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New Year, New You

Well well well, it’s that time of year again my friends...

The usual chatter around self-improvement and change come January 1st can often feel tiring: a mix of shame, expectation and an unnecessary pressure. However, there is something to be said for the potential of a new year. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to “learn something new” and for good reason. Among all of those goals to quit the things we know are bad for us, it’s nice to think about the positive things we can add to our lives.

So, where to start? You could find a new hobby, career path or way of bettering yourself that speaks to something you feel passion about about: whether its furthering your learning, doing something new with a friend, switching up your weekly routine, taking the plunge to quit your job and try something new. The possibilities are endless. 

First things first, I say, lets educate ourselves! Leaving school or getting a university degree does not mean that you are ‘done’ with learning. You will never be ‘done’ with learning. There is so much knowledge and history and life out there, so get learning. 

Use the internet to your advantage because for as long as you’ve got access to the internet, you have access to pretty much all of the information in the world. How can you ever be bored?! You could pick up your phone and learn about Gardening, about how we can encourage our plants to thrive, how to appreciate and value jewellery, how to take phenomenal photographs, whatever it is that takes your interest. All you have to do is sign up to Learning with experts today. Don’t you think that’s incredible?

Given that it’s the new year, there's also no better time to treat yourself. January often feels dull and over whelming when looking at the new year ahead. For some reason we feel an added pressure to make 2018 the best year yet when sometimes all were looking for is right under our noses. 

Here are my recommendations, from me to you. 

Head Garden Designer

Garden Design Diploma - This collection of courses from the world's greatest designers and plantspeople, enables you to learn the full gamut of skills needed to become a practising garden designer. Whether you want a career change, or are keen to design your own garden under the watchful eye of some of the world's big names in gardening, this collection of courses is unrivalled in its level of expertise. 

Florist of the Family 

Flower Arranging - Master different techniques and enhance your creativity with this practical guide to floral design from one of the world's leading authors on floristry and flower arranging.


RHS Level 2 Collection - For those of you who are wanting a route to employment in professional horticulture or to further develop your knowledge as a hobbyist, the RHS Level 2 Course Collection is ideal for you. This theory based course is called The Principles of Horticulture which helps our students by assessing their knowledge of the principles which underpin horticultural practices. It is made up of two certificates: "Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development" and "Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance".

Perennial Power 

Planting Design with Perennials - This course provides a particularly strong theoretical basis, but with plenty of plant variety tables provided for helping you choose plants. You'll be suited to this course whether you are an enthusiastic amateur, or a landscaper or designer looking to hone your skills in the particular planting area of perennials. 

Spring Flowering Bulbs with PerennialsThis course covers how to plant spring flowering bulbs in the naturalistic style used by Van der Kloet and Oudolf: bulbs that are planted in autumn, go through a cold period in winter and start to flower in spring.

Maintenance, Management and Upkeep

Perennial Management, The Piet Oudolf Way - This course reveals Piet Oudolf’s revolutionary plantings of The High Line, New York City’s famous landscaped railway line that cuts through the centre of the city. You will learn, how to manage perennials throughout the year, how to evolve perennials, adapting to changes and finally how to manage plants in harsh environments.


Self-Sufficient Veg Gardening - This course takes you right through the growing year, and explores the best ways to make the most of your garden so you can enjoy the superb flavours and freshness of home grown fruit and vegetables, no matter what the season.

The New Kitchen Garden - You’ll find a series of invitations to grow around 200 fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, flowers and vegetables. Everything is here – the tools, the techniques, the ideas and the knowledge – to enable you to realise that vision of your own kitchen garden.

Or, perhaps your feeling generous and want to give someone the encouragement they've been looking for? Treat someone else. From learning about Craft Beer, how to Photograph Children & Babies, Floristry for your home, the interests are endless. We can all make small, active choices here and there that add some measure of good. Whether thats by using your purse, your time, your skills, or your voice. Now that’s something to take forward into 2018.

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