On day one you will collect leaves and fallen plant material from the Garden and take these back to the classroom to use  to print your own individual covers, pages and inserts for your sketchbooks.  There will be demonstrations of printmaking technique and uses of materials.  You will work with monoprinting to create unique prints to build within the construct of your books, and create layered prints using and combining plant materials, mark making, textured materials and masking techniques.

Taking inspiration from the Garden, come and join Caroline Henricksen for a fun relaxing and creative day paper collaging flowers. Caroline will take you through the process she uses to create her botanical collage pieces, starting with you creating your own collage surfaces using paints, foliage, vintage paper, magazines, old books, wallpaper and even toothbrush and scissors. Just about anything can be used to collage. Playing with patterns and textures can produce some really interesting and quite beautiful results.

Travelling through the seasons we will explore the history, folklore and culture of three wild plants in bloom (or at least in foliage!) that month. The session will encourage you to search out plants in all seasons and enjoy the history in folklore and culture, and their use for medicines, cooking as well as the many and varied traditional names which help us trace that history.

Trees make up one of the most impressive and beautiful features of our landscape – undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of our natural heritage.  The different seasons are reflected dramatically in their changing appearance throughout the year.  Late May is a great time for looking at broad-leaved trees: their leaves are fully formed and some will still be flowering. This course is concerned with their identification.  We will explore the natural history of our native trees and show you how to recognise individual species.

Water provides very different conditions for plants from dry land.  Aquatic plants are often ‘plastic’ i.e. very variable in response to depth and flow.  They have a reputation for being difficult to identify.  Yet they include some of the most beautiful flowers in our region, as well as inhabiting special habitat like rivers, drains, ponds and lakes (or flooded pits).  Owen will seek to demystify aquatic plants and introduce the group to those that occur in our region.

A look at what’s involved in taking beautiful photographs of plants and gardens with Botanic Garden photographer Howard Rice. This course is aimed at those who already enjoy garden photography but want to find out how they can improve by developing a better understanding of some straightforward techniques. There will be a combination of indoor tutorials and practical sessions outside in Cambridge Botanic Garden. You will be encouraged to ask Howard about particular aspects of garden photography that interest you and problems that you might have encountered.

Plants are amazing chemical factories. They synthesise myriad specialised metabolites, many of which have evolved to help defend the plant against attack by myriad predators from which the plant is unable to run away. Over thousands of years humans have gained experience and knowledge of how to use plants both to our collective benefit but also to harm others. Many of these specialised metabolites (chemicals) in plants that we consider to be toxic and dangerous are actually also used to great benefit medicinally.

Learn the basics of watercolour on this one day course in the garden. John Wiltshire will introduce you to watercolour technique with simple and effective demonstrations which lead to your own painting in the gardens.

Suitable for all abilities

This morning course is aimed at those with some previous experience of either general biology or of horticulture, who would like to learn more about the hows and whys of flowers. We will begin with a brief discussion of participants’ previous experience, to ensure that the course is pitched at an appropriate level.

What is your experience of speaking out? What does it feel like to be heard or unheard? What does it feel like to be hidden or silenced? Spend a creative afternoon at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science getting hands-on, and exploring your experiences of power. 

Zine making is an exciting and accessible tool that can be used to record personal experiences giving agency to the maker and can represent acts of resistance against power. Zines have been used to protest, resist and encourage collective activism.

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