Courses & Events

Courses & Events

Be inspired by our events at Perch Hill. Visit the garden, book a course or festival.
39 products
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  1. Starting at £10.00

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    Perch Hill (East Sussex) Open Day 28th August 2020

    During the long shut-down, we have been gardening away at Perch Hill, trialling new plants and new combinations, putting in new paths and in general taking the opportunity to keep the garden in the best of heart. Now that we are allowed to, we are ready to open again but in a very careful way that…

  2. Starting at £10.00

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    Perch Hill (East Sussex) Open Day 5th August 2020

    During the long shut-down, we have been gardening away at Perch Hill, trialling new plants and new combinations, putting in new paths and in general taking the opportunity to keep the garden in the best of heart. Now that we are allowed to, we are ready to open again but in a very careful way that…

  3. Starting at £10.00

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    Perch Hill (East Sussex) Open Day 7th August 2020

    During the long shut-down, we have been gardening away at Perch Hill, trialling new plants and new combinations, putting in new paths and in general taking the opportunity to keep the garden in the best of heart. Now that we are allowed to, we are ready to open again but in a very careful way that…

  4. £195.00

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    Rewilding your Garden with Isabella Tree, Dave Goulson and Sarah Raven

    Re-wilding your garden — from the broad-brush stroke to the detail. In this day, we will have a morning talk with Isabella Tree on 'Wilding', her exciting and inspiring book on the return of nature to a British farm, followed by a talk by Dave Goulson on “The Garden Jungle”. In the afternoon,…

  5. £215.00

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    Sustainable Floristry, a day of flora-abundance with Simon Lycett and Shane Connolly

    This date is chosen to be when we will have the maximum numbers of dahlias for harvesting at Perch Hill - and plenty of autumn flowers and foliage so we can provide these wonderful florists with all the flowers they need picked straight from the Perch Hill garden, no road miles included. I'll be on…

  6. £150.00

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    The Flower Yard - Annual Flamboyance in Pots with Arthur Parkinson

    This is the course for those who want to have a beautiful and abundant garden - with plenty to pick to bring inside - but you only have a very small space. Arthur has managed to achieve exactly this, an urban jungle measuring just 16ft long, crammed with pots of intense saturated colour and plants…

  7. £195.00

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    Year Round Veg Course with Sarah

    The veg areas of Perch Hill are about super-production, not just for the summer months, but throughout the winter too. What are the plants you can grow through the cold, grey months of the year and which need more light and heat for late spring and summer harvests? We concentrate on cut-and-come…

  8. £175.00

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    Year Round Veg, Salad, Herbs and Edible Flowers at Snape Maltings, Suffolk

    I am a great believer in growing edible crops which give you super-production, not just for the summer months, but throughout the early spring, autumn and winter too. What are the plants you can grow through the cold, grey months of the year and which need more light and heat for late spring and…

  9. £195.00

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    Controlling Garden Pests and Diseases - Naturally! With Chris Smith, Pennard Plants

    I first met Chris Smith from Pennard Plants doing a Q and A at Malvern Flower Show and was bowled over by his encyclopedic knowledge of gardening with particular expertise in edible plants, using only organic methods. I can't wait for his course on companion planting and natural pest and diesease…

  10. £175.00

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    Cooking on the fire with Gill Meller

    Gill Meller is a chef, writer, food stylist and cookery teacher. He has been part of the River Cottage team for more than 12 years, working closely with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Gill is the author of two books in the River Cottage Handbook series, 'Pigs & Pork' and 'Outdoor Cooking', and is…

  11. £175.00

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    Grow Your Own Cut Flowers, 25 Years On at The Tithe Barn, Symondsbury Estate, Dorset

    I love being able to pick armfuls of flowers for a good nine months of the year and in this day course I will teach you how, giving you hard facts on how to succeed with growing the very best and most productive plants. Through the day I will also give you practical advice on seed sowing and…

  12. £175.00

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    Magnificent Pots at The Tithe Barn, Symondsbury Estate, Dorset

    All we have learnt over the years to make our pots at Perch Hill - little and large - take centre stage in the garden. This course covers design and plant inspiration, as well as functional details of how to keep your pots looking good through the season. Please

  13. Starting at £10.00

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    Perch Hill (East Sussex) Open Day 10th July 2020

    During the long shut-down, we have been gardening away at Perch Hill, trialling new plants and new combinations, putting in new paths and in general taking the opportunity to keep the garden in the best of heart. Now that we are allowed to, we are ready to open again but in a very careful way that…

  14. Starting at £10.00

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    Perch Hill (East Sussex) Open Day 18th July 2020

    During the long shut-down, we have been gardening away at Perch Hill, trialling new plants and new combinations, putting in new paths and in general taking the opportunity to keep the garden in the best of heart. Now that we are allowed to, we are ready to open again but in a very careful way that…

  15. £125.00

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    Sue Stuart-Smith - The Well Gardened Mind: the power of connecting to nature and cultivating the earth.

    Those who work with the earth have known for years; there's a miraculous quality to gardening. In a world where research shows the average child spends less time outside each week than a maximum security prisoner, we need to understand the value of the outdoors, and the tremendous benefit it can…

The Creation of Sarah Raven's Garden at Perch Hill

Sarah Raven and Adam Nicolson moved to Perch Hill 24 years ago from London. They found a rather ramshackle ex-dairy farm with a lot of concrete, corrugated iron and not much else. Since then, they have converted the farm into an organic 90 acres, putting in many new hedges on old lines, trying to encourage wild flowers into the meadows and introducing a herd of Sussex cattle and a flock of Romney cross sheep.

The constant supply of favourite flowers, (cut hard for Sarah Raven's flower arranging courses) comes from the 2 large cutting gardens. The original is used mainly to trial perennials for picking, and the second is the annual cutting garden where the beds are filled with hardy and half-hardy annuals and biennials, with two or even three different crops in the same square foot of soil in one calendar year. 

Dahlias and chrysanthemums have their own trial garden. Every year new varieites of dahlias go in there, gathered from Sarah's trips to Holland the previous autumn. Another garden is for testing new annuals from seed, seeing how many buckets they produce through the whole season per square metre and whether they are easy to grow. Sloped gardens round the school grow edible crops in an ornamental way and serve as trial grounds, as well as growing produce (particularly salads and herbs) to supply the school kitchen with home-grown fruit and vegetables.

There are also four purely ornamental gardens at Perch Hill, not dedicated to harvesting – the Oast garden with an extravagant mix of colour and structure (salvias, cardoons, artichokes, brilliantly coloured dahlias, zinnias, gladioli) and the front farmhouse garden, which is designed to have a calmer feel, with perennials and roses in soft pinks and blues.

Two additional gardens include the rose and herb garden. The herbs are the best culinary varieties (advised by Jekka McVicar), and are picked for the school kitchen nearby. In the winter of 2016, the Dutch Yard was created. The well was reopened and the whole area bricked and filled with pots and classic Dutch yard plants such as hydrangeas and a mulberry tree.

There are two wildflower meadows, one of which contains a willow bed which combines a silver birch coppice to give a good wood supply to be used for plant supports around the garden.