. There are so many varieties of pepper, from very small (and fiercely hot) to large. Lemongrass, ginger, chives, mint, sage, dill, coriander, parsley – an endless list of exciting subjects. You could choose to illustrate several on one page – those that you would need to make a curry or a Thai dish perhaps, or you can just make a study of herbs or spices. Drawing and composition will also be covered, as well as the best techniques to apply to coloured pencil work to make it look ‘painterly’ and three-dimensional. This course is suitable for beginners and those wanting to develop their drawing technique. A suggested materials list will be provided a few weeks before the start of the course.
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Onions and garlic in watercolour

Onions and garlic in watercolour 11, 12 and 13 Sep 2024

£180.00

Description

Tutor: Penny Price
Date: Wednesday 11th September 2024, Thursday 12th September 2024, and Friday 13th September 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £180
Location: Classroom

Join botanical artist Penny Price to cover the learn the basics of watercolour technique by focusing on onions and garlic. The shine on an onion and the papery quality of a garlic bulb are challenging but rewarding. Cut open to reveal patterns or left whole, these shiny, reflective materials provide an opportunity to develop your watercolour technique. Starting first with pencils, we can study their shape and paint them in watercolour. Some specimens will be provided, but you are free to bring some of your own choice too. Open to all levels with group and individual guidance. A suggested materials list will be provided a few weeks before the start of the course.
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Illustrating plants in pencil

Illustrating plants in pencil 1 and 2 Oct 2024

£135.00

Description

Tutor: Lizzie Harper
Date: Tuesday 1st October 2024 and Wednesday 2nd October 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £135
Location: Classroom

This workshop takes two days to experiment with botanical illustration in pencil, covering line drawing on day one and tonal studies on day two. We’ll touch on composition, do some basic botany required for accurate illustration, have tutor demos, and the chance to draw parts and/or whole plants from the garden. Plants from the Botanic Garden will be provided, but you are free to bring some of your own choice too. Open to all levels with group and individual guidance. A suggested materials list will be provided a few weeks prior to the course.
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Drawing the Pinetum

Drawing the Pinetum 4 and 11 Nov 2024

£95.00

Description

Tutor: John Wiltshire
Date: Monday 4th November 2024 and Monday 11th November 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £95
Location: Online

Draw the Botanic Garden from the comfort of your own home with professional painter John Wiltshire. During this online course we will take our time to pay attention to the pinetum area of the Botanic Garden so that you will be able to distinguish one tree from another and describe the essence of these differences in drawings. Using various approaches with pencil and graphite, you will learn to improve both your mark making and your observation on this course. The price includes a kit of required material. The pack will be sent out in advance of the course and contains everything you will need to complete your drawing. This course is suitable for all levels.
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Gilded backgrounds for flowers

Gilded backgrounds for flowers 13, 14 and 15 Nov 2024

£180.00

Description

Tutor: Penny Price
Date: Wednesday 13th November 2024, Thursday 14th November 2024, and Friday 15th November 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £180
Location: Classroom

A three-day workshop designing a floral painting in watercolour, with a gilded background using gold leaf. Gilding techniques will be taught, and help given on final designs. Plants from the Botanic Garden will be provided, but you are free to bring some of your own choice too. Open to all levels with group and individual guidance. A suggested materials list will be provided a few weeks before the start of the course. Penny will supply the gold leaf and acrylic gold.
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Creative and Wellbeing 2024

Linocut leaves

Linocut leaves 6 Jun 2024

£75.00

Description

Tutor: Emma James
Date: Thursday 6th June 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £75
Location: Classroom

Drawing inspiration from a selection of leaves collected, sketched, and photographed the Botanic Garden, you will create your own leaves using linocut. Using the ‘reduction process’, we’ll create a layered image using two sets of autumnal colour palettes. The course is suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience of linocut techniques. Materials and some tools will be available to use, but you will need your own set of lino cutting tools, as well as a box or folder to take away your prints.
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Hand-tied bouquet making

Hand-tied bouquet making 7 Jun 2024

£65.00

Description

Tutor: Paula Edgington
Date: Friday 7th June 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £65
Location: Classroom

