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Workshop Testimonials

Art & Craft Workshops

The following workshop testimonials are from individuals who have attended one of our many workshops. If you would like to add your comments then please use the form below.

[framed_box rounded=”true”]”I wanted to send you a note to say how much I enjoyed the course last week.  I found Tony and Jane extremely knowledegable and they have inspired me to grow more veggies from seed and truly adopt the organic way.

I shall certainly return for more courses and to visit your lovely gardens.” – Chrissy
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[framed_box rounded=”true”]”What a wonderful workshop venue, whatever the event! I attended the wire bird workshop with the very talented Chris Moss. I still can’t believe I took home 2 fabulous little wire birds for the garden.

A beautiful, tranquil space which inspires creativity. Plenty of room to relax & enjoy the company of a small group of people, whilst still giving the option of peace & solitude in one of the many garden rooms. Delicious cake, coffee and tea. What more do you need?! Truly a delight.”
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[framed_box rounded=”true”]”Huge thank you to John and Vanessa for a very pleasant morning spent learning about keeping poultry. Even though I started keeping chickens 4 years ago I still learned lots of useful tips and I was particularly looking forward to visiting the resident birds and having a hands-on experience and I wasn’t disappointed! I look forward to coming back!” – Gail
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[framed_box rounded=”true”]”Thank you for a lovely workshop yesterday. You were most helpful and welcoming and I loved your gardens, I found them so inspirational and thoroughly enjoyed my day painting. I have left you the sketch in return for two of your cards. I hope that you enjoy the study as much as I did creating it. Hopefully I will come again sometime in the future to paint.” – Debbie Walker
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“Today I have had a thoroughly enjoyable morning on Vanessa’s Apple Pruning Course. As very much an “amateur” I confess to feeling a little apprehensive. However I soon felt relaxed in the lovely friendly atmosphere and feel I have gained so much from the hands on experience. Much better doing it rather than simply reading how to do it!” – Sue Dalton
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“I have just completed the two part growing vegetables course and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The workshops are very interactive and I came home buzzing with lots of very useful information. Vanessa is a wonderful host and I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get the most out of their vegetable garden.” – Vicky Innocent
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“Poultry Keeping Course – What a delight. A warm welcome with a coffee and then 3 wonderful hours spent in the company of other enthusiastic amateurs under the guidance of a real expert in poultry keeping. I was at the “still considering getting hens and even then only two or three” so the hands on experience was just what I was wanting.

PS the setting is pretty stunning as well. Many thanks.” – Susan
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“Having a very neglected orchard as well as some new fruit trees to plant at home, the apple pruning course was excellent. My gardener and I learnt more practical skills and knowledge on a variety of aged and young fruiting trees in two hours than I could have dreamed of.

Vanessa Cook is a walking encyclopedia of gardening knowledge and the hands on course was an envaluable experience. Can’t wait to get stuck into the orchard at home and hope a future course on plant division and cuttings might be added for next year?!” – Vicki Dickinson
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“I had a lovely time on the apple pruning course this week. I learnt a lot and now feel confident enough to prune my own little tree.” – Pauline Witton
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“I started growing veg 2 years ago but having been to your Vegetable Growing course I now feel I understand so much more about what has worked and what hasn’t, and why. Discussions were fun and informal but packed with information and top tips for people at every level. Looking forward to getting my plot started with renewed energy and understanding this year. Many thanks” – Jo Smakman
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“Thank you so much for your time and expertise. The workshop was not only informative, but also enjoyable – not least because of the beautiful early spring-like weather. The hands-on experience certainly gave me much more confidence to attack my ageing trees. I was surprised to find very few buds when I got home, but my garden is much more exposed so I suppose I should wait patiently before I get the secateurs out.” – Derek Jones
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“Garden Walk Feedback Form; A beautiful, natural garden. Introduction and guided walk most enjoyable and relaxed: it was good to have all the personal touches. Thank you for your encouragement and inspiration.” – Liz
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“Thank you to John for his time on the beekeeping course He was very knowledgeable on the subject, which he explained in a friendly and informal way. This is a good opportunity for would be(e) beekeepers to get some hands on practical experience in a tranquil setting.” – Paul Whitehead
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“We both had a thoroughly enjoyable morning on the willow weaving. It was cosy and friendly, and I thoroughly enjoyed a cup of your excellent coffee. A stroll around your delightful garden was the icing on the cake. All in all an excellent day. Thank you.” – Stephanie Jacques and Judy Alison
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“I missed part one of the veg course, but Tony and his wife very helpfully ran through the information that I had missed and Vanessa provided the missed handouts. Great customer service, thank you! The course was very well planned and the information very clear. The handouts are an excellent memory jogger.” – Julie Moss
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“We had a fantastic time on yesterday’s willow weaving course. Your lovely welcome of fresh coffee was truly appreciated. The course was great, fun and achievable. I’m very proud of the climbing structures I made.” – Vicki Pope
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7 Comments

