Roof garden

Core Arts members’ garden

Beginner Gardening sessions at Core Landscapes

Wednesday afternoons: 1.30pm to 3.30pm

  • For beginner gardeners with Core Arts membership
  • For people who like to learn in a structured way and/or
  • For people with gardening experience who can support others in their learning

These workshops are for Core Arts members who would like to feel more confident about gardening and are complete beginners, or who have a little gardening knowledge but would like to build on skills they have.

The sessions are delivered by experienced gardening tutors who are extremely passionate about the impact gardening can have on  mental health and wellbeing. It is a structured and supported programme of practical horticultural sessions with clearly identified aims and objectives. Each session will give you a beginners guide on a particular gardening topic, and the skills to try out new ways of growing and observing plants anywhere as a means of self-care.

The programme explores 7 key gardening topics per term – rolling throughout spring, summer and autumn, and there are handouts and films on our Core Landscapes Online for each key topic covered for reference before or after the classes – if you find these useful. The course also includes a group visit to another garden for added inspiration.

People then may be able to continue learning at their own pace in the Progression Gardening sessions at Core Landscapes’ roof garden and plant nursery, Core Arts members’ garden and Core Arts community garden nearby and when your Core Arts membership ends there is the option of Community Volunteering with us on Tuesdays also.

Sessions include:

  • All about the soil – from compost making to liquid feeds
  • Sowing new seeds – indoors and outdoor techniques
  • Making new plants from old – lots of propagation top tips
  • Herbs for window boxes – things you can try at home
  • Food all year round – including the winter months
  • Pest and disease control (organically) – no need for chemical sprays
  • Seasonal Inspiration and lots more…

Download the programme here (PDF)

Gardening has been proved time and time again to boost mental wellbeing and the skills learnt also help to promote confidence, self-esteem and healing. The gardens are safe spaces to meet new people and new plants, building up experience and knowledge of many different plants and how to get the best from them. Gardening can be a useful way to nurture yourself and build up your tools for ongoing self-care.

We look after the roof garden, Core Arts members garden and community garden, the ‘garage garden’ under the roof as well as the street planting on Wardle Street and our meadow area and orchard in nearby Homerton Grove. So we have a wide range of flowers, trees and shrubs for all seasons, medicinal plants, food growing, wildlife pond, container orchard, plant nursery, greenhouse, construction area, drought tolerant and shade plants and wildflowers to explore and learn about. And we don’t use herbicides or pesticides – everything is grown organically emphasising sustainability. Everything on the roof garden is grown in containers, as Core Landscapes has historically moved from site to site when the land it is housed on gets developed taking the planters with it. It moved to its current roof garden site at Core Arts Hackney E9 from Whitechapel E1 in 2019, and was previously housed in Canning Town E16.

If you are an experienced gardener already with Core Arts membership check out our Progression Gardening sessions. Please contact the Core Arts office to book a space or for membership/referral information:  020 8533 3500

If you are not a Core Arts member check out our Community Volunteering or Support Volunteering opportunities. For more general information and volunteering info contact Nemone on 07585 770 868 or

We look forward to hearing from you.

“The sessions have raised my confidence to study and learn something new. It has helped me to create a more successful botanical environment at home. I feel more confident with home projects.”

“ …the transition from the beginning of the session,  (and the tension I have) to how relaxed I am at the end…it’s really relaxing and the roof garden is a great spot to be in.”

“Suddenly I want to know about potassium and nitrogen…”

“(The project) helps with my agoraphobia and social phobia. Also physical activity outdoors improves my physical health and this in turn improves my mental health. (The social side) is the most difficult for me but the people are very friendly and I’m trying to persevere.”

“Every lesson I learnt something or observed something new and made new connections.”

“I feel motivated to make a difference by planting flowers for bees. Sharing learning activities with others has also helped me feel less isolated.”

“I have to prioritise my mental health. I realise how important this is (coming to the gardening sessions) after my break-down.”

“ It’s dynamic, now many things you can apply, how much you can use in different ways and different places.”