Learn how to make your own beautiful hand tied bouquet. You will be guided step by step on how to prepare the stems and construct your bouquet. In addition, you will be shown how you can gift wrap any bouquets you make in the future. Everything you need is provided, and you can take home your own hand-tied bouquet. This course is suitable for all levels.
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Making organic paints and inks

Making organic paints and inks 11 and 12 Jul 2024

£135.00

Description

Tutor: Nabil Ali
Date: Thursday 11th July 2024 and Friday 12th July 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £135
Location: Classroom

With plant material collected from the Botanic Garden, you will re-create paint making processes using documented recipes from historical manuscripts and ancient sources. The workshop aims to give you the tools to go on to establish your own paint systems by utilising plants from your own garden or inspiring you to try growing some new ones to support your new-found skills. Having learnt the basics, you will explore colour compositions, practical paint layering systems, a variety of natural binders and fillers, preservatives, and coloured egg glazes to create a range of samples and images. During the workshop you will also have access to Nabil’s 'organic paint recipe archive' detailing in-depth insight into the practical foundations for paint making using common and unusual plants. This course is open to all levels and all the materials you need will be provided.
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Mini monoprints: Experimenting with natural shapes and textures

Mini monoprints: Experimenting with natural shapes and textures 16 Jul 2024

£75.00

Description

Tutor: Grace Hailstone
Date: Tuesday 16th July 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £75
Location: Classroom

Join Printmaker Grace Hailstone for a day-long course exploring the art of Monoprinting. Make unique monoprints exploring silhouettes of leaves and ‘ghost prints’ using a miniature etching press. Working with positive and negative shapes, spacing and texture, we will create unique original prints on cotton-based paper using real leaves and materials. Participants can bring collected organic materials to print with, materials will also be provided. We will begin with making simple silhouettes then expanding to create multi layered images full of organic shapes and textures. Image sizes will be a maximum of 10 cm. This course is open to all levels.
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Botanical blueprints

Botanical blueprints 25 and 26 Jul 2024

£150.00

Description

Tutor: Susie Turner
Date: Thursday 25th July 2024 and Friday 26th July 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £150
Location: Classroom

This practical workshop will introduce participants to the simple technique of Cyanotype using the rich collection of foliage and found objects in the Botanic Garden as inspiration. Participants will learn how to transfer botanical specimens, found objects, drawings, and photographs into unique Cyanotype prints using a range of suitable papers and ready-made cyanotype sensitizer solution. There will also be the opportunity to work with pre-coated fabric. This course is suitable for all levels.
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Red, yellow, and blue: A colour palette

Red, yellow, and blue: A colour palette 15 Oct 2024

£75.00

Description

Tutor: Nabil Ali
Date: Tuesday 15th October 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £75
Location: Classroom

Learn the basic processes and techniques of paint production from plants. A colour workshop to create a plant-based watercolour–gouache paint using three historical dye plants: Madder (Rubia tinctoria) – red, Weld (Reseda luteola) – yellow and Woad / Indigo (Isatis tinctoria / Indigofera tinctoria) – blue. Participants will understand the basic theory of the making processes and knowledge of growing the plants to store for paint production. The course will also explore examples of art and textiles that have utilised these three colourants over the centuries in different cultures and how organic colourings became less important in favour of William Henry Perkin’s discoveries of synthetic purple dye which changed the world. The course is for all levels of ability.
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Monoprinting with leaves

Monoprinting with leaves 29 Oct 2024

£75.00

Description

Tutor: Susie Turner
Date: Tuesday 29th October 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £75
Location: Classroom

This one-day workshop will introduce participants to the simple but effective method of monoprinting directly using a selection of pressed autumnal leaves as primary source material. Monoprinting is the method of producing one or several unique prints. The technique offers fine detail and versatility in image making. During this one-day workshop, participants will learn how to make monoprints using oil-based water washable inks, a small professional printing press as well as learn how to print without a press, using hand burnishing techniques. The course is open to all levels and materials will be provided.
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Linocut views in the glasshouses

Linocut views in the glasshouses 7 and 8 Nov 2024

£150.00

Description

Tutor: Emma James
Date: Thursday 7th November 2024 and Friday 8th November 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £150
Location: Classroom

Drawing inspiration from plants and view in the glasshouses in the Botanic Garden, we will adapt a sketch or photograph and transfer your image into a reduction linocut. Using the ‘reduction process’, create a layered image using two contrasting colour palettes. The course is suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience of linocut techniques. Materials and some tools will be available to use, but you will need your own set of lino cutting tools, as well as a box or folder to take away your prints.
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Christmas wreath making

Christmas wreath making 5 Dec 2024

£70.00

Description

Tutor: Paula Edgington
Date: Thursday 5th December 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £70
Location: Classroom

Join florist Paula Edgington to start your festive season and make your own garden-inspired festive wreath. No previous experience is needed as you will be taken through the process step-by-step. The wreath will be made from scratch and will have a moss-based ring. You will then cover it in a selection of festive evergreen foliage and berries which have been gathered from the Botanic Garden, followed by a choice of decorations from natural pinecones, cinnamon bundles, dried fruit and more, and finally a ribbon to hang it up. Come and have fun, learn a new skill, be creative and leave with your very own handmade festive wreath for your front door. This course is suitable for all levels and everything you need is provided.

NOTE: This event is organised by CUBG Learning Office and not CUBG Friends. Bookings for the annual Friends’ Wreath-Making Workshop with Sam Cotterell can be made via the What’s On pages.


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Christmas wreath making

Christmas wreath making 6 Dec 2024

£70.00

Description

Tutor: Paula Edgington
Date: Friday 6th December 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £70
Location: Classroom

Join florist Paula Edgington to start your festive season and make your own garden-inspired festive wreath. No previous experience is needed as you will be taken through the process step-by-step. The wreath will be made from scratch and will have a moss-based ring. You will then cover it in a selection of festive evergreen foliage and berries which have been gathered from the Botanic Garden, followed by a choice of decorations from natural pinecones, cinnamon bundles, dried fruit and more, and finally a ribbon to hang it up. Come and have fun, learn a new skill, be creative and leave with your very own handmade festive wreath for your front door. This course is suitable for all levels and everything you need is provided.

NOTE: This event is organised by CUBG Learning Office and not CUBG Friends. Bookings for the annual Friends’ Wreath-Making Workshop with Sam Cotterell can be made via the What’s On pages.
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Garden History 2024

Cultivating creations: Gardens and fashion of the Regency and Late Georgian

Cultivating creations: Gardens and fashion of the Regency and Late Georgian 26 Apr 2024

£25.00

Description

Tutor: Twigs Way
Date: Friday 26th April 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £25
Location: Online

Muslins and cottons, prints and sprigs, influences from India and the growth of merchants. We will explore links between parks and parades of spa towns, Reptonian gardenesque for the newly monied classes, aviaries and exotics for the Regent. Portraits and conversation pieces give us insights into clothing and landscape, as polite society dictate fashion inside and out as literature joins the cultural milieu. Fourth part in a monthly series examining the interplay of textiles, fashion, culture, and garden design. Each session is sold separately.

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Cultivating creations: Gardens and fashion of the Victorian

Cultivating creations: Gardens and fashion of the Victorian 24 May 2024

£25.00

Description

Tutor: Twigs Way
Date: Friday 24th May 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £25
Location: Online

Packed with colour and pattern, interior designs vie with brightly coloured bedding schemes, and artificial flowers inside reflect artifice outside. Rich fashion fabrics are resolutely plain, but do the corsets and constrictions, bustles and flounces mirror the contrivances and deceptions in the garden where topiary and carpet bedding entertain? Inside and out are brought together in the middle-class home where ‘taste’ rules all. Fifth part in a monthly series examining the interplay of textiles, fashion, culture, and garden design. Each session is sold separately.
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The history of saffron

The history of saffron 25 Jun 2024

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Sally Francis
Date: Tuesday 25th June 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £35
Location: Classroom

Find out about the history of this fascinating flower and how to use it in your cookery at home. Saffron is the dried stigmas of an autumn-flowering crocus called Crocus sativus. It is a hugely valuable spice with a fascinating history. Saffron is used around the world to flavour food as well as being used for dyeing, perfumery and in herbal medicine. On this half-day course Sally will introduce you to the history of the cultivation of this fascinating flower and teach you how to get the best from this precious spice in your cookery at home.
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Cultivating creations: Gardens and fashion of the Edwardian

Cultivating creations: Gardens and fashion of the Edwardian 28 Jun 2024

£25.00

Description

Tutor: Twigs Way
Date: Friday 28th June 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £25
Location: Online

As the ‘wild garden’ gained popularity outside, textiles and fashion reflected looser more ‘natural’ fashions inside. Flowers decorated hats and house parties, whilst sports for all dictated both clothing and landscapes, as tennis courts and croquet invaded the country house landscape. ‘Allotment fashion’ appears on postcards and down the plot, and women in bloomers bicycled to Tea Gardens laid out in fashionable rustic style. The sixth and final part in our chronological monthly series examining the interplay of textiles, fashion, culture, and garden design will include the influence of sport and leisure on landscapes and fashions. Each session is sold separately.
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Painters in their places: Exploring the interplay between gardens and art

Painters in their places: Exploring the interplay between gardens and art 20 Sep, 25 Oct, 22 Nov 24

£105.00

Description

Tutor: Twigs Way
Date: Friday 20th September 2024, Friday 25th October 2024, and Friday 22nd November 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £105
Location: Classroom

This short series of three linked sessions will each explore in detail distinct artists/artistic schools which drew for inspiration on gardens, garden design and planting, but impacted in different ways on textiles, fashion, and culture more broadly. Focusing mainly on the English experience but including in the first session a pairing of English and Spanish (Sargent and Sorolla) with further reference to French impressionists in England. The aim of these sessions is to explore the ways in which gardens and design integrate into other aspects of culture and arts by focusing on specific examples.
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The origins of mycology in Britain

The origins of mycology in Britain 14 Oct 2024

£25.00

Description

Tutor: Nathan Smith
Date: Monday 14th October 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £25
Location: Online

A history of science course that will cover how mycology came to be recognised as a subject. Covering the 19th and early 20th century, the course will give an overview of the key events in the early history of mycology and will explore topics such as the history of the microscope, the history of scientific societies, and the role of museums. Participants will also be guided through available resources enabling them to conduct further reading and, if they desire, their own research into this underexplored topic.
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Lancelot Brown: Reassessing the Capabilities

Lancelot Brown: Reassessing the Capabilities 16 Oct 2024

£25.00

Description

Tutor: Laura Mayer
Date: Wednesday 16th October 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £25
Location: Online

The architect and designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, born in 1716, is credited with formulating the iconic English landscape garden. Even today, his rolling lawns, scattered with tree clumps and ornamented with glittering lakes, continue to define our perception of rural Britain. As a result, his hundreds of landscapes have eclipsed the study of eighteenth-century garden history almost entirely. But how many of those schemes were genuinely Brown’s sole vision? And when we look at the man behind the name, what, in fact, was his true ‘capability’? This course examines, possibly controversially, that it was not just his aesthetic insight – nor even his practical gardening talents – that set Brown apart from his peers, but something entirely more mercenary.
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Horticulture 2024

Getting the best from your roses

Getting the best from your roses 05 Nov 2024

£70.00

Description

Tutor: Ian Limmer
Date: Tuesday 5th November 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £70.00
Location: Classroom

This one-day course led by rosarian expert Ian Limmer from Peter Beales Roses Ltd will help you to get the most from your roses. During the course, Ian will aim to cover planting bare root and container roses, transplanting mature roses, growing roses in pots, and pruning modern, shrub, procumbent, climbing, and rambling roses. There will also be the opportunity for questions and answers. No special equipment is required but you may like to bring a notebook and pen. Teaching will take place both in the Classroom and outside so please wear suitable clothing and footwear.
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Grow your own hardy fruit: Theory and practice

Grow your own hardy fruit: Theory and practice 06 Jul 2024

£70.00

Description

Tutor: Peter Wrapson
Date: Saturday 6th July 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £70.00
Location: Classroom

Join the Botanic Garden’s expert fruit and vegetable grower Peter Wrapson on this day course, to learn how to select and look after your fruit plants. This workshop on growing hardy fruit will look at various fruit trees as well as fruiting canes and bushes, and herbaceous plants such as strawberries. It will cover the selection of varieties, plant care, basic pruning, propagation, and harvesting, and address their different requirements. It will highlight seasonal tasks and will include a discussion about soil health and plant nutrition, helping attendees to plan their plantings and make the most of their growing space. This course is scheduled in the summer to allow you to begin planning your fruit garden in time for planting in the autumn and winter. Generally speaking, summer is not the time of year for pruning, so this will be covered in theory only. Practical demonstrations will include some planting and propagation.
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Intermediate garden design

