• by Dave Bakes 1
  • by Dave Bakes 2
  • Orchard in May by Dave Bakes

Courses at the garden for 2019


Dark Skies Festival – Night Photography Workshop

Course tutor – Steve Bell

Friday 15th February 7pm till 10pm

Steve Bell Dark Skies FestivalOnce the sun sets and the stars come out, our skies are transformed. Once you understand the basics of how your camera operates and when the best times are to observe and photograph the heavens, then spectacular images unfold.

So come and spend an evening with Steve Bell at Helmsley Walled Garden and discover just how to take great night sky images. There will be a short talk and then after a warm drink there will be plenty of time to take your own pictures with guidance from Steve.

Wrap up warm as it will be cold, don’t forget hat and gloves.

Course timetable

7pm  –  8.30pm  – Talk on how to shoot the night sky, equipment and camera settings.

8.30pm – 8.50pm – Hot drinks

8.50pm – 10pm – Night sky photography

Cost – £25 per person. Numbers will be limited to 25 participants maximum.

Book online here.



Learn the art of grafting your own apple trees

Course tutor – Hilary Dodson

Thursday 28th February 10am till 12 noon

Learn how to graft your own apple trees with Northern Fruit Group chair Hilary Dodson. Apple trees do not come true from seed  so grafting ensure that trees come true to their variety. Grafting involves combining a bottom rootstock of one tree to the scion, or budding branch, of  another tree in order to get a named variety.

All material will be provided and you will get your tree to take home.

Cost – <tba> per participant

Book online at <tba>



Making and baking – children’s baking workshops

Course tutor – Annabelle Robinson

Sunday  10th February – Valentine’s Day love bugs

Sunday 14th April – Easter themed baking

Sunday 26th May – Summer fun themed baking

Sunday 11th August – Summer fun themed baking

Sunday 27th October – Halloween baking

Sunday 24th November – Christmas baking

A great way for kids to learn the basics of baking and nutrition in these enjoyable classes. Run by Annabelle Robinson of Just Bake Happy, each class is has a theme which the baking revolves around. Every child



Botanical illustration – two day practical course

Course Leader – Bridget Gillespie

Botanical illustration is the art of depicting plant forms accurately, to capture their particular characteristics and to aid identification. Helmsley Walled Garden is rich in plant material for subjects but feel free to bring specimens with you. The course will include demonstration and individual tuition covering drawing techniques, composition and colour mixing. Anyone wishing to attend a series of courses to improve their skills and confidence are most welcome.

We will be working in watercolour. Please feel free to bring your own selection, but you may find the following list useful as plant depiction often needs colours not always found in standard sets. ‘Artists Colours’ are usually better quality and try to avoid ready-made greens as it is much better to mix your own.


BLUES: Ultramarine, Cobalt, Cerulean, Indigo (artist’s quality as it is blue not grey)

YELLOWS: Aureolin, Winsor, Lemon, Cadmium, Yellow Ochre

REDS: Scarlet Lake, Quinacridone Red, Cadmium Red

PINKS: Permanent Rose

BROWNS: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber


PAPERUp to A2, good quality i.e. 140lb Hot Pressed or Not surface. Sketch and tracing paper

BOARD: A2 maximum

BRUSHES: A selection of sizes from 1 to 7 with good points, sable if possible

PENCILS: A selection from 2H to 2B

SUNDRY: Sharpener, eraser/putty rubber, water pot, kitchen towel, magnifying glass, masking tape


Delicious snacks and lunches may be purchased from the Vine House Café. The Orchid House is heated and ventilated but come prepared with layers. You may wish to bring a cushion for added comfort.

