The WFGA is renowned for the comprehensive programme of activities organised every year. Groups are limited in size to enable those attending to benefit from working closely with the tutor and other members of the group. The Association enjoys access to some of the best gardens in Britain and works with designers, gardeners and lecturers who are committed to promoting education. Tours and visits are designed to enable members to enjoy the experience whilst travelling alone at no extra cost involved. WFGA members receive priority for bookings and places are quickly snapped up, however there are opportunities for friends and family members to join tours and visits.
If you are not a member but there is an activity you would like to attend please ring the office to see if there are places available
To see pictures of some workshops and activities see www.wfga.wordpress.com
To pay online for Workshops please click on Workshops tab
Programme of events
Start Up Business Workshop - Oxford
Saturday 29th November 10 am - 4 pm
Our 'Start up Business Package' workshop is designed especially for WRAGS trainees who are still in placement gardens and those who have completed their training and are setting themselves up in business, offering gardening services. The workshop is not about finance, cash flows or banking services, it is a day during which professionals will offer practical advice on being self-employed and the setting up and operating of a garden/design business.
After registration and morning coffee - ‘The Paperwork’ - all those aspects that we don't like. Andrew Miller, your tutor will talk you through life as you set up your gardening business. ‘What you can claim from the taxman and what you can’t’, self-employment, partnerships, national insurance, purchasing stock, tax relief, capital allowances, planning your money etc. Before lunch there will be a ‘round the table’ session where the group will relate their training and experiences to date, and the type of business and client base they are looking to establish for the future.
After lunch - which can be a working lunch if the group wants to continue with the ‘round table’ session - ‘Marketing Your Business’, Patricia McHugh will discuss advertising opportunities, developing seasonal trends and signage. Afternoon tea will be served during the marketing session. This will be followed by a session where your last tutor will talk about dealing with clients, suppliers and contractors, taking you through ‘working on-site’, the pitfalls, the regulations, pricing a job, delays, deadlines, sourcing plants and work.
The cost of this workshop is £40 per member, £50 per non member. Refreshments are included, please bring a packed lunch.
Masterclass on the Care and Cultivation of Glasshouse Fruit - Lowestoft, Suffolk
Saturday 15th November 10am - 4pm
A fantastic opportunity to learn from a master - Ian Webster is the retired Head Gardener from Chatsworth and an expert in Glasshouse Fruit and a Senior Garden Advisor. Also present will be Alan Mason retired Head gardener of Harlaxton Manor, Lincs and Senior Garden Advisor and the Head Gardener of Somerleyton Hall Anna Outlaw - a wealth of horticultural knowledge.
The day will include all the information you are ever likely to need on the care, cultivation and training of peaches. Other fruit also covered will be grapes, kumquats, figs, oranges and lemons - which you will see in the glasshouses. Attention will be paid to the selection processes of choosing the right fruit, training and the subsequent care for those wishing to grow their own under cover - whether on a large or small scale.
The workshop will take place in Somerleyton's extensive exceptional range of original Joseph Paxton's glasshouses. The peach 'cases' - that run the length and height of one of the walled gardens - have recently been restored to full working order and are quite unique.
Somerleyton is possibly one of the grandest estates in Suffolk. The walled gardens, also include double herbaceous borders designed by Lady Xa Tollemache, a vegetable garden and an orchard. Beyond the walls lie the Nesfield parterre, a formal garden, grand conservatory, white garden and one of the finest yew mazes in the country. A tour of the gardens will be included in the day.
The cost of this workshop is only £40 per WFGA member and £50 per non member. Tea and coffee are available in the cafe. Please bring a packed lunch, secateurs and a small pruning knife if you have one. Book now !
Ornamental Grasses Day - Romford. Essex
Saturday 25th October 10am - 4pm
Do you know your Pennisetum from your Panicum or your Melica from your Molinia? And do you know what to do with them?
This is a day to review and expand your knowledge of grasses with a hands on opportunity to experiment with border planting schemes.
The venue is Longhouse Plants near Romford - where all the plants are displayed in island beds set within gravel paths, grouping individual plant species to complimentary effect. The grasses will be looking particularly stunning at this time of the year with late season perennials such as asters. These beds showcase the wide range of plants that are sold at the nursery - all home grown.
Your tutor for the day is Tim Carter - plantsman and nursery owner. The first part of the day will include a tour of the nursery stock plant collection where the grasses will be discussed, their qualities, peculiarities and where and how to use them.
Next follows a border design workshop - starting with an introduction and examples. Then working either individually or in pairs participants will create border planting schemes using plant material from the nursery.
Tim will review each border plan with feedback and offer suggestions where appropriate. There will be time in the day to complete a number of different assignments. Open your eyes to all sorts of planting possibilities.
The cost of this workshop is £40 per member, £50 per non member - members receive priority when booking. Refreshments are included. Please bring a packed lunch, notebooks and pencils, digital cameras would be an advantage, and dress appropriately for the weather.
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