Horticultural ‘personal training’ to help you develop your gardening skills
Are you tempted to take up gardening as a hobby, or like the idea of pottering and tending to the garden on a summer’s evening or weekend, but feel you lack the confidence or ability, and don’t know where to start? Perhaps you have a garden that requires some maintenance, but you don’t want to hire a gardener. Garden mentoring could be the answer for you.
For many people who have outdoor space, a garden can feel daunting or even a bit of a burden: a drain on time and resources. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Gardening is a wonderful hobby that can contribute to increased health, wellbeing and quality of life. Working on your garden is an excellent way to get all-round exercise: 45 minutes of general gardening can burn as many calories as 30 minutes of aerobics, and is a lot more enjoyable!
Nothing can beat the wonder and satisfaction of growing a blooming plant from the tiniest of seed, cooking and eating your own produce or watching your garden develop, mature and thrive. With just a little guidance, a lifetime of discovery awaits you.
How does it work?
Garden maintenance and development plan
The process starts with a site visit where I will chat to you about your objectives, including:
- what your garden means to you and how you’d like it to develop
- what your gardening aspirations are
- how much time you want to spend on your new hobby
- how frequently you want to meet
I will also survey your existing garden, determine the soil type and pH, identify the plants currently growing there and assess their condition.
I will then provide you with a written report detailing this information, along with recommendations as to what plants to keep, move or dispose of, ideas for improvements and a seasonal plan detailing what needs to be done in terms of maintaining and developing the gardens, and when these activities should be carried out.
Then, if you’d like to proceed, I will create a tailor-made coaching programme of one-to-one sessions in your garden, which will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to enable you to meet your objectives.
Your programme could be a series of weekly hour-long sessions over a single season, or longer monthly sessions over the course of a year. Whatever your preference, I will create a programme that suits the needs of you and your garden.
- Since March 2018, I have worked as a freelance Botanist and Horticultural Advisor for the Royal Horticultural Society
- I have several years’ experience designing and building gardens and providing horticultural services and advice for private clients.
- I worked for fifteen years as a curator of the herbaria at Kew Gardens and the Natural History Museum, which has given me a thorough knowledge of a wide variety of plants and their natural habitats (and therefore their growing requirements) and which fuelled my life-long passion for gardening and growing plants.
I have been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture. It is the highest of the three levels of diploma offered by the RHS and is comprised of:
- RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation
- Plant taxonomy, structure, and function
- The root environment, plant nutrition and growing systems
- The management of plant health
- Understanding applied plant propagation
- RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting
- Understanding garden survey techniques and design principles
- Understanding the selection and use of landscaping elements in the garden
- Understanding the setting out and construction of landscaping elements in the garden
- Understanding a range of specialist elements in the establishment of garden and urban plantings
- RHS Level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture
- Collecting and testing soil samples and specifying adjustments for horticulture
- Collecting, preparing and propagating from seed
- Establishing and maintaining a range of plant types and forms
- Identification of a range of common garden plants, weeds, pests, diseases and disorders
- Management of green spaces, landscaped areas and ornamental gardens
I am based in southeast London, but cover the whole of London.
For more information, please contact me using the form below: