Garden border that needs some work

One of the things I love about gardening is that there is so much to learn and discover. One of the things I least like is that I am never completely happy with my planting combinations or my design skills. So when My Garden School asked whether I would be interested in trying one of their courses I thought what better way to start the New Year and learn how to improve my design skills.

My Garden School was established to bring horticulture courses from experts in their fields to people in their own homes, anywhere in the world.  MGS currently offers 24 courses ranging from beekeeping and plant photography to edible gardening and planting design. Course tutors include the world renowned garden designer John Brookes and Alex Mitchell, author of The Edible Balcony and A Girl’s Guide to Growing Your Own.

I’ve done a variety of horticulture courses over the last 5 years. There was a garden design course run by my local Adult Education college, the RHS levels 2 and 3 at my local horticulture college and an advanced RHS course that was online. The courses with MGS appealed to me because they are short, lasting 4 weeks. Most people, especially once the growing season gets under way struggle to fit in courses that might last a term or even longer. My garden was pretty neglected whilst I was doing my RHS courses and I would never have managed an allotment as well. I also like the fact that I could do the MGS course from home, fitting it in when it suits me.

The course I chose was part 1 of Planting Design with Hilary Thomas. Hilary was head of Garden Design at Capel Manor Horticulture College in London. Every Saturday for 4 weeks there will be a prerecorded video that I can view whenever I want, even after the course has finished. Apparently there will also be some notes to download and tutor marked assignments which could range from a planting design, taking a photograph of a flower or writing a short essay, depending on the course.

One of the most appealing aspects is that it is possible to ask direct questions of the tutors and get answers. Who hasn’t thought whilst staring at that difficult spot in the garden ‘If only I could ask an expert what they would do?’. I have a couple of those problem areas in my garden so I’m hoping I can learn what solutions there might be.

The first courses of the new year start on 7th January, so I’ll keep you updated on how I get on.

For more information on My Garden School and to see if there is a course that might appeal to you go to

Thanks to Elspeth at My Garden School.