Making the most of your glasshouse – advanced kitchen gardening with Tom Brown

Ref: S1D30044

About this course

Get tips on soil preparation, pruning, propagating techniques, good varieties to grow, and how to manage pests and diseases for growing tender vegetables and fruits under glass.

Course Description

With the approach of June, this is a time when the garden is bursting with fresh food, with a bountiful range of fruit and vegetables grown in the walled garden at West Dean Gardens. Head Gardener, Tom will take you through good soil preparation, pruning, propagating techniques, as well as the best varieties to grow, and how to manage pests and diseases. West Dean Gardens is famed for its range of Victorian glasshouses. Tom will explain and give his expert insight into how to grow tender vegetables and fruits under glass, giving his tips and an in-depth explanation into how the crops are grown ‘the West Dean way’.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Notebook
  • Camera
  • Clothing suitable for outdoors as time will be spent in the garden

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Notebooks and sketchbooks
  • Drawing and writing materials

Additional information

Please note: Please arrive for registration and coffee at the College (the main house) by 8:55am. The group will make a short walk through the walled garden to the Carrington Studio, where the course is based, at 9:05am. The Carrington Studio can also be accessed by vehicle, using the garden entrance, after registration. You will return to the main house for lunch, while morning coffee and afternoon tea will available at the Carrington Studio. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Tom Brown. Photo credit: Sam Stephenson

Tom Brown

Having worked at RHS Wisley Gardens, latterly running the plant and vegetable trials, Tom then moved to become Head Gardener at nearby Parham House for nearly ten years. Tom joined West Dean College of Arts and Conservation in May 2019 to head up the garden team and manage the impressive Kitchen Garden, Cut Flower Garden, extensive fruit collection and 13 large, Victorian Glasshouses – along with the College Grounds and Arboretum. 

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