Well, it’s definately a ‘wee bit chilly’ out there at the moment. All the more reason to retreat to a cosy armchair and plan the garden for the year to come.

Quite often though our dreams don’t match up with reality. In our mind’s eye we see sweeping borders of year round colour, shady arbours, perhaps a babbling water-feature, or a quiet bench in just the right spot to catch the last of the sun. In reality we sometimes feel daunted about getting started, how to combine the best plants and get the structure right – not to mention what to do with the overgrown patch of nettles and rubble in ‘that tricky corner’.

This is where a garden design or horticultural course can really help you to close the gaps in your gardening knowledge, as well as inspire and refresh your approach to gardening.


The RHS don’t provide any distance learning courses themselves, preferring to promote the idea of combining practical and theory based learning at home and within their own gardens. However, they do list a number of reputable providers, who run RHS courses you can complete at home. They have a list of recommended distance learning providers, which you can view here.


If you’re not sure that you want to invest weeks or months into a course, then a workshop is ideal. The RHS run excellent workshops at all of their gardens, including ‘Creating a Mediterranean Garden‘, at Hyde Hall, and an ‘Introduction to Garden Design‘, at Harlow Carr. Closer to our ‘neck of the woods’ in Surrey you can join the ‘Designing Gardens for Children‘, or the ‘Designing Front Gardens’, courses at RHS Wisley.

Longer courses and qualifications…

The RHS offers level 2 courses, which cover the practical skills and theoretical knowledge required for those wanting to start out or change careers. The courses look at up-to-date working practices and includes practical and theory based components and tests knowledge through assessment and examination. The level 2 courses also have no entry requirements and can be undertaken part-time, so are perfect for those wanting to expand their knowledge.

For those wanting to deepen their knowledge in a specific area then the RHS offers level 3 courses. Level 3 courses equip the student with the knowledge and skills to go into a horticultural career. Again these have practical and theory based components and can be undertaken part-time. There are no entry requirements, but the RHS does strongly recommend that students have already completed the level 2 course.

At level 2 and 3, those students who complete both practical and theory based components will be awarded the RHS diploma. Both are highly regarded in the horticultural industry. So, if you’re thinking of brushing-up on your skills or dusting-down your design ambitions, then get booking!

Please note: All dates, times, prices and conditions of booking can be found on the RHS pages – please click on the links above.

N.B. Grayshaw & Yeo Gardening Ltd is not responsible for the content of any external websites and does not endorse any particular course.