Intermediate garden design 19 Sep, 03, 17, and 31 Oct 2024

£280.00

Description

Tutor: Paul Herrington
Date: Thursday 19th September 2024, Thursday 3rd October 2024, Thursday 17th October 2024, and Thursday 31st October 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £280.00
Location: Classroom

Extend your garden design skills with Paul Herrington. This course would be perfect for learners with some experience of garden design and who have completed the Introduction to Garden Design course at the Botanic Garden or similar elsewhere. Course content is flexible and will be tailored to the needs of the learner group. It will be most meaningful for those who have a garden design or redesign in mind and would like to dive deeper into details such as planting schemes, hard landscaping, water features and garden lighting. Numbers on this course are limited to ensure plenty of opportunities for support and discussion with the tutor and fellow participants. The price is for all four sessions which cannot be booked individually.
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Winter interest for the garden

Winter interest for the garden 03 Dec 2024

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Sally Petitt
Date: Tuesday 3rd December 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £35.00
Location: Classroom

Winter is often considered off-season for many gardeners, but there are many plants which can enhance even the smallest garden over the winter period. Join Head of Horticulture Sally Petitt on this half-day course as she discusses ways to add interest to your own patch, provides tips on which plants will bring valuable colour to your garden in winter, and takes you on a tour of our acclaimed Winter Garden.
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Plant Science and ID 2024

Understanding colour in plants

Understanding colour in plants 20 May 2024

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Beverley Glover
Date: Monday 20th May 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £35
Location: Classroom

Join the Botanic Garden Director, Professor Beverley Glover, for this half-day course to explore the concept of colour in plants. Colour in plants is of great cultural importance, influencing many areas of human endeavour including horticulture, art, and gastronomy. Colour also plays a vital role in the biology of plants by absorbing harmful radiation from the sun, capturing light to drive photosynthesis, and signalling the availability of flowers and fruit. This half-day course of lecture, practical demonstration, and garden walk with Botanic Garden Director, Professor Beverley Glover will explore the concept of colour in plants. Beverley will explain how colourful pigments are made, by what mechanisms different colour hues are achieved and for what effect, why some colours are more common than others, and how plants can make structural colour without the use of pigments at all.
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Flowering plant taxonomy and systematics

Flowering plant taxonomy and systematics 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 Jun 2024

£395.00

Description

Tutor: Ángela Cano, Ros Bennett
Date: Monday 17th June 2024, Tuesday 18th June 2024, Wednesday 19th June 2024, Thursday 20th June 2024, and Friday 21st June 2024
Time: 09:30 - 17:30
Cost: £395
Location: Classroom

This five-day intensive course introduces flowering plant families to committed amateurs, undergraduates, graduates, and professionals. The aim is to develop an understanding of the evolution and systematics of the major plant families and the practical skills needed when approaching the identification of plant material. Teaching is through a combination of practical sessions and lectures covering exemplars of major flowering plant families, with an emphasis on those of North Temperate regions. The course makes extensive use of plant material and the living collections across the Botanic Garden and includes a visit to the University’s Herbarium, housed in the Sainsbury Laboratory.
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Mediterranean flowering plants

Mediterranean flowering plants 9 and 10 Jul 2024

£135.00

Description

Tutor: Ros Bennett
Date: Tuesday 9th July 2024 and Wednesday 10th July 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £135
Location: Classroom

Our gardens are full of flowers that originated in the Mediterranean, their colours and scents reminding us of sun-baked hillsides, resonating with the ringtones of cicadas. With the increasing reality of global warming, these beautiful and fascinating plants are beginning to gain more than a toehold in the naturalised flora of southern Britain. The theoretical part of this two-day course will look at the full global distribution of the Mediterranean flora but will focus predominantly on the Mediterranean basin itself. We will consider the benefits and constraints of the Mediterranean climate and the remarkable and varied adaptations adopted by the plants that have evolved to cope with it. In addition, we will recognise the role played by many key Mediterranean species in the origins and development of western society. Our focus will be the flora of the Mediterranean Basin with reference to specific locations.
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Introduction to mycology

