Farmhouse Redevelopment

Since September last year I have been a Heritage Gardening Apprentice with the Skills for the Future Training programme. The first 6 months have been an amazing experience, working at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse and other sites such as Peckover House, Wisbech and Narborough Hall in Norfolk to name just a few. Each week at work is always exciting and different, due to all the horticultural training and time spent at college.

The farmhouse garden has been designated for redevelopment and is my main task during my training period. The aim is to reflect a farmhouse garden between the Victorian and WW2 eras, whilst incorporating visitor and educational groups’ needs.

One of my favourite training experiences was learning all about garden design with Kay Davis, a volunteer and former Skills for the Future gardening trainee. In February the design process began with us mapping the garden, not an easy task in the snow! Since then a first draft/design has be produced and development has begun. Most of the work being carried out so far has been to turn the soil and remove the many varieties of weeds and other unwanted or out of place plants. The hedge surrounding the garden has been beautifully re-laid by the landscaping team including two Skills for the Future trainees Tom Watson and Hannah Southon. With a lot of turf cutting taking place the various beds and areas are beginning to take shape. Some soft fruit has been planted due to a generous donation from Mr. Jo Rayner and his wife, thanks again.

Due to a limited budget in these austere times we are trying to raise as many plants from seed (donated by various staff, visitors and friends), not always easy when there is no greenhouse on site. At this point we would like to take the opportunity to thank Mr. Chambers and Mrs. Travette for the shared use of the Scarning School poly-tunnel.

The goal for next week is to finish the cutting of the turf, feeding and turning the soil in preparation for sowing seed direct to the soil. Here’s a before picture, watch this space for more updates!


Scott Tampin, Heritage Gardening Apprentice.

Skills for the Future Programme


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