  1. Vicki Dickinson on February 26, 2014 at 17:16

    This was my first experience of the gem which is Stillingfleet Lodge and I already have plans to attend a further course and re visit the garden a couple of times during the growing/open season as a result of my visit. Having a very neglected orchard as well as some new fruit trees to plant at home, the apple pruning course was excellent. My gardener and I learnt more practical skills and knowledge on a variety of aged and young fruiting trees in two hours than I could have dreamed of. Vanessa Cook is a walking encyclopedia of gardening knowledge and the hands on course was an envaluable experience. Can’t wait to get stuck into the orchard at home and hope a future course on plant division and cuttings might be added for next year?!

    Vicki Dickinson Feb 2014



  2. Lisa Peacock on August 26, 2015 at 20:00

    What a wonderful workshop venue, whatever the event!
    I attended the wire bird workshop with the very talented Chris Moss. I still can’t believe I took home 2 fabulous little wire birds for the garden.
    A beautiful, tranquil space which inspires creativity. Plenty of room to relax & enjoy the company of a small group of people, whilst still giving the option of peace & solitude in one of the many garden rooms.
    Delicious cake, coffee and tea. What more do you need?!
    Truly a delight.



  3. Elizabeth Dowding on March 16, 2016 at 16:15

    I attended a course on organic vegetable gardening this morning. A Mr Tony Chalcraft was very knowledgeable. An inspiring morning with hand-outs to refer back to. Added to that comfortable surroundings and excellent tea, coffee and biscuits!! recommend it.



  4. Graham Bowers on May 5, 2016 at 14:49

    Bee Keeping Introductory Course

    This was my first visit to Stillingfleet Lodge – I already plan to re-visit the gardens at least a couple of times during the year as a result. I had been considering keeping bees for some time.

    I had a most warm welcome complete with tea and cake then a few great hours with John and his bees.

    The hands on experience with bees was just what I needed. A course designed for those like me at the “consideration stage” that is I had many questions and little experience plus the need to know more before keeping bees.

    John was very knowledgeable. He had an answer to every question; mind you he answered most of my questions before I had asked them. The hands on experience with the bees was great I got to remove the combs, identify the different cells – egg, grub, worker, drone and queen etc., learnt how to ‘subdue’ the bees (and why bees become subdued), bee predators, I looked for mites and other bee related problems. I would highly recommend this course to anyone thinking of keeping bees.

    Although there is plenty of information on bee keeping (internet and books etc.) it really is the invaluable hands on experience that John provides before anyone contemplates / attempts to keep bees and the equipment. You cannot beat a hands-on demonstration…. I am really glad I went. I now hope to keep my own bees in a few months’ time.

    The introductory course would also be useful for people who may not bee interested in bee keeping but merely wish to find out more about bees and handling bees or even help overcome any fear of bees.

    I also went home with a pot of honey.



  5. Rosslynne Selous-Hodges on October 25, 2016 at 00:42

    I attended Starting with fruit and vegetables on 28 Sep 2016 with Tony Chalcraft. For some reason – still don’t know why – this was purely about vegetables but that wasn’t a great problem as I had called in at R V Roger’s nursery at Pickering earlier in the month and had all my questions about fruit answered. I can highly recommend this course about growing vegetables organically, it answered all the queries I had thought of, including those I hadn’t! I came away knowing exactly to how set out my garden and with specific advice about what would grow at its latitude and elevation. After the course I spent a happy couple of hours looking around Stillingfleet Lodge gardens and came away with three plants from the nursery.



  6. Janet Young on February 13, 2018 at 14:41

    Apple Tree pruning was the workshop I needed and arrived at this morning, a very cold and exceedingly damp one. There were a variety of apple tree problems for the group: over zealous pruning; no signs of any pruning on inherited trees plus dealing with community orchards. After an introduction to cutting, shaping and then testing secateurs we ventured into the orchard to put skills into practice. I was very impressed by the skills in evidence thanks to Vanessa’s expert tuition. Now to go into the garden less tentatively and set to work on the apple trees at home.



  7. Sarah on March 13, 2019 at 20:08

    What a great morning listening to Tony and Jane share their vast knowledge about veg growing. I loved their approach in a relaxed, friendly and so informative way. I have dabbled at veg growing for years so not quite a novice but I learnt so much. Great venue, well organised and booked on 3 more, thank you.



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