How can I join?
There is no membership or yearly registration process to The Gardening Drawing Club. Please refer to the What's on? Page of this website and join one of the upcoming events. All events are free to attend. We look forward to meeting you.
What can we do together?
We will be drawing and occasionally using other creative methods such as collages and paintings during our shared time. Each event and project will also involve different horticultural activities; planting seeds and arranging flowers are some of them. We will introduce you to The Gardening Drawing Club's approach and get to know you a little, too. We hope our events are also a chance for others to create new social bonds.
Organic tisane is served during most of our events. When possible, we also bring a small library of publications for you to browse through.
Veganic? What is that?
Veganic is a form of agricultural practice. It combines the term 'organic' and 'vegan'. It is also known as 'stock free farming', 'vegan organic' and 'plant-based farming'. This method is free from voluntary animal-based inputs, such as manure. Many food crops (organic and non-organic) rely on animal manure originating from slaughterhouses. Such manure also includes blood and bones of animal origin. Several commercially available compost brands also contain such ingredients. We believe that practising horticulture without such input is a step toward cruelty-free living and is a way to be more sustainable. In Veganic farming, there is no voluntary killing; slugs and snails, amongst others, are not to be cruelly killed. Instead, biodiversity is encouraged, taught and appreciated.
Veganic methods propose a positive alternative to chemical-based practices and animal exploitation while supporting and improving soil fertility. CO2 emissions from Veganic gardening practices are generally much lower than their counterpart.
We believe that compassion supports social and ecological justice.
A compassionate gardener who aims to care for all - human and non-human - will garden more humanely and be able to see beauty in all. It is our wish to practice compassion that leads us to Veganic horticulture.
While being kind and mindful might be challenging, we see it as vital for peace. Eastern philosophies and spiritual practices influence the Gardening Drawing Club's approach; these emphasise the importance of compassion and Ahimsa. The latter is defined as an ethical principle of not having the intention of causing harm, in any form, physical or mental, to other living - including humans and non-humans. Please visit our Lexicon for more information.
Is there any meaning to your logo?
The logo of The Gardening Drawing Club depicts a snail's shell. Designed by 75W Studio in 2021, it is a statement of inclusion and celebration of life. We do not encourage killing snails - as is the case in many gardening practices and media, where snails are presented as an 'enemy'. We support biodiversity; this also equals understanding and appreciating that snails are beneficial and part of ecosystems.
The spiral is also a universal symbol representing a circular path that leads the soul in its journey towards inner growth and development - both spiritual and physical.
The spiral is also a depiction of continuous motion, representing the cyclicity and energy of nature.
Why do you promote seed saving?
There are many reasons to save seeds. Here are some of them; Practising seed saving is also joining a movement and a tradition, as seeds have been passed down to us through centuries, particularly heirloom seeds by passionated gardeners and seed savers. Saving seeds is also a way to preserve cultures and traditions alive. It is ideal for observing and enjoying a plant's complete life cycle, leading to many possible drawing sessions.
Saving seeds from your garden each year will also help your variety adapt to your specific site's needs and save you some money purchasing new seeds each season. Saving seed from F1 hybrids (organic or non-organic source) will not work as the plants will not be true to seed. We always recommend you use organic open-pollinated seeds and advocate for seed sovereignty.
Why do you combining gardening with drawing?
First of all, because it is so much fun!
We believe that the pleasure of drawing, including mark-making and observation drawing, supports the development of horticultural skills. Plants and living creatures will be easily identified for one attuned to seeing through drawing. Cognitive and motor abilities (including coordination) are developed and employed by engaging in both activities.
Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck develops the approach of The Gardening Drawing Club. As an artist whose gardening life nurtures her creative practice and whose life as an artist informs her horticulture journey, she seeks to share the joy and benefits of integrating both activities into one another.
Why do you recommend I draw and garden?
Various research has established the benefits of gardening and drawing; these include stress relief, general well-being, strengthening focus, enhancing creativity, supporting mental health and overall health improvement.
Some of The Gardening Drawing Club events occur outdoors; we believe this contributes to the appreciation of seasons while also supporting vitamin D levels (yes, also in England). You will also be encouraged and supported to be in touch with the local environment.
The Gardening Drawing Club is also a place to develop communication skills gently as well as emotional intelligence and for some of us to (re)gain self-esteem through creativity and nearness - which we see as vital in the face of the pandemic we have all recently experienced.
What is your team's experience with gardening and arts?
Our team has various horticultural training and education, which is still ongoing. This includes work on a biodynamic farm, training in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, participation in diverse training programs regarding natural and veganic farming, as well as training with the RHS, including its course 'A Year in Your Gardening Club'. Johanna is also a student of Ikebana (kadō), the Japanese art of flower arrangement. She employs certain of its methods, which focus on form and balance, in The Gardening Drawing Club's workshops.
The Gardening Drawing Club team has been professionally involved in the arts and culture sector for eight years and more. Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck is the founder of The Gardening Drawing Club; please visit her webpage for detailed information on her international experience.
Do you provide Veganic horticultural teaching?
While our events may offer participants opportunities to engage with new approaches learn new skills and techniques, we do not provide in-person training. While we employ Veganic methods and will introduce basics in less or more depth during our events, training is not the focus of The Gardening Drawing Club. On the Useful page of this website, you will find a list of Useful Links of organisations that do. We update this list regularly.
If you would like to ask us some questions regarding our individual practice of Veganic horticulture, you may contact us. Johanna, who founded The Gardening Drawing Club, employs Veganic gardening methods on her allotment in rural Oxfordshire.
Why are the majority of your 2022 events taking place in London?
Echoing the words of Margaret Willes, ' London has a particular pressure on land, and many who would love to garden find themselves without the opportunity to do so', we aim to offer a chance to engage with gardening, and also with arts to people of all background in London, especially those whose social and financial situation might deprive them of engagement with culture. Gardening and drawing shall not be a privilege.
We are keen for The Gardening Drawing Club to have events outside of Greater London and Oxfordshire for future programmes; please get in touch with us to discuss.
Is it for adults and children?
You are all welcome.
Certain The Gardening Drawing Club events are conceptualised for children, with specific age groups in mind. Others are tailored for young adults and adults, while certain events are all-encompassing.
Please refer to this website's What's On? page, details are usually listed along with the event's date.
I have special needs or would like to attend your event with a person with special needs. Is this possible?
We will do our best to welcome you and accommodate your needs so that you may enjoy your time with us. Please get in touch with us, so that we may prepare if necessary. Please kindly note that mobile access will always depend on where events are scheduled; we can happily inform you of this if you contact us — most of the partners hosting The Gardening Drawing Club event welcome Assistance Animals on their premises. Accessibility is key to The Gardening Drawing Club, and efforts are made to broaden our knowledge and experience.
Will you be proving the material ?
Yes, we will provide all material. At times, we will make drawings, paintings and collages. All the equipment used in The Gardening Drawing Club is either owned by the institutions and individual places that welcome The Gardening Drawing Club or is our own. For the material we might source and provide on occasion, we focus on natural plant-based pigments and papers that are either recycled or made using sustainable hydraulic energy.
All seeds and soils used in our events are of organic origins and certified veganic for compost. The pots we used are either biodegradable or repurposed plastic containers.
I have never planted a seed or have not drawn for many years. Can I come to your event?
My question was not answered on your FAQ page. How could I get a response ?
Please use the contact form of this website. We will get back to you in the best delay possible and eventually list your question, as well as our response, on this page.