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Gardening Retreat

Join us from 20th to 23rd July for a residential three-day garden experience that embraces designing, planting, growing and harvesting as well as creating the perfect environment to encourage relaxation and rejuvenation.

"I love the whole process especially the final planting up and then watching through the seasons as the garden knits together and gets better with age” Anna Wardrop

Join us from 23rd to 26th July for an immersive River Cottage retreat to design your own garden plot and embrace the joy of gardening against the backdrop of our stunning 100-acre smallholding.

The Retreat

River Cottage HQ and team will host a four-day garden experience that embraces designing, planting, growing and harvesting as well as creating the perfect environment to encourage relaxation and rejuvenation. Whether you are starting out on your first garden project or want to update your existing garden, this in-depth retreat will give you the time and space to learn and be inspired. A day in the garden is good for the soul!

The retreat will be led by three experts who specialise in different areas of horticulture and will show you how to keep your garden, whatever size it is, productive and beautiful all year round.

Expert garden designer Anna Wardrop will run a workshop looking at the space you have and how to make the best use of it. Participants are asked to send in advance a drawing of their garden or areas of their garden they would like to improve and to bring a soil sample so you can find out what plants will flourish.You will then take home your very own bespoke garden design.

Hands-on sessions are with our River Cottage grower and Meadowsweet florist, Emma Dixon who will share her knowledge of cut flower growing and arranging. Our Head Gardener will take you on the River Cottage green fingered journey, focusing on our abundant walled kitchen garden, and showing you the practicalities of organic veg growing. Growing for wildlife will be considered by an after dinner talk from a local ecologist.

Throughout the retreat the daily menus of local, organic, seasonal produce will reflect the River Cottage passion for provenance and sustainability. Choose between staying in our stylish 17th century farmhouse or take a wilder approach in one of our cosy bell tents. Massage and reiki will be available to guests at an additional cost.

The Tutors

Anna Wardrop is a successful garden designer, who splits her time between urban life and the country idyll. Her recent projects have included commercial and community spaces as well as residential gardens and roof terraces. She takes an immersive approach to garden design, tailoring the process to suit each individual client and site.

Emma Dixon is a cut flower grower and florist who has worked with us at River Cottage for over 7 years. She makes beautiful flower arrangments for many of our weddings, makes wreaths and runs workshops through her company Meadowsweet Flowers.

Have a look at the gallery of wonderful pictures from our 2019 Wellness Retreats here

Below is a snapshot of what is included:

  • Delicious organic food: all of your meals and snacks are included
  • The opportunity to learn skills to design your own garden
  • A course programme that offers activity for every morning, afternoon and evening while you are here
  • Reading, relaxing, reflecting by a roaring log fire or under a starry sky
  • All rooms and bell tents have comfortable beds and bedding
  • Indian Head Massage and Reiki available for an additional cost

The Retreat takes place from 3pm on Monday 20th July - 3pm on Thursday 23rd July 2020

Click here to see details of accommodation options.

Terms & Conditions & Cancellation Policy for Gardening Retreat

We would strongly recommend that you take out insurance to cover yourself, should you not be able to attend the retreat for any reason such as illness, work commitments or travel problems. The cancellation terms for the Wellness Retreat reflect the high-value and bespoke nature of the event. These cancellation terms override anything that contradicts them in our wider Cancellation Policy and Terms and Conditions.

More Than 12 Weeks Before the Retreat

If you cancel in writing at least 12 full weeks before the start of the event, you can credit the price of your booking (minus a £25 administration fee) against the purchase of one or more other River Cottage courses, events or retreats. Details of how to use this credit will be given separately. No cash refund will be given.

Less Than 12 Weeks Before the Retreat

If you want to cancel less than 12 weeks before the start of the event, your only option is to transfer your booking into someone else’s name. That person must accept the same accommodation in your original booking.

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Further information...

a three-day garden experience that embraces designing, planting, growing and harvesting as well as creating the perfect environment to encourage relaxation and rejuvenation.

We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.

Accommodation is included within the price of the retreat.

This retreat is suitable for over 18's only. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.

We happily cater for allergies and intolerances so do let us know of any restrictions at the time of booking. We kindly request you do not specify dislikes or preferences as we would love you to try the dishes our chefs have specifically created for the event so you can experience the menu as it was intended. Please be aware that we use ingredients in our kitchens which include allergens so we cannot guarantee against contamination. If you would like to know the steps we take to minimise cross-contamination please call one of the team during office hours and we will be happy to assist.