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Workshops and Events 2020

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A veritable cornucopia of delights for you, all based around the fantastic (dare I say, Award Winning!) Nant-y-Bedd garden and garden room.

 

New for 2020 we have Jessica Tanner with two fascinating topics

Artists Willow Charcoal Making

Saturday 30th May and Saturday 10th October  10.00am to 3.30pm

£60 including all materials, delicious seasonal, organic lunch, tea & cake.

Click here for more details

 

Wild Weaving

Saturday 20th June and Wednesday 16th September   10.00am to 3.30pm

£60 including all materials, delicious seasonal, organic lunch, tea & cake.

Click here for more details

 

…and some old favourites – book early as they tend to be filled quickly.

Wild Gardening 2020 Saturday 25th April and Thursday 10th September  with Sue

 

Compost workshops 2020    Saturday 6thJune and Thursday 16th July  with Sue

How to make the crumbly brown gold….

 

£65 (20% RHS Member discount) incl 2-course lunch, tea & cakes. 10.00 to 3.30

Contact us on garden@nantybedd.com to book

 

Foraging   Led by Liz Knight (Forage Fine Foods)

Saturday 18th April, Saturday 16th May, Saturday 27th June, Wednesday 19th August, Saturday 17th October and Saturday 14th November

Liz is so enthusiatic

£75 incl lunch, teas.  10.00 to 2.00

Details/booking at www.foragefinefoods.com

 

Forest Bathing (Shinrin-yoku)     Led by Carina Greenwood

Saturday 2nd May (1/2 day) and Sunday 17th May (full day)

Wood sorrel in the forest sun

£50    10.30 to 4.15    Bring picnic lunch

Details/booking at www.forestbathe.co.uk

 

Blueprints 2020

   Led by Ruth Barnes Richards

Saturday 13th June and Saturday 11th July

Blue and beautiful

£55   Materials included.  Bring picnic lunch

Details/booking at www.thedaylightthief.com

 

Taking the Mystery Out of Plant Diseases 2020   Led by Dr. Mary Barkham

Wednesday 22nd July and Saturday 3rd October

£55  (20% RHS Member discount) including lunch

Details/booking at marymbarkham@hotmail.com

 

We look forward to seeing you here at Nantybedd Garden!

Workshops and Courses 2019 – Updated

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Please note that workshops and courses in 2020 will be posted in November:  Check back later for a fantastic new list!

 

It’s all go here at Nantybedd Garden, not only making the most of the weather to get out into the garden, but also because we have been approached by a couple more wonderful experts asking to run their own courses here.

So we now have:

Led by Sue Mabberley (Nantybedd Garden)

Wild Gardening     Wed 24thApril, Wed 25thSeptember Fully booked.    Extra date: 1st October – also fully booked

Wild

Compost making   Wed 19thJune, Wed 24thJuly

How to make the crumbly brown gold….

Organic veg growing   Wed 22nd May

Veg basket includes Heritage varieties Blue Coco French bean and Crimson-flowered broad bean

Christmas Holly Wreath making    Wed 4th December

Make your own Holly Wreath in 2019

£55 (20% RHS Member discount) incl 2-course lunch, tea & cakes. 10.00 to 3.30

Contact us on garden@nantybedd to book

 

Foraging   Led by Liz Knight (Forage Fine Foods)

            Wed 1stMay, Mon 3rdJune, Mon 1stJuly, Tue 27thAugust,

Mon 16thSeptember, Mon 7thOctober, Mon 4thNovember

Liz is so enthusiatic

£65 incl lunch, teas.  10.00 to 2.00

Details/booking at www.foragefinefoods.com

 

Forest Bathing (Shinrin-yoku)     Led by Carina Greenwood

            Mon 20thMay, Mon 24thJune, Mon 23rdSeptember

Wood sorrel in the forest sun

£50    10.30 to 4.15    Bring picnic lunch

Details/booking at www.forestbathe.co.uk

 

Blueprints Workshop

   Led by Ruth Barnes Richards

            Sat 22ndJune. 10.00 to 3.30    EXTRA DAY ON AUGUST 31ST  – BOOK NOW:  last few places remaining

Blue and beautiful

£55   Materials included.  Bring picnic lunch

Details/booking at www.thedaylightthief.com

 

Taking the Mystery Out of Plant Diseases    Led by Dr. Mary Barkham

Postponed due to personal circumstances.  Will be re-planned for 2020

            Wed 11thSeptember. 10.00 to 3.30

£55  (20% RHS Member discount) including lunch

Details/booking at marymbarkham@hotmail.com

 

We look forward to seeing you here at Nantybedd Garden!

You can eat that??

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With apologies to our regular followers and newsletter subscribers, here’s Lucy Gaze’s report on the recent foraging day at Nant y Bedd, plus a little snippet from Liz’s blog.

 

Friday 18th May saw the first of 3 foraging days at Nantybedd, with the lovely and extremely knowledgeable Liz Knight of Foragefinefoods.

Liz waxing lyrical about Ground Elder

The day dawned bright and sunny and 6 guests (plus Sue!) turned up to a delightful treat of homemade nettle muffins with raspberry icing and topped with bird cherry blossom to fire them up for a 2 hour forage around the garden.

Nettle muffins – not at all stingy

We started in the potager, which fortunately Sue had left a couple of weeds in – for the purpose of this event of course! We sampled that ‘beast’ ground elder, discovering it was an excellent substitute for salad leaves, ate the aniseed flavoured flowers of sweet cicely and chewed on dock stems which were distinctly like rhubarb. We also sampled hairy bitter cress, a dead ringer for rocket and honesty seeds – hot and spicy! Liz provided a detailed and fascinating account of each plant with historical uses and key pointers to identification.

Rapt attention – noteboks and pencils at the ready

Stopping at Sue’s beautiful display of potted tulips, we made the surprising discovery that the petals are edible – and delicious, tasting rather like apples!

A second use for tulips

Crossing over to the house, we found other delights – sweet woodruff, which we picked to flavor our cocktails and pudding, along with apple blossom that had the fragrancy of rose petals. As we wandered along, Liz collected plants for our lunch and we continued to sample these strange delights that also included cultivated plants not usually known for their culinary delights – such as hosta leaves and sedum!

many hands ….

Basket full, we set up camp beside the wild pond, lit a fire and were then treated to a veritable feast – a rainbow salad of petals and leaves that we had collected, together with a potato salad and delicious home made vegetable frittata. Liz also sautéed hogweed, hosta and the shoots of hops and willowherb which tasted incredible! Washed down with a fruit cocktail infused with pine needles, lemon balm and fruit blossom and finished with a sweet woodruff flavoured milk pudding with pine syrup it was the perfect end to a fascinating and most enjoyable day.

Hosta, hop shoots and willowherb

All there is to say is thank you so much for a really memorable experience and can I come to the next one please??!

Sweet Woodruff flavoured pud, with pine sauce!

 

…and from Liz’s Instagram ”  … the ridiculously gorgeous Nantybedd Garden.  It’s a magical forest garden in the depths of the hills. …  Does Eden exist?  I think so, see the magic for yourselves”

Words by Lucy Gaze;  Pics by Lucy and Toni Greaves; compliment by Liz!

 

 

Fungus Foraging

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Saturday saw 20 or so people descend upon us for a Mushroom Foraging day.  Organised by Liz Knight of Forage Fine Foods and executed by Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods, we had an amazing afternoon searching among the trees and along the river bank.

Mark’s knowledge on fungi and how to use them was extensive and amusing as well as being excellent on the palate!

The throng assembles

The throng assembles

After introductions all round, Mark got proceedings underway with a quick dash of elderflower champagne and Sweet Cicely liqueur!

