This 10 part course covers a range of topics that will enable gardeners and horticulturists to plan and manage gardens and gardening spaces with an awareness of how they can create beautiful garden spaces that also incorporate ecological techniques so as to limit the impact on nature.
Combining knowledge of traditional horticultural techniques, raising awareness of ecological issues relevant to gardening and introducing practical steps that we can take to make our gardens more sustainable, less damaging to the environment, a haven for wildlife and places for us to enjoy.
Gardening has been shown to reduce stress, and improve general health, so we want to promote developing gardens that are good for us and good for nature.
Understanding soil ; soil as a living environment, how to promote healthy soil, reduce erosion, basic soil testing and composting techniques. Awareness of global soil erosion issues,
Incorporating trees into urban and suburban environments; how trees and other woody plants can be used to provide ornament and be habitats. Examine the environmental benefits of trees, tree planting, establishment and aftercare. learn how a range of trees can provide year round interest in our gardens and even patios.
Flowers for us and pollinators; Understand the relationship between flowers and pollinators and how they are mutually dependant. Look at more ecologically favourable alternatives to temporary bedding displays, using permanent plants to provide ornament throughout the year, creating pollinator strips in gardens and waste spaces. Role of hardy annual plants and how to establish them.
Containers and their role in urban and suburban gardens; selection of plants for permanent and temporary display, how to plant up containers, their aftercare, combining plants. Plants for pollinators, how to make a vertical planter.
Water saving and storage; use of water butts, green roofs, mulches and other techniques to reduce water use, and harness water to reduce run-off and flooding. Alternatives to solid paving.
Lawn alternatives; ways to reduce lawn space or replace it with permeable surfaces, how to manage grass areas without use of chemicals, management of un-mown grass areas and establishing meadows
Food growing; planning small food growing plots and their sustainable management, growing food in containers, fruit growing and training of plants suitable for urban spaces.
Propagating your own plants; simple low tech methods of producing new plants for free, taking slips, dividing plants and establishing from seed.
Using Plants Indoors; understanding the benefits of indoor plants, how plants create healthy indoor environments, use of artificial lighting and simple hyrdoponic systems, grow herbs and salads indoors, a range of easy ornamental plants to clean the air.
Sustainable garden maintenance; how to care for the plants and gardens with out using pesticides; weedkiller alternatives, encouraging natural control by providing habitats for beneficial animals and insects, identify a range of beneficial animals and insects.
Participants on the course who attend all ten workshops will receive a certificate of attendance from The Garden School
The course is suited to beginners and for gardeners with horticultural knowledge but who wish to make their gardens more nature friendly and sustainable. It will be beneficial or both private gardens and for people involved with management of residential green space areas and also work spaces.
Course materials will be available for download from the student section of the website, and will have access to learning resources from the website.