The Gardening Year at West Dean – Winter with Tom Brown

Ref: S1D33535

Location: West Dean
Book now

Places available

About this course

Tom will go through a number of seasonal tasks, both from a theoretical and practical standpoint. This course is an opportunity to discover tips and techniques to help get great results at home.

Course Description

This course is one of a new series of four one-day courses led by Tom Brown, Head Gardener at West Dean Gardens. It aims to take a seasonal look at some of the key aspects of what is growing and happening over this coming year at West Dean Gardens.

In this winter course, which will take place in January, the focus is on the following topics:

• Winter stems and bark

• Tree planting and care

• Winter vegetables

• Rose pruning

• Seed ordering and crop planning

• Apple and soft fruit pruning

Lunch in the College’s dining room will include freshly picked or harvested produce by the Gardens Team, and you will be given a small takeaway to enjoy at the end of the day.

Anyone booking all four days over this year will receive free individual entry to West Dean Gardens for the following year (non-transferable), so that you can see the progress. The dates are: Friday 24 January 2025, Friday 25 April 2025, Friday 18 July 2025 and Friday 31 October 2025.

Course Materials


  • You will receive a small seasonal takeaway from West Dean to enjoy after the day.

What students need to bring

  • Please wear suitable clothing and layers for inside and outside, including stout shoes, raincoat and sunhat, depending on the season.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

General Information


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. 

Courses of interest

Summer garden photography

30 Aug 2024 to 1 Sep 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Kevin Dutton |

Designing vertical gardens

13 to 15 Sep 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Adam Shepherd |
Suitable for all

How to prune wall-trained fruit trees

19 Sep 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Sylvia Travers |

Leatherwork – slip cases for tools

6 to 8 Dec 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Jeremy and Carla Bonner |
Suitable for all