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Cambridge University Botanic Garden Courses & Events Programme

Quick Find: Basketry 2022 (1 item) | Botanical Art 2022 (2 items) | Creative and Wellbeing 2022 (7 items) | Garden History 2022 (3 items) | Horticulture 2022 (1 item) | Plant ID and Science 2022 (3 items) | Family Events 2022 (3 items)

Basketry 2022

Making a round basket

Making a round basket: Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 November 2022

£140.00

Description

Tutor: Debbie Hall
Date: Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 November 2022
Time: 10am-4pm
Cost: £140
Location: Classroom

Learn how to make your own round stake and strand basket using willow in a range of rich colours on this two-day workshop. Led by award winning basket maker Debbie Hall, the workshop is suitable for both beginners and improvers. Over the two days there will be plenty of time to really absorb techniques properly without rushing, and to produce a lovely, shopper-type basket with rod border and wrapped handle. For those who have previous experience making a round basket there will be an opportunity to extend your skills with different side weaves and borders, and those with even more experience may wish to complete a basket project of their choice.
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Botanical Art 2022

Drawing trees

Drawing trees: Friday 18 and Friday 25 November 2022

£95.00

Description

Tutor: John Wiltshire
Date: Friday 18 and Friday 25 November 2022
Time: 10am-1pm
Cost: £95
Location: Online

This course is designed to develop your drawing and perceptual skills through the resource of the trees at the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. Using techniques to awaken and sharpen your observational perception, you will begin to draw trees with greater confidence, sophistication and character. Every tree can be seen as an individual but in order to draw, you require both specific and generalised information. This sounds like a contradiction but it is actually all about selection, what to include and what to generalise. How to extract this when faced with a subject as complex as a tree is a perceptual puzzle and the solution is individual to each artist. The aim of this course is to begin apply this attitude to your own drawing and to therefore assist you towards greater ability, confidence and objectivity with drawing in general.
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Illustrating crab apples on architects' parchment

Illustrating crab apples on architects' parchment: Tuesday 29 November 2022

£55.00

Description

Tutor: Janie Pirie
Date: Tuesday 29 November 2022
Time: 10am-1pm
Cost: £55
Location: Online

Drafting film isn’t new to the coloured pencil artist but it’s seldom used. Janie will show you how to create a beautiful illustration of green crab apples on this unusual surface. It takes coloured pencils well and is a much quicker process than working on 300g HP paper. The results are bright and translucent and every bit as vibrant as on other surfaces – maybe even brighter! The best bit – you don’t even have to draw your image on it first. Intrigued? Join the class and find out more.

A kit containing everything that you need for the course will be posted to you in advance of the course.
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Creative and Wellbeing 2022

Drawing botanicals: from observation to imagination

Drawing botanicals: from observation to imagination: Thursday 15,22,29 Sept, 6,13 Oct 2022

£125.00

Description

Tutor: Karin Eklund
Date: Thursday evenings 15, 22, 29 September, 6, 13 October 2022
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Cost: £125
Location: Online

Join artist and illustrator Karin Eklund to explore fun and joyful ways of drawing plants and nature.

Each week we will explore different ways of drawing using a variety of techniques and prompts. Karin will introduce the class to a wide range of artistic approaches and examples to guide us in developing our own unique visual language. The structured course will lead us from observational drawings of botanical specimens to more imaginative ways of representing plants and nature. Drawing through observation is a great way to develop your creativity and mindfulness.

Through drawing we will learn more about the plants and notice textures, organic shapes, colours and patterns that can be used in our own compositions. As an art historian Karin will also give you short introductions to early botanical illustration, the tradition of floral patterns and how contemporary artists use plants as an infinite source of inspiration. In the last session we will make our own concertina book on the theme of metamorphosis or collecting.