Introduction to mycology 9 and 10 Sep 2024

£135.00

Description

Tutor: Nathan Smith
Date: Monday 9th September 2024 and Tuesday 10th September 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £135
Location: Classroom

An introductory course to the science behind fungi. Covering fungal biology and fungal ecology, the course will also examine the wider cultural impact of fungi in art, music, and religion. Participants will be taught what makes a fungus, the fundamentals of fungal identification, and introduced to some of the key debates in mycology today. They will also be guided to available resources and local groups should they wish to continue their fungal adventures.
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Incredible edible and drinkable plants

Incredible edible and drinkable plants 18 Sep 2024

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Gwenda Kyd
Date: Wednesday 18th September 2024
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Cost: £35
Location: Classroom


Join chemist and Bach flower remedy practitioner Gwenda Kyd to explore the benefits of a plant-rich diet. Plants are a very important source of food. This half-day workshop explores the benefits that plants add to our food and drinks – colour, flavour, and texture, as well as nutrients and potentially beneficial medicinal compounds. We will also look at why some plants are popular foods and others less so and identify some of the foods which have attracted the attention of criminals. Weather permitting, we'll see some of these food and drink plants growing in the Garden. By the end of the morning, you’ll never look at the plants on your plate or in your cup in quite the same way again!
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Beginners' guide to botany

Beginners' guide to botany 24 and 25 Sep 2024

£135.00

Description

Tutor: Karen van Oostrum
Date: Tuesday 24th September and Wednesday 25th September 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £135
Location: Classroom

This lively, informative, hands-on course offers complete beginners a relaxed introduction to the world of botany. With plenty of plant material to look at in the classroom, we will investigate the vegetative (leaves, stems, roots) and reproductive (flowers, fruits, and seeds) parts of flowering plants, and start to understand the roles that they perform. Outside in the Garden we can visit the Rising Path to consider the domination of the angiosperms (flowering plants) in the broader context of the whole plant kingdom, and we will make use of the plant collections to explore plant adaptations and the variety of flower forms. There will be time to explore how to use a field guide, with the opportunity to practice and develop your own plant identification skills.
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An introduction to fungi for beginners

More than just mushrooms: An introduction to fungi for beginners 21 Oct 2024

£70.00

Description

Tutor: Ali Ashby
Date: Monday 21st October 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £70
Location: Classroom

Join Dr Ali Ashby, fungal molecular biologist, on an exploration of the fungal kingdom. Fungi are vital to life on Earth as we know it. Although once grouped with plants, fungi are now recognised as a separate, and arguably one of the largest, kingdom of organisms, with over 5 million species estimated. From microscopic single celled yeasts to one of the largest living organisms on our planet, fungi can be found in just about every habitat on Earth, from the Arctic to the tropics, in the air we breathe, in seas and oceans, in the home and garden – and even as part of the human microbiome. Fungi form beneficial partnerships with plants and animals, they are our planet’s best recyclers, yet they can cause disease and devastate crops. We use fungi in our everyday lives, in food products, as medicines, to help clean up the environment, as building materials and packaging, in fashion and in cleaning products. Fungi will be essential as we move towards a more sustainable future. After all, we could not and would not survive on Earth without them.
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Exploring tropical botany (November)

Exploring tropical botany (November) 18 and 19 November 2024

£135.00

Description

Tutor: Ángela Cano
Date: Monday 18th November 2024 and Tuesday 19th November 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £135
Location: Classroom

Join our Assistant Curator, Dr Ángela Cano, on this two-day introduction to tropical botany. Travelling back in time, you will learn about the dynamic borders of the tropical region, with a focus on the fossil record. You will then study current patterns of geographic distribution of plant diversity on Earth, discovering that it is not homogeneous, but dramatically different between continents. You will fly over the tropical belt to understand which regions have the highest species richness, known as “biodiversity hotspots”, and face the strongest threats. Ángela will then discuss the main factors that threaten this biodiversity and the local and ex situ efforts that are in place to counteract their effects. The second part of the course will focus on plant systematics – understanding how plants have evolved, and how taxonomists have classified them. You will focus on different tropical plant groups, starting with non-flowering plants, such as mosses, ferns and conifers and then briefly cover the most representative tropical angiosperm families.
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Getting to know the conifers