He explained the different ways in which fungi operate and how they work in concert with different types of vegetation and particularly with trees. Different trees have different fungi. Some, such as the highly sought after ceps are impossible to cultivate and will only grow in the wild in the exactly perfect conditions they need.

Setting off into the forest, Mark suddenly stopped and pointed out a couple of mushrooms underneath the Cedric tree sculpture.  These were Cavaliers, edible, but not a great flavour.  The difference in appearance between the newly emerged ones and a couple that had almost ‘gone over’ was remarkable and went to demonstrate how difficult mushroom ID can be.

Cavaliers and Cedric

Cavaliers and Cedric

When doing an ID there are several factors to take into account

habitat

colour

size

type of gills

smell

There are so many types that all these need to be taken into account.

Moving on we came to a big clump of what most of us recognised as Puffballs.  Seizing a couple of older ones Mark flicked the caps and released clouds of spores.  These were no good for eating, but the fresher growths, with marshmallow like interiors are apparently really good in risottos!

Mark with Puffballs

Mark with Puffballs (and foraging cat, Smudge)

As we moved on Liz pointed out various plants like ground elder and Herb Robert which have important roles to play in herbal medicine as well as being good to eat.

Mark had picked up some shaggy inkcaps on the road up to Nant y Bedd and explained how and when to eat them.  Apparently there’s a variety called the Common Inkcap which isn’t actually that common, but shouldn’t be consumed before or after alcohol as it causes a very nauseous response and has been used to ‘treat’ alcoholics!!

Deeper in the woods we found some Orange Grisette under the birch trees, which are good to eat and are often found with birch.  The physical form of the Grisette is very similar to that of the poisonous Fly Agaric, although the latter’s bright red is a bit of a giveaway.  Mark had brought some of these with him and used this as an opportunity to explain the life cycle appearance of many fungi.

Fly Agaric and Orange Grisette

Orange Grisette and Fly Agaric

Honey Fungus is another species associated with birch, among others, and is usually found as the tree dies.  Apparently edible it needs boiling before cooking.  Not sure I’ll try that!

Honey Fungus

Honey Fungus

Heading down to the river, someone spotted a few large mushrooms by the gate under the Lawson Cypress.  Mark had to admit that he’d walked past them twice the day before when he did a recce! It pays to look down when mushroom foraging.  It was a group of shaggy parasols, well camouflaged against the leaf litter.

Shaggy Parasol

Shaggy Parasol

Heading along the river bank we were introduced to the “Native Spice Rack” with plants such as Wild Angelica, Hogweed, Wood Avens, Sweet Woodruff and Meadow Sweet (which apparently cures hangovers – the other way of course is to keep drinking!) In the Spring the very young buds and flowers of Rowan are also useful.  Various tinctures were passed around at this point but I missed most of it as I was lighting fires for the Big Bake Up afterwards.

I did get back into the swing of it just in time to find out about a fungus that may be a cure for prostate problems.  Going by the name of Turkey Tails it is found on decomposing logs of birch and can be made into an infusion.  Mark also showed us something known as Chaga, which comes from growths on birch trees in certain places and is very highly sought after.  (Memo to self: look very carefully at all our old birches)

Turkey Tails

Turkey Tails

Finally we assembled by the pond and whilst Mark and Liz got the cooking pots on the go, we were entertained by Lottie Muir, the so-called Cocktail Gardener, who explained some of her cocktail recipes and asked us to taste them – hard work isn’t it?

Thanks to Mark, Liz, Lottie and all those who came along and enjoyed an excellent afternoon and evening.  Hopefully we’ll be able to host more events like this in the future.

PS:  By an odd coincidence the RHS magazine, The Garden, has just published it’s November issue with an article on “Weird and Wonderful Fungi” with photos by Jonathan Need, who photographed our garden earlier in the year!

PPS:  One of the participants, Ian of FoodiesHeaven blog fame, has also written about the day in more detail than above.  Find it here