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Plant identification through patterns: An introduction

Plant identification through patterns: an introduction - 4 identical workshops.

We will be doing 4 plant identification workshops this year like last year. They will be on 17th June and 24th June, the 1st and 8th July from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Oi oi what's it all about?

This workshops will equip you with the tools so you can start identifying a plant anywhere in the world and will enable to you to teach yourself and to use a plant identification book confidently. 

This workshop can help anyone from complete beginner to those able to comfortably identify individual plant species through foraging, gardening experience or a book. 

The special thing about this workshop is that it teaches about plant families and their patterns so you can quickly identify a family and thus its genus level (usually most necessary for foragers) and species level (sometimes very necessary).
If you are familiar with these patterns and with flower parts then this workshop won't be suitable for you.

Please note: After doing this workshop, you are invited to do the continuation workshop on 2nd and 9th July - so you can do two whole days of plant ID'ing if you want! Please enquire for more information. 

The workshop will run as follows:

- An introduction to plants. You will learn how to use all your senses and your understanding of the variety of plants will be widened. You will look at all parts of the plants, from roots to shoots to fruits.

- An introduction to plant families: you will learn at least 8 major plant families in the garden and how they can be identified to at least family level very quickly with a few combination features. This will allow you to start to identify around 15000 species of plants around the world. You will have time to familiarise yourself with some species and genera within the families - it's always good to have a few plants under your belt.

- There will be lunch provided and a lunch break - usually in the middle of learning plant families. YUM

- Identifying unknown plants and reinforcing plant family knowledge. We'll have a go at being resourceful i.e. collecting as much knowledge as much as we can with our newly acquired skills to start identifying unknown plants.

- You will go home with a booklet of key plant I.D information containing the plant families you learnt, a list of resources, some nice pictures of plant parts and a guide to annoying botanical terms.

Other details

Please, if you have it, bring a copy of Rose's 'The wildflower key' and a hand lens. There are spares though so not to worry if you don't have one.

Cost is 15 - 30 pounds depending on income. This is a spectrum from unemployed/concession to part-time to full-time employment. We will however not turn anyone away so please get in touch if you can't afford the suggested price. 

Lunch is provided but with no dietary requirements in mind. Please get in touch if you have a dietary requirement.

Please note: We would love one helper who can help set up in the morning and pack down afterwards. If you will to do so you can have a free place in the course. You would help 30 minutes before and 30 minutes afterwards, so 9:30 to 16:30.

Please note also that Ben is also happy for experienced identifiers to shadow him. Please get in contact about this possibility.

To book a place or for more information

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. Call/text 07922513704 or email 

Payment is cash on the day or by direct bank transfer. We will send bank details upon confirmation of your booking.

The workshop will take place at Bedford Fields Community Forest Garden and the directions can be found on our website -
Hope to see you!

Bedfords Gnomes