Charlie Ryrie

The Cutting Garden

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $75

    Learn in an online classroom with no more than 20 classmates. More

Course Description

Wild gardener and pioneer of climate conscious cut flower growing, Charlie Ryrie teaches The Cutting Garden online course.

She'll teach you every stage of creating a garden for cut flowers and foliage from planting a cutting through to bloom time, how to choose plants which flower regularly, and how to extend your flowering season.

Choose the "Expert option" for personal feedback from Charlie on your assignments and cutting garden plans.

This course is for gardeners wanting to grow plants and flowers for home flower arrangements and floral designs, or for professional cutting garden growers. It is aimed at those with some basic gardening experience who would like to develop their skills, and for garden designers who would like to create cutting gardens for their clients.

You will be given the tools to start from scratch, and ideas for transforming an existing garden into a successful cutting plot with flowering shrubs, along with plants for foliage and flowers.

The course includes suggestions for a wide range of plants suitable for cutting, and tells you how and where to grow them, pick them and use them. You'll learn how to use every stage of the plant - from leaves to buds, flowers and seed heads.

It also gives you the confidence and knowledge to try slightly more unusual blooms as well as the old favourites.

Cutting garden space:

You'll need an area of the garden that gets a reasonable amount of sun, but you do not need acres of land, it is a matter of choosing the right plants for your situation.

In a space of 125 square metres/yards you could grow enough to fill your house with flowers and have plenty of spare flowers to give away.

Most established gardens already include some good cutting plants - many perennials benefit from being picked hard and give you a better second flowering because of it, and once a shrub matures you may hardly notice any difference in its size even when cutting fairly copious amounts of foliage from it.

Whatever your space, the knack of growing for cutting lies in choosing flowers that produce over several months as long as you keep picking them, and practising successional sowing to get two crops of quick maturing annuals a year in the same space.

You'll learn:

  • how to decide what type of cutting garden you want to grow
  • what tasks to do and when
  • the best cutting flowers and plants for cut flowers in every season
  • plants to grow for foliage
  • how to grow a mix of flowers for variation
  • when to sow
  • planning for successional blooming and extending your cutting garden season
  • how to deal with pests
  • when to cut and pick your flowers and foliage (including deadheading)
  • storing cut flowers
  • how to arrange the flowers you've cut from your garden

Time to complete this florist's cutting garden course:

Every student is different but in general we think the whole course will take around 9 hours 45 minutes to complete including:

  • Video lessons: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Course notes: 30 minutes per lesson
  • Assignment: at least 1 hour per lesson
  • Interactive classroom time: 15 minutes per lesson
  • Tutor feedback review (Expert level): 15 minutes per lesson

The course includes:

  • On-demand video lessons - presented by Charlie Ryrie
  • lifetime access to the video, notes and interactive class
  • flexible classes - join and learn when and where you like
  • downloadable lesson notes
  • practical (optional) garden design, plant selection and planning and floral projects
  • access on your mobile, PC, Mac or laptop
  • small interactive online classroom chat online to students from around the world

Ready to get started?

Just add the course to your basket above - choose the 'Expert' option for personal feedback from Charlie on your cutting garden design and plant choices.

Any questions? Contact us by clicking on the orange speech symbol - we'd love to hear from you.

CPD Accreditation

Course activity has been accredited by the CPD Standards Office (CPDSO). The course equates to 9 hours, 45 minutes of CPD learning.
The CPD Standards Office. CPD Provider: 50276.

Course outline

  • Starting Out

    There is nothing difficult about growing plants for cutting, but you must keep on top of specific tasks at the right time. The most important thing is to be realistic about space and time and decide what sort of cutting garden you want.

    Is it just for you or do you want extra for garden gate sales? Do you want a dedicated cutting area, or to cut from your borders? How much space and time can you allocate? What is your ground like? Do you have covered growing space?

    What sort of gardener are you? You'll learn how to make informed choices.

  • Plants For All Seasons

    You'll learn how to create a basic palette of the best cutting plants to provide interest for the vase year round. You should plan for a mixture of blowsy blooms and delicate subjects, bright and pale flowers, subtle ones, scented ones, and showstoppers.

    Above all you must grow what you like or you will not look after the plants.

    A common mistake is to forget the foliage plants which are the backbone of any cutting garden, along with bulbs, perennials and annuals, whatever your style of garden.

  • Maintenance

    Regular tending is the way to a successful cutting garden. You need to know when to sow and plant, how to plan for successional blooming, how to combat pests, when to deadhead and cut back.

    We look at feeding plants and mulching for nutrition and to combat weeds. Perennial cutting gardens need to be kept weed free, if time is short you can be more relaxed with annual crops as you clear the ground when each crop finishes.

    You need a good compost heap as a cutting garden can produce a significant amount of spent material.

  • Using Your Garden Flowers

    This lecture looks at using your home grown flowers. You'll discover the best times to pick, whatever the weather, and at what stage of blooming.

    You will learn how and where to store flowers before using them, and how to treat different types of plant material and flowers to get the longest possible vase life. You also learn how to keep them looking good when you have arranged them.

    Any home florist needs a good basic tool kit and a variety of vases, and we look at the way different shapes and styles of container suit different styles of arrangement.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Charlie Ryrie

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 4 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 4 assignments marked by Charlie Ryrie
    • Certificate of completion and CPD hours
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
  • The Peer option

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 4 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more

Buy this course for a business or group

You can now buy this course through your business or organisation for individuals and groups up to 20

Floristry classroom - how it works

  • Start anytime

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments
  • Personal tuition

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors
  • Share ideas

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

Meet Charlie Ryrie

Charlie Ryrie - Floristry

Charlie Ryrie, in our eyes, is one of the original champions of British grown flowers for weddings, and we have always admired the magic she creates with her seasonal country garden grown flowers.

The Natural Wedding Company
Hello, I'm Charlie Ryrie. A journalist and passionate gardener for 25 years plus, in 2004 I traded the pen for the trowel and began The Real Cut Flower Garden, growing traditional and interesting varieties of flowers for cutting. We were the first company in the UK to send out bouquets of entirely home grown flowers nationwide and within three years had five intensively planted acres of mixed cutting plants. I now combine teaching with helping to run the original business, and in 2014 started The British Flower School ( to provide intensive flower arranging courses.

I look forward to speaking to you in class and sharing my passion for cut flowers with you.

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Awards & Accreditations

  • Good Web Guide
  • Red Herring Winner
  • Education Investor Awards 2021 - Finalist
  • CPD Accredited (provider 50276)