The New Year is a great time for garden planning and a perfect opportunity to think about honing the gardening skills you may be missing or want to perfect.
Whether you are a beginner gardener or an accomplished plants pro, or even want to swap careers for one in horticulture, there’s a wealth of courses out there to help you on your way.
You can learn how to make compost, create beautiful flower borders or grow your own vegetables, as well as propagation, soil science and garden design.
“When it comes to enhancing your skills and knowledge with a course, then the game-changer in choosing the right course for you really comes down to your interests and passion,” says Suzanne Moss, head of education and learning at the RHS.
“It should be something that interests and motivates you to ensure you get the most from the learning experience. RHS short courses and workshops (run over a couple of hours to three days), delivered at all RHS Gardens, range from pruning to propagation to art, photography and garden design.
“Another key factor is your end goal – what do you want to achieve? Are you looking for a course that captivates your personal interest or wanting to turn a huge passion for gardening into a career? If you are looking to grow your own curiosity, then a shorter course may be the ideal start and a great way to meet like-minded individuals with the same passion.”
Of course costs, time you are able to commit and location are other key factors to consider, she observes.
Here are just a few of the courses available in 2022:
No-Dig Day Course (charlesdowding.co.uk) selected dates from March 19, Homeacres, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, £195
Plantsman and grow-your-own expert Charles Dowding shows the basics of his ‘no dig’ principles, a method where you can grow edibles without having to do any of the back-breaking digging of old.
You’ll learn how to grow more food in less time, the principles of compost making using examples of Dowding’s composting process, ingredients and proportions as well as how long you need to leave it and whether turning it helps.
He’ll also show visitors the progress of experiments including beds of dig/no dig produce, show what can be done under the cover of polytunnels and in the greenhouse, and offer time-saving tips on watering, weeding and plant care. The course includes lunch with produce from the garden.
For learning about sustainability
Ecology and sustainability in your garden workshop (rhs.org.uk) Apr 1, RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, £61 for RHS members, £75 non-members
This is just one of a new range of sustainability workshops introduced by the RHS to encourage planet-friendly gardening. The one-day session looks at ways we can ‘reduce, re-use, reclaim and recycle’, reviewing our use of plastic, going peat-free, managing water and helping plants cope with too little or too much.
Other RHS workshops through the year will include subjects such as Bokashi composting and fermentation which breaks down meat and dairy for use in the garden, and learning to scythe. …….