• Melanie Walker

Horticulture 1 Course

So .. You love plants. You’re a dedicated amateur gardener. You learned about planting and growing things at your mother’s or grandmother’s knee. You now have your own garden and are keen to create your own outdoor ‘living’ room. Or grow your own vegetables to lessen your carbon footprint. Or like some dedicated foodies, grow unusual varieties that aren’t available in stores.

Or you want to become a career gardener, and make a name for yourself in the Green Industry, as a designer or landscaper. (Or in some cases, you join up, thinking I’ll just do one course to see if I like it, then do every single course available, consider going into landscaping, and then decide to go the route of educating people yourself on radio and television, and in magazines!)

Or you may be somewhere in between. Looking for something new to inspire you or giving yourself another string to your bow? Or considering a midlife career change, or something to do workwise on a more casual basis.

But not that sure how to go about getting it right?

We all come to gardening for different reasons, and while the topic is most often plunked in with and categorised as style and design, it doesn’t have to just be about either. Whatever your reason for wanting to learn more about gardening, Lifestyle College has just the course for you.

Sure, you can go onto social media pages and find a wealth of information out there. But that doesn’t mean it’s all correct. So often I’ve seen people answering questions put out on Twitter with completely the wrong advice being given to them in response. Like – yes, of course you can plant vegetables in shady areas. (Okay, there are a few that can handle having only about 3 hours of sun a day, but they NEED those three hours of sun…..)

Getting it right first time, every time, should be the way to go, to save yourself time and money – and to save a number of plants’ lives too… This is exactly what Gardening 101’s TV series was all about, with so many requests from people to tell them how one goes about actually planting something before we give them tips on how to design your garden. All the gardening experts we have at our fingertips in our lovely country were constantly reinforcing how important it is to get the basics right on your path to gardening glory.

So obviously the first thing to do, before even learning about design, is to find out how your garden grows. And how to keep it growing. Getting a basic grounding is the most important part of gardening. And it all begins with getting your soil right. Do you even know what kind of soil you have? Or how to determine what kind of earth is in potential clients’ backyards?

Lifestyle College’s general care Horticulture course will teach you how to do just that, as well as giving you the tools you need to give all plants the best start in life.

Horticulture is not rocket science. Making things grow is fairly easy when you know how. Understanding how plants work and what they need in the way of feeding and watering is key. And learning how to deal with any diseases they may come down with – with that underlying knowledge of how to first identify that the plant is in stress, and why that may be – or how to deal with all the ugly noonoos that come and visit and rip your plants asunder is an absolute must. Do you know how to check if you have lily borers annihilating your amaryllis? Do you even know what a lily borer looks like? (Or an amaryllis for that matter?!)

If you’ve mostly been unsuccessful in your gardening endeavours and are ready to throw in the trowel, this is the perfect course for you. Starting on the 15th October, our Horticulture 1 course will cover all the aspects of general garden maintenance you need to create your own little patch of heaven….

-Melanie Walker

October 2016

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