10am - 3.30pm on dates throughout the year.
You can book a specific course on a specific date or buy a gift voucher that can be redeemed at a later date. Please call to check availability.
This is the perfect short break for gardening enthusiasts! Combine a stay at 4 star country house hotel Matfen Hall with one of a range of gardening courses run by lecturer in horticulture Karen Phillips.
Karen has taught the Royal Horticultural Society General and Advanced certificates, broadcast on local radio and is the gardening columnist for Food Quarterly magazine. She is passionate about all aspects of gardening and growing food within the constraints of the Northumbrian climate.
Matfen Hall is a luxury 53 bedroom hotel located 6 miles north of Corbridge in the Tyne Valley. The hotel boasts a 27 hole championship golf course, award winning spa, state of the art leisure facilities and fine dining restaurant.
Courses are limited to 8-10 people and are a mix of gardening of theory and practical experience. They take place in an attractive 2 acre garden close to the historic town of Hexham and run from 10am to 3.30pm. Great emphasis is put on growing interesting and seasonal produce for use in the kitchen and around the home.
There are a number of courses taking place throughout the year. Please see below for more information.
Tue 10th May – The Virgin Gardener
Wed 18th May – Pots and Containers
Thur 19th May – Pushing the Boundaries
Wed 8th June – The Town Gardener
Tue 28th June – Growing Cut Flowers
Wed 29th June – The Soft Fruit Garden
Tues 5th July – Exotica: Greenhouse Gardening for Foodies
Wed 6th July - Growing Cut Flowers
Thur 15th September – Growing Cut Flowers
Wed 5th October – The Orchard and Nuttery
Thurs 6th October – Bulbs, Bulbs, Glorious Bulbs
10th May 2011 - The Virgin Gardener:
First house / first garden – daunted? Don’t be. This intensive course will get you started on creating a garden from bare earth or adapting an inherited one to suit your style.
18th May - Pots and Containers:
Learn how to ring the changes with suitable plants for all the seasons. Bring along a favourite container and learn how to plant it up for a stunning summer display. This practical workshop also includes a demonstration of how to plant up a hanging basket.
19th May 2011 - Pushing the Boundaries: Vegetable Growing Part II
Grown the same thing each year? Want to expand your repertoire and have vegetables to harvest over a longer season and avoid the gluts coinciding with your summer holiday? This course covers different growing methods and utilises different varieties of seeds and plants to prolong the short growing season in Northumberland and avoid that bare earth scenario.
8th June 2011 - The Town Gardener
Small plot – big ideas! Don’t let the size of your plot limit your creativity. Choose plants that earn their keep and learn low maintenance ideas to create colour and impact in a small place. Discover the multitude of plants and methods for ringing the changes in even the smallest garden.
28th June, 6th July, 15th September - Growing Cut Flowers
Tubs of tulips, goblets of gladioli and buckets full of blooms - this course provides all the info needed to start growing your own cut flowers at home or on an allotment. Starting from the basics of choosing a suitable site and setting out the patch, to the excitement of choosing suitable flowers to grow and their maintenance throughout the year. The course culminates in a demonstration by a local florist of practical ways to showcase your wonderful harvest.
29th June - The Soft Fruit Garden
The list of berries and currants range from the well known: raspberries and blackcurrants; to ones unheard of in the shops, such as Tayberries and Jostaberries. After the initial planting a fruit garden can remain productive for ~15 years and demands much less time spent on it than a vegetable garden. Much of the harvest can be frozen or preserved and enjoyed throughout the year via favourites such as redcurrant cordial, blackcurrant cassis, raspberry vinegar and gooseberry curd.
5th July - Exotica: Greenhouse Gardening for Foodies
Greenhouse gardening for all you foodies out there: aubergines, chillies, peppers, figs, apricots, nectarines etc. Take a leaf out of the Victorian’s book and amaze your friends with your home-grown exotic produce.
Cookery demonstration included.
5th October - The Orchard & the Nuttery
Why plant an orchard or a nuttery? Ever picked a rosy red apple straight off the tree in July or bit into an apple that tastes like a pineapple? Damson gin, cherry brandy, greengage jam, pickled walnuts or simply apple & ginger chutney in a cheese and pickle sandwich are just a few of the reasons why it’s essential to plant fruit trees. Even the smallest gardens can accommodate several different fruit trees by using dwarfing rootstocks and trained tree forms.
6th October 2011 - Bulbs, Bulbs, Glorious Bulbs
Pots of stripy parrot tulips, snowdrops in the depths of winter, geranium scented daffs, a narcissus named ‘poeticus’, deep blue camassia cut for the table, alliums exploding like fireworks, snakeshead frittilaries, dramatic lilies, shocking pink nerines – bulbs span the seasons and no matter what your soil type there are varieties suitable for your garden that will add interest at any time of year.
2 places on your chosen course
Morning coffee / tea and cakes
A 2 course lunch prepared by a local chef
Detailed notes to take away
1 nights’ accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis in a Classic Room based on double occupancy
Please note that transport between Matfen Hall and the garden is not included in the price
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