This is a 5 week course, for both beginners and more advanced students, set in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. To take this course you will need some flowers or plants, 2B and 3B pencils, colour pencils, coloured paper, A3 white papers and a sketchbook (or you can use what you have at home). A list of suggested materials will be sent to you upon booking.
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Hand sewing techniques: Dresden plate chrysanthemum

Hand sewing techniques: Dresden plate chrysanthemum: Saturday 17 September & Saturday 1 October 2022

£95.00

Description

Tutor: Jemma Dell
Date: Saturday 17 September and Saturday 1 October 2022
Time: 10am-1pm
Cost: £95
Location: Online

Take your hand sewing skills further with this traditional Dresden plate ‘chrysanthemum’ block. In the first of two classes you will learn to use English paper piecing and applique to create the flower shape of the block. You will also be taught how to use a hand applique technique to apply the plate to the top of the placemat. You will be asked to complete this as ‘homework’ before the next session. The tutor will be available by email during the week to provide support if needed.

In the second session, you will take the Dresden plate block and turn it into an 11x11 inch placemat. You will be shown how to put the layers together to create a ‘quilt sandwich’, to baste and then hand quilt through the layers. Adding pre-prepared binding by hand will frame and finish the placemat to perfection. The skills learned in this second part can be scaled up to enable you to finish a larger ‘quilt’.

The price includes a kit of co-ordinating fabrics, wadding, binding, paper templates and thread which will be posted to you in advance of the course.
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Mindfulness in the Garden in 3 sessions

Mindfulness in the Garden in 3 sessions: Monday 19 and 26 September, 3 October 2022

£90.00

Description

Tutor: Chantek McNeilage
Date: Monday 19, 26 September, 3 October 2022
Time: 10am-12:30pm
Cost: £90
Location: Classroom

Welcome to exploring the relationship between yourself, mindfulness and all that is offered in the Botanic Garden. We are all by nature mindful and yet we can be distracted from our natural mindfulness by our concerns, particularly when we are overwhelmed by anxiety, fears, inner judging and the frantic demands of busy lives. Using the Botanic Garden as your classroom, you will discover the joy, the wonder and the powerful impact of becoming and being more mindful in nature and deepening your understanding of nature’s role in promoting deep care, compassion, healing and well-being. This course will lay the foundations of mindfulness, offer simple practices in the gardens, time for quiet and silence and also time to reflect, thus developing an invaluable resource for your day to day life. This course is open to all; no prior experience of mindfulness is necessary. The only requirement to attend the course is to ‘come just as you are.’
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Creative garden writing

Creative garden writing: Tuesday 18 October 2022

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Jackie Bennett
Date: Tuesday 18 October 2022
Time: 10am-1pm
Cost: £35
Location: Classroom

Has the Botanic Garden or your own garden inspired you to want to write? The natural world is a great spur to creativity and whether or not you have ever tried writing before, this half day workshop could be the key to getting you started. Whether it’s a memory of a childhood garden, or a piece about a landscape you have visited, writing about gardens could be the key to unlocking your writing ‘voice’. During the session participants will have a chance to craft and read their own work, and the tutor will engage in guided exercises and offer advice. By the end of the morning, the participant will have produced one or more pieces of prose or poetry – and discovered options for continuing their writing.
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Christmas tree embroidered sampler card

Christmas tree embroidered sampler card: Saturday 26 November 2022

£45.00

Description

Tutor: Jemma Dell
Date: Saturday 26 November 2022
Time: 10am-1pm
Cost: £45
Location: Online

Join tutor Jemma Dell as she demonstrates how to create this simple hand stitched Christmas card, perfect for sending to close friends and family. In this two hour course you will learn eight different embroidery stitches and use these in combination with beads, a button and a piece of fabric to create a unique Christmas tree card. You can then frame your finished embroidery in its card ready to send. A kit containing everything that you need to make the card will be posted to you in advance of the course.

