New Workshop date

The Artfulness of Weeds

A day to Inspire you to look at Weeds with fresh eyes …

June 25th 2022

10 am – 3.30 pm

Challenge negative attitudes towards weeds by spending a day observing a selection of seasonal species at close quarters and drawing them using a variety of art techniques including pencil, charcoal, inks and watercolour. Close observation will show how inherently beautiful these plants are in their own right and how superbly adapted they have become at colonising their particular niche.

Led by professional gardener & artist Jacky Mills

Cost : £ 75.00 including lunch & materials 

Held at Nant-y-Bedd, Fforest Coal Pit, Abergavenny, NP7 7LY  

A beautiful award winning garden set within the forest of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

The garden at Nant-y-Bedd is a haven for wildlife, sitting comfortably within its landscape, a perfect embodiment of sense of place. Here the owners welcome the spontaneity of self-seeders and wild flowers. However not everyone shares their tolerance of weeds, conditioned to believe a plant in the wrong place needs removing asap, often with chemical control which can have dire effects on local wildlife and indirectly impact our own health.

On arrival, over tea or coffee, the day will begin with a brief introduction and discussion on the concept of weeds whilst looking at how they have previously been portrayed in art and the sensitive approach to wild gardening at Nant-y-Bedd.

We will then spend some time closely observing a variety of common weed species before attempting a series of pencil studies and sketches and discussion on how to start a more accurate botanical illustration depending on the level of participants. There will also be the opportunity to try out leaf rubbing and leaf printing processes where appropriate and as confidence increases attempt some simple line drawings with inks and white pen on black paper, plus some gentle watercolour washes. The day will include warm up exercises, tips on mark making in each medium, and ways of capturing the essence of each plant in quick sketches suitable for nature journaling.

A vegetarian / vegan lunch will be provided 

During the afternoon session participants will be free to continue working on a particular drawing or start a still life composition with an opportunity to explore the garden.

The workshop is suitably for anyone with an open mind and interest in botanical art.

What to bring and what to wear … 

The garden is uneven so sturdy footwear is essential and although we hope to be under cover please bring wet weather gear for exploring the grounds.  An apron or old clothes would be useful as charcoal work can get messy!  A selection of art materials will be provided but please feel free to bring your own if desired.

Booking …

Places are limited in accordance with Covid guidelines so to book please send an email enquiry or Direct Message Jacky at :


Instagram : @thebotanicalsketchclub 

or on the website at

The course is led by Jacky Mills, a self taught artist, trained zoologist and professional gardener, who has a keen interest in nature and wildlife gardening.  Jacky has worked in the personal gardens of designers, Arne Maynard, Dan Pearson and Sarah Price and started The Botanical Sketch Club to inspire people to draw plants from life and runs a variety of art workshops connecting people with a passion for plants, art and sketching.

3 Comments on “New Workshop date

  1. Pingback: Workshops and events 2021. | Nant y Bedd

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