Courses

Garden Courses

Through informative talks and demonstrations from Rebecca Lemonius (custodian/ gardener) and Anna Ribo (head gardener), you can be inspired by Long Barn's history and Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicolson's ageless style, gaining skills to use in your own garden or garden work. What we do, when we do it and how we garden here at Long Barn will be covered, so you can follow the garden through the seasons, whilst learning more about this very special place and its history.

The courses vary in content so check the details and dates listed below for anything you are particularly interested in. Alternatively, you may wish to attend them all, the courses are designed to compliment each other and take you through a full year in the garden, witnessing the dramatic changes month to month as the seasons progress. If you wish to do morning and afternoon sessions on the same day we recommend you bring a packed lunch or if this is logistically difficult let us know and we will assist, after all, there is only so much cake you can eat in a day. In general the afternoon courses will be more focused on one or two particular topics.

The courses are a mixture of talks and demonstrations, you will not be asked to prune, plant or weed and they are set outside as much as possible. However, the history talks will be in the comfort of the house, a rare treat, as Long Barn is a private home and not open to the public. For the avoidance of doubt, the drawing courses do involve actual drawing but prior experience and skill is not required, the courses are aimed at all levels.

February

Rose Pruning in the Garden

12 February 2023

10:00am-12:00pm

The rose pruning course will cover training roses and pruning a variety of types.

There will be warm tea and coffee and homemade cake to keep the cold out

Price: £35

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

March

Morning Garden Course

3 March 2023

9:30am-1:00pm

March's morning course will include:

  • a walk around the garden looking at March jobs and spring preparation.

  • a talk on the history of Long Barn and the gardens.

  • garden structure, what it is and how to use it effectively in the garden.

  • tea/coffee and cake.

Price: £50

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

March

Afternoon Garden Course

3 March 2023

2:00pm -4:30pm

March's afternoon course will include:

  • pea sticks, mulching and spring plant division.

  • There will be refreshments and cake available throughout the afternoon.

Price: £40

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

April

Morning Garden Course

3 April 2023

9:30am-1:00pm

April's morning course will include:

  • a walk around the garden looking at April jobs as spring gets underway.

  • a talk on the early influences on Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicolson's gardening style or put another way, why Long Barn gardens look like they do.

  • seed sowing, germination, pricking out and potting on. An economical approach to gardening.

  • tea/coffee and cake.

Price: £50

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

April

Afternoon Garden Course

3 April 2023

2:00pm - 4:30pm

April's afternoon course is a taster course on the usefulness to gardeners and garden lovers of observation through drawing.

Anna Ribo, our head gardener, is fine art trained and a wonderful teacher. Sketch books and 2B pencils required but talent/ prior experience is definitely optional.

All levels, including complete beginner are welcome. There will be refreshments and cake available throughout the afternoon.

Price: £40

To book please contact

lbgardenskent@gmail.com


May

Morning Garden Course

5 May 2023

9:30am-1:00pm

May's morning course will include:

  • a walk around the garden looking at May jobs and garden management.

  • a talk on Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindberg's time at Long Barn, a healing period in both their lives.

  • using annuals, half hardy and tender plants in the garden to create colouful interesting borders.

  • tea/coffee and cake.

Price: £50

To book please contact

lbgardenskent@gmail.com


May

Afternoon Garden Course

5 May 2023

2:00pm-4:30pm

May's afternoon course will include how to plan and plant the 'hot colour' garden at Long Barn.

Full of vibrant pinks, reds, purples and oranges this mixture of herbaceous, annual and shrubby plants of varied hardiness is full of fun and colour May-October.

Intensively gardened, but only 4m by 5m, it is translatable to most plots and a chance to see how this mixed planting is put together.

There will be refreshments and cake available throughout the afternoon.

Price: £40

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

May

Garden Observation Sketchbook

19 May 2023

9:15am-1:15pm

Come and draw in the gardens at Long Barn with expert guidance, Anna Ribo our head gardener is fine art trained:

  • increase your observation skills through sketching. Taking time to 'stop and stare' is an invaluable part of gardening and observing plants in groups and close up increases our understanding and appreciation of them.