Deposit    A non-returnable deposit of £15 is requested on booking. Balance due on attendance

Maximum number of ten people per course

Cost per participant per course £75

To book <tba>



Mindfulness and creativity course

Course tutors  Dr Lauri Bowyer and Claire Belbin- Carlile

Taster workshop Tuesday 19th March 10am – 12.30pm

The course runs for eight weeks on a Tuesday on the following dates:

April 30th  

May 7th, 14th, 21st

June 4th, 11th, 25th

July 2nd

Please note there are no sessions on May 28th and June 18th


Being aware and open to the present moment can encourage an openhearted curiosity. On each day we will be invited to patiently explore afresh the processes of drawing or writing, without judgement and with acceptance, in a mindful environment. Tuition will be provided in mindfulness as well as the craft skills of drawing and poetry. Each day will happily accommodate those who practice regularly as well as those new to drawing, poetry or mindfulness. Through awareness of ourselves, each other, and of the earth, our practice may be strengthened with gratitude and a sense of wonder.

9.30am – 4.30pm each day includes refreshments, tuition and entry to the walled garden. Drawing and writing materials are provided although you may prefer to bring your own equipment. Please note, lunch is not provided, do bring your own. Please bring a drawing board, something to sit on in the garden and suitable clothing and footwear for outdoor work. Booking is open for one or both days. Places are limited to 12.


To book for the taster session go to Eventbrite Taster

To book the course go to Eventbrite Course



Willow weaving workshops – one day and half day courses

Course tutor – Anthea Firth

Saturday 27th April

Join a course with our willow tutor Anthea Firth and learn how to use willow to create beautiful and practical shapes for your garden. Her themed courses focus on creating specific shapes such as moon gazing hares and themed decorations for Christmas. So book on to this course and get creative with willow.

All materials and tools provided. A full day starts at 10am and finishes around 4pm.

Cost per participant per course £xx

For more details, please go to Anthea’s website at  http://antheafirth.weebly.com

To book, please contact Anthea on anthea.firth@yahoo.co.uk



Garden photography

Course tutor – Dave Bakes

Saturday 4th May

Saturday 28th September

10am till noon

Join Ryedale Garden Photography for a morning workshop of tuition and image making. We specialise in helping people develop their skills and improve their photography.

Perfect for beginners or those returning to photography, we will help you get more from your camera.

We cover how to use different camera settings and compositions to help you improve your photographs.

Working in a small group, you will be guided to key areas of the gardens to make the most of your time there. You will receive advice and support from a qualified teacher with many years’ experience.


Cost per participant £50.00

To book please contact Dave Bakes at ryedalegardenphotography@gmail.com



Create a Hanging Basket

Course tutor – Lisa Rennison & June Tainsh

Friday 26th April

Sunday 28th April

from 10am till 12 noon


Create your own arrangement using seasonal plants to create a hanging basket to decorate your home. The course starts at 10am and lasts for two hours. There will be a maximum of ten participants on the course so everyone has access to tuition.

Ideal for everyone with or without experience

Course fee includes all materials and refreshments

Cost per participant £35.00

To book please call Helmsley Walled Garden on 01439 771429 or email on info@helmsleywalledgarden.org.uk.



Summer fruit pruning course

11am to 3pm

Course tutor – Lisa Rennison

Friday 16th August

Tuesday 20th August

Learn the basics of summer pruning fruit trees with our head gardener Lisa Rennison. Summer pruning lets extra light in and helping to ripen fruit and ensuring good cropping for the following year. This is the main form of pruning for trained forms such as stepovers and espaliers. There will be a short talk beforehand and then you will go outside to learn hands on. Tools will be provided.

There will be a maximum of ten people per course so everyone has access to tuition.

Cost per participant per course £45.00



Create your own festive door decoration

Course tutor – Lisa Rennison

Saturday 7th December

Saturday 14th December

Saturday 21st December

10.30am till 1pm

We get in the Christmas mood by creating festive door decorations here at Helmsley Walled Garden and so can you. Enjoy a morning learning how to make a Christmas wreath to adorn your front door. Using spruce, leaves, berries, cones and seed heads you’ll create a beautiful decoration to celebrate Christmas. All materials are provided but if there is something you would particularly like to incorporate into your wreath then please bring it along. There will be a maximum of ten participants on the course so everyone has access to tuition.

There will be a hot drink and a mince pie to aid your creative flow.

Cost per course: £25

To book go to <tba>