Suitable for beginners.
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Christmas wreath making

Christmas wreath making: Friday 2 December 2022

£60.00

Description

Tutor: Paula Edgington
Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Time: 10am-1pm
Cost: £60
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 foliages and berries which have been gathered from the Botanic Garden, followed by a choice of decorations from natural pine cones, cinnamon bundles, dried fruit and more, and finally a ribbon to hang it up. Come and have fun, maybe learn a new skill, be creative and leave with your very own handmade festive wreath for your front door.
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Christmas wreath making

Christmas wreath making: Friday 9 December 2022

£60.00

Description

Tutor: Paula Edgington
Date: Friday 9 December 2022
Time: 10am-1pm
Cost: £60
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 foliages and berries which have been gathered from the Botanic Garden, followed by a choice of decorations from natural pine cones, cinnamon bundles, dried fruit and more, and finally a ribbon to hang it up. Come and have fun, maybe learn a new skill, be creative and leave with your very own handmade festive wreath for your front door.
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Garden History 2022

What does that mean? An introduction to Latin terms and naming

What does that mean? An introduction to Latin terms and naming: Friday 7 October 2022

£25.00

Description

Tutor: Dr Twigs Way
Date: Friday 7 October 2022
Time: 10am - 1pm
Cost: £25
Location: Online

The wonderful world of scientific nomenclature has embedded a ‘secret’ history of plant hunters and horticulturalists in the plants and flowers we grow in our gardens. The honour of naming a new species was taken by many as an opportunity to honour past heroes or current friends, but the temptation of having ones own name go down in history was often too much to resist, especially after a lifetime of ‘derring-do’ plant hunting with little other reward. Markedly different from the naming of cultivars, we will encounter fewer from outside of the closed world of plants. Find out the histories behind the names and let the binomial system lead you down a garden path blooming with adventure and discovery as ghosts of 18th century plant explorers jostle with botanic artists, famous nurseries and long forgotten scientists.
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Gardens in Renaissance art

Gardens in Renaissance art: Friday 23 September 2022

£25.00

Description

Tutor: Dr Twigs Way
Date: Friday 23 September 2022
Time: 10am-1pm
Cost: £25
Location: Online

Drawing upon the richness of European art, we will explore the impact of the Renaissance on horticulture and garden design. Integrating heaven and earth as they combine wilderness and water with artificiality and automata. Terraces spring from hillsides and grottoes pierce the dark earth whilst statues and fountains bring the gods to life. Power is expressed through both the size and control of the gardens’ form, and the recording of them by artists whose patrons were the wealthy owners. Art, architecture and gardens combined to bring a renaissance of the past whilst hydraulics and horticulture looked towards the future. We will explore how the Renaissance Garden spread from the landscape and art of southern Europe, arriving finally in Britain a century after its birth.
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Fruit and flowers in Renaissance art

Fruit and flowers in Renaissance art: Friday 22 November 2022

£25.00

Description

Tutor: Dr Twigs Way
Date: Friday 21 October 2022
Time: 10am-1pm
Cost: £25
Location: Online

As the rebirth of culture and art flourished in the palaces and piazzas of Europe, so new worlds and new discoveries brought exotic plants to the terraces and hothouses. Botanic and floral art proliferated as the Medici and northern European courts employed artists to depict the exotic and expensive rarities that blossomed at their command. Flowers and fruits boasted the wealth of their patrons, whilst memento mori warned of mortality to come. Female artists forged careers across the continent and canvases of flowers burst forth with insects and butterflies, setting the scene for the Dutch Golden Age to follow, whilst looking back at the religious inspiration of the medieval. We will explore Renaissance flower art from backdrop to limelight, Botticelli to da Vinci.
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Horticulture 2022

Tree selection and planting

Tree selection and planting: Tuesday 13 September 2022

£70.00

Description

Tutor: Mark Crouch
Date: Tuesday 13 September 2022
Time: 10am-4pm
Cost: £70
Location: Classroom

This full day course, led by Garden Landscapes Team Leader Mark Crouch, will guide you through the placement, selection and planting of trees and shrubs for your garden.
Topics covered will include:
• Where and where not to plant
• Different forms and interests
• How to select your plants and the different types available.
• Planting and aftercare through to establishment
• A planting demonstration,
• A tour of the garden highlighting young tree care
• Questions and answers
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Plant ID and Science 2022

Plant muses: artists' use of plants

Plant muses: artists' use of plants: Wednesday 21 September 2022

£25.00

Description

Tutor: Dr Gwenda Kyd
Date: Wednesday 21 September 2022
Time: 10am-1pm
Cost: £25
Location: Online

