Dr Rachel Petheram

The Scented Garden

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $75

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

Course Description

Expert florist, flower grower at Doddington Hall and RHS flower teacher Dr Rachel Petheram teaches you how to choose flowers and plants for fragrance and how to design a scented garden.

You'll learn how to grow flowers and plants for scent - whether scenting your garden, using plant fragrance for psychological benefit or for cut flowers and flower arrangements.

She'll show you how to select and combine scented flowers, flowering shrubs and plants, and which plants to choose for fragrance in your garden space during day and night.

Scent has a powerful effect on emotion and mood and a fragrant garden can be a means to health, wellbeing and pleasure. This course covers how we perceive scent and how it can directly affect not only our mood but our physiology.

This knowledge can then can be used to good effect in our gardens. If we want somewhere to relax and de-stress or if we want an outside work space where we can be refreshed and invigorated, then there is a plant to fill the fragrance brief. However, we often miss the effect of fragrance in our gardens because it is such a fleeting, ethereal thing so we need to make sure that our gardens are designed to maximise the beneficial effects of this lovely sense. 

You are encouraged through the suggested assignments to design your own fragrant space tailored to your own requirements and to share your experience along the way.

You'll learn:

  • the science and benefits of scent
  • how scent works
  • designing a scent garden
  • developing garden structures to maximise scent
  • choosing scented plants and flowers
  • propagating plants
  • keeping your plants and flowers healthy

Suitable for gardeners and florists of all abilities.

Time to complete this scented garden course:

Every student is different but in general we think the whole course will take around 14 hours 40 minutes to complete including:

  • Video lessons: 2 hours 40 minutes in total
  • Course notes: 30 minutes per lesson
  • Assignment: at least 2 hours 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 Dr Rachel Petheram
    • 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 and fragrance based 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 Rachel on your plant choices and garden plans.

    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 14 hours, 40 minutes of CPD learning.
    The CPD Standards Office. CPD Provider: 50276.

    Course outline

    • The science of scent

      In this lecture you will understand the science behind scent, and the effect it has on the brain. Scent has a hugely beneficial effect on our mood and behavior, but it is difficult to classify and describe scent. In this session we will learn about how our sense of smell works, how we interpret scent and factors that affect our response and the beneficial effects that scent has on our physiology.

    • Maximising fragrance in the garden

      Scent is often overlooked when gardens are designed. In this session we will discuss how gardens or part of a garden can be designed to maximise the effect of fragrant plants in a garden. We will consider very basic design principles, and think about how we can best ensure that scent is considered at every layer. We will also cover special considerations for scented gardens.

    • Garden structure

      The choice of scented plants is not just confined to the herbaceous border. In this lesson we will consider how vital structures like hedges, climbers and trees can add structure to a garden as well as introducing different layers of scent.

    • Fragrant perennials, annuals & biennials

      The really pretty stuff! In this session we will consider fragrant perennials, annuals and biennials, bulbs, herbs and roses. We will discuss which ones are best for scent and how to get the best out of your plants as well as tips on propagating.

    An amazing opportunity. Lessons were easily accessed, pitched perfectly, progressive in skills and thought provoking.


    Choose how you want to learn

    • The Expert option


      Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Dr Rachel Petheram

      • Start course whenever you like
      • 4 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
      • 4 assignments marked by Dr Rachel Petheram
      • 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 Dr Rachel Petheram

    Dr Rachel Petheram - Gardening

    One of the original grower/florists who were part of the revival of using British grown flowers in floristry.

    The Independent
    My name is Dr Rachel Petheram. I am an artisan florist, a gardener and a teacher.

    My flower story started in 2002 when I grew some of my own wedding flowers. As a full time lecturer in animal nutrition becoming a florist was the last thing on my mind! However, one thing led to another - a bit of faffing, experimenting and flowering on the side -and then Catkin was launched in 2006. All these years later it's hard to imagine that I once had a life without flowers.

    Now I grow many of my own flowers in the walled kitchen garden of Doddington Hall in Lincolnshire and am an ardent champion of British grown flowers.

    I was included in the Independent newspaper's list of top 50 florists, I am a BBC Lincolnshire garden expert and I was featured in the first series of the BBC's Great British Garden Revival. I have been featured in numerous national garden and lifestyle publications such as Radio 4.

    As one of the original grower/florists who were part of the revival of using British grown flowers in floristry, I use my extensive experience to run many courses on floristry and gardening at Doddington Hall, RHS Harlow Carr, Welbeck School of Artsian Food, the Chelsea Physic Garden and with MyGardenSchool.

    So, whether you are looking for beautiful, seasonal wedding flowers or you are a florist looking for some inspiration or someone who is just looking for a fabulous course then it would be my privilege to contribute to your own flower story. Flowers are only half my story though. I also love herbs. Unassuming herbs are pretty fabulous I think and over the next few years, you're sure to see growing herbs increase in popularity. As a scientist, they blow me away. As a gardener I am amazed at how easy they are to grow and how multifunctional they are. As someone who loves food they taste great. They are a true example of flower power in my opinion.

    I look forward to getting to know you in class.

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    Awards & Accreditations

    • Royal Horticultural Society - Approved Centre 2023-2024
    • Royal Horticultural Society
    • CPD Accredited (provider 50276)
    • Digital Education Awards 2023 Winner for Digital Health and Wellbeing Learning Product of the Year
    • Digital Education Awards 2023 Winner for Adult Home Learning Product of the Year