  • take time to connect with nature, capture a moment in the garden and enjoy the process of observing and documenting the world around you.

  • suitable for anyone, beginners through to experienced artists. All that is needed is a sketchbook and 2B pencil.

  • tea/coffee and cake

Price: £55 per person

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

June

Morning Garden Course

2 June 2023

9:30am-1:00pm

June's morning course will include:

  • a walk around the garden looking at June jobs and garden management.

  • Vita Sackville West and Virginia Woolf. Vita and Virginia met and their deepest friendship was while Vita lived at Long Barn.

  • meadows (large and small) and their management

  • tea/coffee and cake.

Price: £50 per person

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

June

Afternoon Garden Course

2 June 2023

2:00pm-4:30pm

June's afternoon course will include:

  • planting and combining pots for display.

  • topiary, especially box, in the garden and pots, how to look after it and in particular when and how to trim it.

There will be refreshments and cake available throughout the afternoon.

Price: £40 per person

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

July

Morning Garden Course

7 July 2023

9:30am-1:00pm

July's morning course will include:

  • a walk around the garden looking at July jobs and garden management.

  • a talk on Sissinghurst, the garden that came after Long Barn.

  • tips for making your garden hospitable to wildlife as well as humans, gardening with nature.

  • tea/coffee and cake.

Price: £50 per person

To book, please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

July

Afternoon Garden Course

7 July 2023

2:00pm-4:30pm

July's afternoon course will take an in depth look at planting a mixed border, ideas and practicalities, with a focus on useful perennials.

There will be refreshments and cake available throughout the afternoon.

Price: £40

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

September

Morning Garden Course

4 September 2023

9:30am-1pm

September's morning course will include:

  • a walk around the garden looking at September jobs and garden management.

  • a talk on William Robinson, The Wild Garden and Gravetye Manor and Robinson's influence on Vita Sackville West.

  • Planning for spring, bulbs and autumn sowing, including how to overwinter seedlings.

  • tea/coffee and cake.

Price: £50 per person

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

September

Afternoon Garden Course

4 September 2023

2:00pm-4:30pm

September's afternoon course will include:

  • a look at propagation and in particular semi-ripe cuttings.

  • how to keep the 'show going' - plants for late season interest.

There will be refreshments and cake available throughout the afternoon.

Price: £40 per person

To book, please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

September

Garden Observation Sketchbook

18 September 2023

9:15am-1:15pm

Come and draw in the gardens at Long Barn with expert guidance, Anna Ribo our head gardener is fine art trained:

  • increase your observation skills through sketching. Taking time to 'stop and stare' is an invaluable part of gardening and observing plants in groups and close up increases our understanding and appreciation of them.

  • take time to connect with nature, capture a moment in the garden and enjoy the process of observing and documenting the world around you.

  • suitable for anyone, beginners through to experienced artists. All that is needed is a sketchbook and 2B pencil.

  • tea/coffee and cake

Price: £55 per person

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

October

Morning Garden Course

6 October 2023

9:30am-1:00pm

October's morning course will include:

  • a walk around the garden looking at October jobs and garden management.

  • a talk on Gertrude Jekyll and her influence on Vita Sackville West

  • managing the descent into autumn and looking after your soil

  • tea/coffee and cake.

Price: £50

To book please contact:

lbgardenskent@gmail.com

November

Morning Garden Course

3 November 2023

9:30am-1:00pm

November's morning course will include:

  • a walk around the garden looking at November jobs and garden management.

  • a talk on Vita Sackville West's gardening advice, inspired by her writings and talks.

  • a look at choosing plants for different areas of the garden and planting conditions, including when to plant (we will be inside if the weather is inhospitable).

  • tea/coffee and cake.

Price: £50

To book please contact

lbgardenskent@gmail.com