The colour, shape and symbolism of plants have all contributed to their use in art. This course will look at a selection of plants and explore why and how they have given inspiration, focusing on paintings. From van Gogh's sunflowers and Mondrian's amaryllis to O'Keefe's calla lilies, flowers have been a beautiful and popular subject for artists. Trees like cypress and birch appear in paintings, along with a wide range of other plants. And sometimes plants have been included as symbols to send the viewer a message to explain the image, or convey some moral instruction. We will consider examples of practical ways in which plants have found their way into paintings, including contributing the surface to paint on or the materials and pigments to paint with.
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Grazing marshes

Grazing marshes: Friday 28 October 2022

£25.00

Description

Grazing marshes – neither wilderness nor intensive farmland but a fascinating mixture

Tutor: Owen Mountford
Date: Friday 28 October 2022
Time: 10am-1pm
Cost: £25
Location: Online

Grazing marshes represent one stage in the drainage and exploitation of land that was once a floodplain swamp or mire. Farmers and engineers installed ditches and windpumps, converting the primeval wetland into a chequerboard of meadows and pastures separated by drainage channels. Often flooded in winter and too wet to grow corn, these betwixt and between landscapes developed into a remarkable haven for wildlife. This course will focus on three themes: a) where are the grazing marshes and what is their history?; b) the plants of ditches and wet grassland – often the finest examples of such habitats anywhere in the lowlands; and c) the present and future conservation status of grazing marshes. We will look in particular at the Somerset Levels & Moors, the Romney & Walland Marshes and the Norfolk Broads, but will take examples from throughout England and Wales.
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A history of plant genetics

A history of plant genetics: Thursday 8 September 2022

£25.00

Description

Tutor: Dr Hayley McCulloch
Date: Thursday 8 September 2022
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Cost: £25
Location: Online

Why do we look like our parents and siblings? What is a species? How are organisms adapted to suit their environment? What is a gene? Plants have been used for centuries to help answer these and other similar intriguing questions. Whether we are talking about natural selection, inheritance, the discovery of genes that can jump, or about one of the first multicellular organisms to have its entire genome sequenced, it is to plants that we must look. This course will take you on a journey through the major discoveries in genetics that have relied on the brilliant and fascinating world of plants, we will discuss why plants have proven so vital to this work, as well as explaining what we mean by terms like genetics, genome and chromosome, amongst others.

No prior knowledge for this course is required.
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Family Events 2022

Bumble Bear Workshop: Friday 12 August, 10:15-11:15am

Bumble Bear Workshop: Friday 12 August, 10:15-11:15am

£7.00

Description

This special workshop for 2-5 year olds is inspired by the wonderful book “Bumblebear” by Nadia Shireen, a story about a bear who loves honey so much he pretends to be a bee. Join us for this parent and child workshop as we dress up, dance and act out this fabulous story.

Please dress in warm and comfortable clothes (grown-ups too!) so we can move around comfortably and be prepared for all weathers.

Only book child places. Adults pay garden entry on arrival.
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Bat Patrol: Wednesday 24 August, 20:00-21:15

Bat Patrol: Wednesday 24 August, 20:00-21:15

£7.00

Description

Come for a twilight ramble through the Botanic Garden and learn about the fascinating world of bats. There will be a chance to use our bat detectors, find out about what bats eat, where they live and have your questions answered.

Suitable for adults and accompanied children aged 8+

This event is weather dependent.

Both children and adults need to book a place.
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Bumble Bear Workshop: Friday 12 August, 11:45-12:45am

Bumble Bear Workshop: Friday 12 August, 11:45-12:45am

£7.00

Description

This special workshop for 2-5 year olds is inspired by the wonderful book “Bumblebear” by Nadia Shireen, a story about a bear who loves honey so much he pretends to be a bee. Join us for this parent and child workshop as we dress up, dance and act out this fabulous story.

Please dress in warm and comfortable clothes (grown-ups too!) so we can move around comfortably and be prepared for all weathers.

Only book child places. Adults pay garden entry on arrival.
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