Quiet time..........

We all need to take time to step back, breath and get away from the stresses of every day life, ‘The Lodge’ and its grounds offer the perfect place to do that so we are really excited about our new ‘Wellbeing’ workshops and regular Yoga classes.

This month our Cutting garden has come into its own and it was so exciting to take students out to cut flowers for their own arrangements, we have learnt a lot and look forward to planning next years garden.

Summer is here........

Summer is here and like most people we are enjoying the benefits of all our hard work and harvesting our first wave of summer flowers from the garden. This month we have had some great workshops including ‘Raku’ pottery, ‘Mandala’ garlands and textile ‘Tuffets.’

Rhubarb from the garden........

Rhubarb Cake

We have so much rhubarb in ‘The Lodge’ garden at this time of year, so we try to use as much as we can in the Flower and Craft school and in the B&B. One of our favourite things is to make Rhubarb cake it’s a firm favourite at our workshop tea breaks, lots of you have asked for the recipe so here it is ……………


  • 125g (4 1/4 oz) butter

  • 300g (11 oz) caster sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 250g (9 oz) plain flour

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 250ml (8 fl oz) buttermilk

  • 250g (9 oz) rhubarb, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon plain flour

  • Topping

  • 50g (2 oz) butter

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 225g (8 oz) brown sugar

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.

  2. In another bowl, sift together 250g flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add sifted ingredients alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture.

  3. Toss rhubarb with 1 tablespoon flour and stir into cake mixture. Spoon cake mixture into buttered 23x33cm baking tin and smooth the surface.

  4. Blend together 50g butter, cinnamon and brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over cake mixture.

  5. Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 45 minutes.

    Recipie thanks to www.allrecipes.co.uk

Baby Woodpeckers, cutting gardens and a busy Spring......

We have been busy planting up our borders and filling our cutting garden with plants this week, it took twice as long as it should have as we had a ring side seat watching a baby woodpecker being fed by its parents.

April and May have been pretty busy at the school with bookbinding , floristry, mosaics and photography taking center stage.

Mosaics, March madness and foam free floristry.......

We have had a busy March with craft and floristry workshops this March, here are just a few pictures from some of our workshops starting with a few designs from our latest Mosaic workshop………………………

‘The Joy of Pen and Ink’ workshop was a great success everyone went home with some great pictures and a better understanding of using colour wash with pen and ink.

March has bought with it a rainbow of spring flowers and blossoms so we have made the most of it. Our ‘5 Week Beginners’ workshop was a great hit as were our ‘Spring Basket’ and ‘Mini Daffodil’ workshops. In line with our bid to promote environmentally friendly floristry our ‘Foam Free Floristry’ workshop was a real eye opener. Here are just a few pictures from March’s workshops………..

A busy February here at 'The Lodge'.................

We were busy hear at ’The Lodge’ this February with lots of workshops including our ‘Willow Sculptures’ and ‘Patchwork of The Crosses weekend.

Willow Sculpture Workshop
I would like to say how wonderful the willow workshop was. Everybody was made so welcome lovely venue and excellent refreshments. Sue was amazing after a short introduction into willow we were given such superb tuition. When you needed help she made you feel very relaxed and this helped so much. My stag looks so proud in my garden. Looking forward to coming again soon...... Liz
‘Patchwork of The Crosses Workshop’
Just a quick note to say how very much we enjoyed our course last weekend. We came away feeling refreshed, inspired and conscious of having had a magical weekend.
The venue is marvellous,
The tutoring excellent, Paula is a talented teacher,and the materials were of great quality
The catering wonderful,
The company was lovely
The trip to The Manor House was very exciting for two Greenknowe fans
and you even managed to arrange wonderful weather...... Helen

January jobs in the garden

January can be a bit hit ‘n’ miss in the garden, the weather is very changeable and a little chilly so when the sun pops its head out we take full advantage this week a bit more digging and the continual weed battle. We try to compost as much garden waste as possible and some we burn in our fire pit.

We took advantage of a chilly but bright day to empty the fire pit and sort the ash, luckily we can mix most of the ash in with our compost which we reuse in the garden. However you do need to be mindful about what you burn, as some weeds can survive the most intense heat and you can spread them right back on your borders.......


Mosaics date back as far as the third millennium BC, popular in ancient Greece and Rome they were widely used to decorate religious buildings often depicting religious stories. They fell out of favour during the renaissance, but in recent years have enjoyed a huge rise in popularity.

Modern mosaics are created by artisans and crafters such as Debra Stuart who will be sharing her skills with us in March and April with two exciting Mosaic workshops. Using a variety of materials tiles, glass, pebbles, old jewellery and ceramics she will show you how to create either a tree of life mosaic or a garden mirror a great addition to any home and a skill you can use to create just about any decorative mosaic.

Mosaic Wall Hanging Workshop

Garden Mirror Mosaic

Sweet Potato curry with a hint of satay a perfect winter warmer....

We’ve been researching recipes over the last few months to serve on this years residential workshops. This sweet potato curry is a firm favourite - Did you know Sweet potatoes are packed full of Vitamin C more than 70% of our required intake of vitamin C can be gleaned form a medium sized sweet potato, that’s more than double that of white potatoes! Vitamin C is so important for our bodies and if like me your not a big fan of citrus fruits then its an excellent way of keeping on top of your vitamin C levels, its so easy to make and a great winter warmer……


·         1 tbsp. coconut oil

·         1 onion chopped

·         2 garlic cloves, grated

·         1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger grated

·         3tbsp Thai red curry paste

·         1 tbsp. smooth peanut butter

·         500g sweet potato peeled and cut into chunks

·         400ml can of coconut milk

·         200g bag of spinach

·         1 lime juiced

·         cooked rice to serve (optional)

·         dry roasted peanuts, to serve (optional)


1.    Melt 1 tbsp. coconut oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and soften 1 chopped onion for 5 mins. Add 2 grated garlic cloves and a grated thumb-sized piece of ginger, and cook for 1 min until fragrant.

2.    Stir in 3 tbsp. Thai red curry paste, 1 tbsp. smooth peanut butter and 500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks, then add 400ml coconut milk and 200ml water.

3.    Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25-30 mins or until the sweet potato is soft.

4.      Stir through 200g spinach and the juice of 1 lime, and season well. Serve with cooked rice, and if you want some crunch, sprinkle over a few dry roasted peanuts.

Recipe from: www.bbcgoodfood.com

The natural way - No foam floristry

I always like the start of the new year - it’s a time for reflection and a time when we tend to look inside ourselves and think about what we are going to achieve in the coming months. If, like me, you derive pleasure from buying a new diary and notepads galore – recycled, of course – it’s the perfect time to spread out your new stationary and start planning.

This year our plans include getting the cutting-garden up and running and continuing to make the flower and craft school as environmentally friendly as possible. For some time now I have been moving away from the toxic green foam that so many florists use and will be using more sustainable floristry techniques - with this in mind we have launched our first ‘no foam’ floristry workshop – SPRING, THE NATURAL WAY to share and encourage all you flower lovers to follow the same path.

Don’t forget to sign-up for our email updates to see details of all new workshops.