How to create a Sustainable Garden
Biodiversity for Beginners

One Day Course
(Level: Beginner)
Course Dates 2024:
Saturday 11 May 2024
10am – 4pm

Price Per Person: £120
(Max 8 people)

This one-day course teaches you how to create a wildlife-friendly, sustainable garden to support ecological diversity. It’s designed to help you create a beautiful happy space to enjoy, while also doing your bit in the battle against climate change.

It is taught by Charlotte Parton, a horticulturalist, garden designer and nutritional therapist, who has a post-grad in Sustainable Food & Natural Resources and 15 years experience creating beautiful and productive gardens.

It takes place at The Sustainable Garden, our peaceful seven-acre smallholding in South Devon, where we also have a smaller ‘demonstration garden”, enabling us to give examples both larger scale land management and typically sized town gardens.

The course covers the basics of how to:

  • Make a wildflower meadow
  • Choose plants for pollinators
  • Make a nature pond
  • Plant native hedgerows
  • Select the best trees for your space
  • Understand companion planting
  • Grow your own fruit, veg and herbs
  • Nourish your soil
  • Avoid chemical fertlisers and pesticides

We show you how you can bring all these together to create a beautiful naturalistic, productive garden.

Gardening sustainably is not only about buying peat-free compost and avoiding weedkillers. It’s also about sustaining our natural resources to support ecological biodiversity.

The UK has lost 97% of species-rich grassland and meadows during the past 100 years and seen a 60% drop in biodiversity. Seventy per cent of butterfly species are in decline, and a third of bumblebees are threatened with extinction. But there are many ways to reverse this trend, starting in our own back yards!

Excellent environments for encouraging high levels of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems include nature ponds, wildflower meadows, areas of long grass, native hedgerows, woodlands, shrubby undergrowth and as many different types of flowers, shrubs and trees as possible. These all provide food, shelter and habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.

The day starts with a nature-appreciation walk around the land, identifying many different species of flora and fauna we have at The Sustainable Garden, before digging into the details about how you can bring biodiversity to your own garden.

The course focuses on:

  • Wildflower Meadows and grasslands: these habitats support a multitude of at-risk species including butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects so are as important as forests in storing carbon. We show you how you can create your own wildflower meadow, even in a small area, examining different methods, design ideas and seed suppliers.
  • Nature Ponds are crucial for supporting amphibian as well as terrestrial wildlife, birds and insects. Recent studies show how important ponds are for biodiversity and ecology. You’ll learn how to create you your own nature pond in a sustainable way, what native plants to use, which invasive alien species to exclude, and how to avoid other common mistakes.
  • Native Hedgerows provide multiple benefits to wildlife. We explain how to quickly establish your own hedgerows, which species are the most naturally bountiful, and how and when to plant them.
  • Trees are the lungs of the Earth, and we all know we need more of them. But which ones are best for your garden? We compare different species of native and non-native trees, discussing flowering, fruiting and size considerations for your space, as well as their benefits to wildlife. The course also includes a practical demonstration of how and when to plant a tree.
  • The Ancient Orchard: we show you why old orchards are such important ecological habitats for many species and explain why they need to be protected. Then we look at how you how you can start your own small orchard discussing different types and sizes of fruit trees.
  • The Potager Garden supplies The Sustainable Garden with the freshest salads, herbs and vegetables, which thrive surrounded by beautiful flowering companion plants. We demonstrate how we grow our own healthy food without chemical fertilisers or pesticides and show you what can be done on a small or large scale to bring productivity, colour and excitement to any garden.

As well as being inspired to make your own sustainable garden we hope you will find your day with us provides both a feast for the eyes and food for the soul.

Located in one of most beautiful and peaceful areas in Devon, there are plenty of places to stay nearby if you want to make a weekend of it.

Includes course notes, refreshments and a delicious lunch sourced from our very own English Potager Garden.

Book your place online, or for more information email [email protected] or call 07951 946489