Muddy Reviews: Floral Workshop at Water Lane
Discovered Water Lane in Hawkhurst? This secret garden is an idyllic rural gem - consisting of walled garden, vinery, Victorian glasshouses and restaurant. We tried their first Floral Workshop, here's how we got on...
Water Lane (previously The Walled Nursery) is an idyllic walled garden with a Vinery and Victorian glasshouses – has a magical, slightly tumble-down charm and has been taken on as a long-term project while the site is being sympathetically transformed into a working kitchen garden with vegetable beds, cut flowers, restored vinery, outside spaces and a pavilion for dining and events. It’s very much a ‘Watch This Space’ kinda place.
Step through the large wooden gates to the hidden walled garden, an historical horticultural masterpiece with Grade II Victorian glasshouses dating back to the 1800s. You definitely don’t wanna miss their ‘pop up’ restaurant which is now open and their small shop selling garden plants and beautiful wares for the garden and home.
Walk around the grounds, vegetable garden and beautiful rows of seasonal flowers or why not enjoy a fun Floral Workshop with the very talented Bloom & Burn? They’ve got a whole range of workshops running until 11 Dec. Learn how to style seasonal British flowers with flowers freshly cut from Water Lane’s cutting garden to make from Dried Flower Centrepieces to Christmas Wreaths.
One gorgeous day in September, I took my mum and we went along to experience their Hand-Tied Bouquet Workshop. From flowers to ceramics, there’s beautiful classes for everyone. Go on, have a browse here.
Before the class started, owner Ian James took us on a short tour of the garden. Ian and husband, Nick Selby have brought a wealth of food and horticultural passion from their previous business in London.
Their plan is to restore the site to its full capacity as a productive walled garden with 13 Victorian glasshouses and 72 no-dig beds, measuring over 650 metres, growing vegetables, fruit, herbs to provide for the garden restaurant and cut flowers for sale, including Larkspur, Dahlias, Sweet Peas, Nigella, Honesty, Cosmos, Zinnia and Cerinthe.
Ian gave us insight on what’s in bloom currently in the garden, what flowers we’d be working with in our workshop and answered our many questions about how to grow your own flowers.
The Workshop took place in one of the gorgeous glasshouses with the very talented Graeme Corbett founder of Bloom & Burn. The perfect setting to spend a few hours learning new things and spending some quality time with my mum.
We got to pick our own flowers and foliage, there was such a wide variety of seasonal flowers which came straight from the garden which really allowed us to create something completely unique for our homes.
We arranged the flowers using a spiralling technique we learnt from Graeme’s demonstrations. The workshop was very relaxed and friendly, Graeme was so knowledgeable and was on-hand to help us create some gorgeous arrangements.
If you had any special requests, Graeme would dash out and pick more flowers from the garden for us. It was wonderful to work with fresh flowers and to create these natural, wild bouquets. A breath of fresh air compared to the stuck-up straight supermarket flowers, I am more used to.
We also enjoyed tea, coffee and a sweet treat which was very welcomed. Flower arranging is thirsty work don’t you know!
After adding more flowers and more foliage, our bouquets were starting to take shape so we cut the stems down and tied them with twine before popping them in our vases. Of course more faffing ensued until we were happy.
We didn’t only take home a beautiful creation but a wide array of floristry tips and tricks which made me excited to experiment with my own flowers at home!
Yes! There’s a brilliant restaurant where you can enjoy breakfast before or lunch after your workshop. They serve up delicious plates using ingredients grown right there on site.
It’s a beautiful terrace with tented stretch awning, open kitchen and a wood-fired oven. Every table has open views out on to the glasshouses, long flower borders and vegetable and cut flower beds. When we said rustic charm, we meant it.
Just add a two course lunch or breakfast to your booking and your table will be ready for you – your next day out sorted!
Classes start from £70 including all tools, materials, refreshments and cake so you can just turn up.
WANT TO TRY FOR YOURSELF?
No matter if you are a beginner or more experienced, this is the perfect experience for flower lovers! Made even better with family and friends.
Book your tickets now…
Hand Tied Bouquet Workshop, Thurs 7 Oct.
Halloween Table Centrepiece Workshop, Fri 29 Oct.
Styling Flowers at Home Workshop, Sat 13 Nov.
Dried Flower Centrepiece Workshop, Sun 21 Nov.
Christmas Wreath Making Workshop, Thurs 2 Dec.
Christmas Wreath Making Workshop, Sat 11 Dec.