Greenfingers: Gardening & Horticulture
13-19th October 2018 // 6-12th April 2019
Dreaming of a life in the country? Aspirations of green grandeur? Or time for a change of scene and a change of career? Our Greenfingers retreat is just the thing for you!
Come and join us for a week of practical gardening tuition in the grounds of the perfectly charming Manoir La Croix de La Jugie. Perhaps you are a complete beginner, or maybe you have all the theory and none of the experience...Not a problem! We will guide you through the basics, step by step, allowing you to gain hands on experience. After six glorious days in the grounds of the Manoir you will have the confidence to prune that fruit tree and you'll no longer fear tackling that overgrown rose. You'll be able to look at an uninspiring border and see how to inject new life and vigour to that tired planting scheme. Learn how to work with, and propagate, established plants and most importantly, take all your new found horticultural experience away with you to create your own green haven at home.
In the heart of the Limousin, our Manoir is surrounded by local producers and farms, creating delicious food. From cheeses, to pates, special cuts of meat and super fresh, organic vegetables, to (of course) natural and organic wines, cider from the famous Limousin apples and beer made with local chestnuts. The gorgeous, rustic, South West France dishes of the region are the perfect complement to spending time in the stunning scenery and amongst all the growing plants, and you'll be treated at each meal to make up the calories you've lost in the garden! Foodies won't be disappointed!
If you're here to learn more about gardening, you'll definitely leave with a heap of knowledge under your belt to transfer to your garden (or window boxes) at home. If you just love getting active in the outdoors, our gardens are the perfect environment for you to keep fit and healthy. Gardening is a moderate cardio-vascular exercise, burning 150-300 calories over just 30-45 minutes of hoeing, raking, weeding, digging and planting. All of which you'll have plenty of practise in! So if you hate lying around on a sunlounger on holiday - this is the week for you.
Digital Detox (if you like)
We're not enforcing a phone ban! But many of our guests love the opportunity to tone down their screen time for a week; where better to do it that in the calming surrounding of the estate with its peaceful views of rolling hills. Wifi is available but limited and what nicer excuse to create some headspace? As well as all the activities on offer, there's also plenty of time to just enjoy the beautiful grounds and scenery, breathe in deeply, go for walks, curl up with a good book, savour a glass of wine by the fire or tramp over the Autumn hills with new friends or re-connecting with old ones.
Prices from £550 per person per week
Adele Pimley will be your gardening tutor. She has run a private gardening company for seven years. In her work she caters for private gardens and school groups, helping to maintain, restore, create, design and install their garden space or fruit & vegetable patch.
She is a fantastic teacher, with a super personality, great style, and she welcomes all your questions - big and small! She loves the gardens at the Manoir - they are the perfect backdrop for teaching gardening skills as the six acres offer lots of space for creativity and trying things out.
Adele trained at the RHS school Capel Manor.
Gardens & landscapes
The grounds are a mix of formal and natural. At present there is an established orchard, large lawn with various floating beds, box and lavender hedges, a parterre, several mature trees and a large field area. In the future we plan to establish a herb garden, a knot garden and an area of prairie planting, to name but a few. We hope that our guests will enjoy learning as well as creating these features.
- Pruning - fruit, roses, flowering shrubs, restorative pruning on overgrown shrubs, topiary;
- Planting Design and Garden Planning - working on plans of your own garden and/or theoretical planting situations;
- Propagation - seed sowing, cuttings, dividing herbaceous;
- Planting - how to properly plant specimens;
- Managing the herbaceous border;
- Garden Visits;
- Other Topics: fruit and vegetables, container gardening, new planting schemes, general gardening Q&A.
At the table
Who said that you can't mix work and pleasure? Here at La Jugie, you'll not only be inspired by the green landscape of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, with its rolling countryside and medieval villages, but you will also enjoy the beautiful Manoir.
We also use local ingredients and artisan products to create delicious, homely food for our guests, perfect to come into after a satisfying session in the garden. Kick of your boots and relax over hot stews, fresh veg, sticky puddings and of course, some French cheese and wine!
what you'll get
- full board accommodation in the luxury surroundings of La Jugie
- daily freshly cooked, delicious food, using local specialities and ingredients
- expert gardening talks, demonstrations and Q&A
- practical sessions to learn the skills you'll be taught
- plenty of active time
- syllabus will cover pruning, planting, sowing, propagation, planning, clearing and more
- guided visit to local gardens or other sites of interest & buying trip to local garden centre
- all equipment and seeds/plants provided
- bring pictures and plans from your own garden for real life advice
- relaxation time to enjoy crisp walks in the rolling hills or reading a book by the cosy fire
- peaceful and calming environment to Digitally Detox (optional)
Each day will vary but an example schedule might look like this. We do, of course, take into account the weather!
- 8am breakfast
- 9am skills workshop or planning
- 10am-1pm practical session in gardens
- 11am elevenses
- 1pm lunch
- 2-4pm afternoon practical session in gardens or visit to local producer
- 4pm afternoon snack
- 4-7pm free time
- 7pm pre-dinner drinks
- 7.30pm dinner
Wednesday afternoon is a free session for you to explore, sit and read, or get to know the area, if you wish.
13-19th October 2018 // 6-12th April 2019
For this Greenfingers week, the pricing is as follows, to include everything except travel to France:
- Shared twin or double room with ensuite bathroom - £650 per person (£1300 per couple)
- Single occupancy double room with ensuite bathroom - £1150 per person
- Shared double room with shared enormous bathroom - £550 per person (£1100 per couple)
- Single occupancy double room with shared enormous bathroom £1000
- Shared triple room with private bathroom - £500 per person (single bed), £550 (double bed)