Garden lovers will delight in The English Gardening School located at the Chelsea Wharf in London. The school offers short and distance learning courses on all things green as well as one year part-time Diploma courses on Garden Design, Practical Horticulture, Plants & Plantmanship, Growing Vegetables, and Botanical Painting. Short gardening courses range from one day to 10 days to 11 weeks and cover topics such as Gardening for Beginners–Basic Horticulture, Running a Garden Design Business, Contemporary Country Gardens, Small Spaces, Designing Urban and Roof-top Gardens, Making Meadows, Attracting Wildlife and Plant Ecology, and Gardening as if the Future Mattered.
The school’s lecturers and tutors have trained many of today’s leading garden designers, horticulturists, plantsmen and botanical painters. Distance learning course students span over 20 different countries, while the central London base attracts diploma and short course students from all over the world. Most classes are held in two large lecture rooms with studio sessions and smaller classes sometimes held in private gardens and at the home of the Principal, Rosemary Alexander, in Hampshire and at Glyndebourne Gardens, East Sussex. Most days run from 10.30am to 3.30pm and include a light lunch.
For further information on the English Gardening School, phone + 44 (0)207 352 4347 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Gift vouchers are also available and make a wonderful present for garden lovers and green thumbs.
Be sure to visit the Chelsea Physic Garden, where the school was previously located. Founded in 1673 by the Society of Apothecaries, the Chelsea Physic Garden is one of Europe’s oldest botanic gardens and home to over 50,000 plants. Tucked behind a high stone wall on the edge of the embankment, this “secret garden” is also a great place for a picnic lunch and the Café serves one of the finest afternoon teas in London. And don’t forget the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May. EGS graduates are regulars on the floral red carpet.
If you are looking for something a little closer to home, keep an eye on the Chelsea Gardens in Norwich, Connecticut whose mission is to create a world-class, year-round self-supporting botanical garden with a strong teaching emphasis. They are currently seeking advice from the EGS on establishing a similar gardening school there.