I started my new college course this week.
It’s the Plants and Plant Design course, run by Capel Manor College – and I’m told they’re the only ones in the country who do a course focussing solely on designing with plants (rather than general garden design, which in most colleges means a lot of stuff about paving slabs). It’s one half of their full diploma course – the other half being their “Principles and Practice” garden design course, which at the moment anyway I don’t think I shall take as I don’t really want to be a garden designer. That’s tantamount to heresy in some quarters, it seems, and I may yet see the error of my ways and change my mind, but right now I just want to learn about plants.
The first day was pretty much an orientation session – working out what we’re going to do and when, where the library is, all that kind of stuff. We were initiated into the arcane science of plant idents – something I do day-to-day in my normal job, but not something which I’ve had to do formally before. This week it’s Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldtau’, a couple of Persicarias, a Sedum and a rather floppy-looking Achillea (‘Summerwine’ if my memory serves me right). Plant names aren’t usually a problem for me, but remembering all their various habits, sizes, tics and quirks is a bit more challenging – unfortunately the plants are chosen for you, or I’d use the opportunity to learn a whole load of plants I don’t already know!
The course syllabus includes a visit to Great Dixter, another to Beth Chatto’s, and a third to – get this – the Netherlands to visit some of the iconic gardens they have there (unfortunately not Piet Oudolf’s, but fortunately Het Loo which is somewhere I’ve wanted to go for a very, very long time). Now this is my kind of school lesson!
Oooooh that sounds so good! Good luck with the course. I’ve put my course at Lackham on hold for the moment. It also includes a visit to the Netherlands, but more on the commercial side of things e.g. flower markets.Thanks for your Comment and link re Clematis. That article really adds to mine, especially as it mentions both C. ‘Josephine’ and C. ‘Crystal Fountain’, so I’ve added an update to my piece with a link to yours 🙂
The Constant Gardener said:
aw thanks VP! always good to join forces :Dsorry your course has had to go on hold, but I guess you’ll pick it up another time? A visit to commercial flower/plant production in the Netherlands has to be quite something and not to be missed…
Yes – it’s just on hold. There’s a couple of major chunks of time we’ll be away during term time, so I thought it would be better to start next year. I think the trip to the Netherlands is a major plus point of the course 🙂
Plant Mad Nige said:
Best of luck – looks a fab course. The only thing better than a day at Dixter would be a week at Dixter!