Cultivating your skills at Winterbourne

As we start a new year, we thought it would be the ideal time to invite some of our RHS learners to reflect on their time with us so far. Gail, Marina and Deborah share their highlights and why they chose to cultivate their skills with us.

 What is your background with horticulture?

Deborah: “I had a backyard where I used to have pots of summer bedding plants and hanging baskets and a few other specimens, including hostas and lilies. I then moved to a house with a large garden with trees, hedges and shrubs. My passion for gardening increased, and I started to grow annuals from seed such as nasturtiums, calendulas, scabious, cosmos, zinnia, and sweet peas, plus dahlias from tubers.”

Marina: “Other than a little allotment in my garden, an unhealthy obsession with cacti, and being a keen forager, horticulture is a whole new world to me.”

Why did you apply for a RHS course?

 Gail: “Because I had an interest in horticulture but lacked any technical skills. I wanted to try something new, grow and develop myself a bi, as well as my plants.”

Deborah: “I want a change of career. However, the knowledge gained will also help me achieve my aims in my own garden by learning more about propagating plants from cuttings, pruning, and how to design borders that include shrubs, climbers, annuals, biennials, and perennials.”

Marina: “I started to look for RHS courses three years ago and was delighted to find out Winterbourne would be offering courses again following the pandemic. A friend who completed an RHS course at Winterbourne could not recommend it enough.”

What are you enjoying about the course?

Gail: “So many different things: new skills, ideas to try in my own garden, confidence to have a go. The tutor is really encouraging and the people are great; I think we span all ages from 20 to 70, so it’s a very supportive environment to learn in. There is a lot to learn but we’re learning together.”

Deborah: “Spending time with people who share my love of plants and gardening. Darren is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher. I am especially enjoying the plant identification. I had no idea that some plants have so many different species and, therefore, how important it is to use the Latin name instead of the common name for a plant.”

Marina: It is hard to pick one thing as the course has exceeded my expectations. The experience so far has been a perfect concoction of teacher, resources, colleagues and, of course, plants.”

 What has been your highlight so far?

 Deborah: “Walking around Winterbourne on crisp autumn days and learning more about all the wonderful species of plant.”

Marina: “Being able to start recognising the plants around me has made me see the world with a different and far richer lens.”

Would you recommend the course?

Gail: “Definitely. It’s quite challenging but you learn so much.”

Marina: “Without a doubt – I couldn’t recommend it enough. My friends and family have been asking for weekly updates and are really excited to hear about the journey we’re on.”

Inspired to cultivate your own skills? Check out our 2023 courses and workshops. We add new and exciting opportunities to our programme throughout the year, so do keep an eye on our events pages.

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