Getting to know the conifers 27 and 28 Nov 2024

£135.00

Description

Tutor: Ros Bennett
Date: Wednesday 27th November 2024 and Thursday 28th November 2024
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Cost: £135
Location: Classroom


In winter, when there are very few flowers around and most of our native plants have lost their leaves, it is a wonderful opportunity to focus our attention on the conifers – most of which are evergreen and still bear cones. The British flora is remarkably poor in diversity of native conifers, but many introduced species form a major feature in our landscape. And here in the Botanic Gardens at Cambridge we are fortunate to have the opportunity to study a fine collection of this magnificent group of trees. This course is suitable for beginners, including more experienced botanists who have not yet tackled conifers (or tried and failed!) and all those who love trees. No previous knowledge is assumed.
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Cambridge Nature Festival 2024

Cambridge Nature Festival: Fenland Folklore and Flora, 25 May 2024

Cambridge Nature Festival: Fenland Folklore and Flora, 25 May 2024

£5.00

Description

Date: Saturday, 25 May 2024
Time: 2.00-3.00pm
Cost: £5.00
Location: Classroom

The Cambridgeshire Fens have had a strong relationship with plants, water and folk magic for hundreds of years; from Cambridge academics studying the natural world to Fen folk making their living from wetland plants, concocting herbal remedies and often conjuring charms to survive soggy winters and the uncertainty of the seasons.

Join acclaimed authors Ajay and Zoë as they explore the special species, traditions and atmospheres of a landscape shaped by water, steeped in history and shrouded in mystery. They’ll be lifting the lid on local legends, celebrating spring and honouring the land in an intriguing hour of botany and folklore you won’t want to miss.
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Cambridge Nature Festival: Early Morning Nature Wander, 13 Jun 2024

Cambridge Nature Festival: Early Morning Nature Wander, 13 Jun 2024

£5.00

Description

Date: Thursday, 13 June 2024
Time: 6:30-7:30am
Cost: £5.00
Location: Garden

Join us on an early morning guided nature walk around the Garden and indulge in the unique opportunity to explore the plants and their associated wildlife before anyone else arrives.
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Cambridge Nature Festival: Early Morning Nature Wander, 26 Jun 2024

Cambridge Nature Festival: Early Morning Nature Wander, 26 Jun 2024

£5.00

Description

Date: Wednesday, 26 June 2024
Time: 6:30-7:30am
Cost: £5.00
Location: Garden

Join us on an early morning guided nature walk around the Garden and indulge in the unique opportunity to explore the plants and their associated wildlife before anyone else arrives.
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Cambridge Nature Festival: Early Morning Nature Wander, 28 May 2024

Cambridge Nature Festival: Early Morning Nature Wander, 28 May 2024

£5.00

Description

Date: Tuesday, 28 May 2024
Time: 6:30-7:30am
Cost: £5.00
Location: Garden

Join us on an early morning guided nature walk around the Garden and indulge in the unique opportunity to explore the plants and their associated wildlife before anyone else arrives.
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Cambridge Nature Festival: The Great Fen Project, 23 Jun 2024

Cambridge Nature Festival: The Great Fen Project, 23 Jun 2024

£5.00

Description

Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Time: 2.00-3.00pm
Cost: £5.00
Location: Classroom

Listen to Henry Stanier from the Wildlife Trust talk about fenlands and the Great Fen Project, one of the largest restoration projects of its type in Europe.
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Cambridge Nature Festival: The Importance of Peatlands, 15 Jun 2024

Cambridge Nature Festival: The Importance of Peatlands, 15 Jun 2024

£5.00

Description

Date: Saturday, 15 June 2024
Time: 2.00-3.00pm
Cost: £5.00
Location: Classroom

In this talk, Brian Eversham will cover the range and biodiversity of British peatlands, and their conservation. Going back to Brian’s roots in southern Yorkshire, this talk reviews the battle to save Britain’s largest lowland raised peatbogs, Thorne and Hatfield Moors. It covers the range of peatland wildlife, from birds to insects to amoebae, flowers to fungi, their habitats, and the progress in restoring peatlands across Britain in the last 30 years, starting with the Great Fen.
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