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Container Gardening

Taught by Chris Beardshaw

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Course Description

Get yourself designer pots & containers this season, under the vision and guidance of one of the world's top garden designers. Multi award winning lecturer Chris Beardshaw shares his secrets of the naturalistic design, beauty and maintenance of pots.

During this 4-part course, perfect for taking at home, Chris takes you on a journey to look at Container Gardening from both aesthetic and practical perspectives. Armed with all the inspiration and information you need; you will learn how to create your own style of container gardening. By the end of the course, with the support of Chris and his team, you will have designed a series of containers to suit your outdoor space and your design ambition - from the simple to the complex - and gained the horticultural knowledge to give your plants and containers the best conditions in which to thrive.

This course focuses primarily on ornamental plants and is aimed at the amateur and enthusiastic gardener. Each lesson includes both a design and practical element.

Course outline

  • Introduction and Types of Containers

    Using his own garden, Chris will use his dining terrace to introduce you to the delights and rewards of container gardening.

    There is a comprehensive review on the various styles, type and nature of containers and how they affect plant choice and plant performance. You will learn how the style and choice of container can help you achieve your desired aesthetic result.

  • Plant Structure & Composition

    In this lesson you will look at the detailed composition of planted containers, the dynamics of how to arrange plants and the role of plants within a particular container arrangement.

    Together you will explore fundamental design themes including texture, colour and form as well as fragrance and relate them back to specific planting examples.

    This is followed by a section covering the foundation for all successful containers – which growing media to use and why.

  • Planting ‘Pure’ Containers

    You will explore the attributes of using single plant types to create ‘pure’ containers.

    We look at how maximising the role of a single plant genus, or single plant group, can perform within the overall scheme with specific examples of planting techniques, the appropriate growing media, and the environment required.

    There is also a practical section covering the demands of the plants, including the all-important question of nutrition.

  • Planting ‘Complex’ Containers

    In this final lesson, Chris will guide you on how to create ‘complex’ planting combinations, a mini-garden in a container.

    You will explore a range of plants, from shrubs, climbers, annuals and herbaceous perennials to create striking displays for the longer term.

    Finally, there is a session on good housekeeping where you will learn how to keep your containers looking and performing well throughout the year.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Chris Beardshaw

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 4 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 4 assignments marked by Chris Beardshaw
    • Certificate of completion from Chris Beardshaw
    • 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

How it works

About Chris Beardshaw

Over three decades, plantsman, broadcaster and designer Chris Beardshaw has become one of the most highly regarded and influential figures in design and horticulture. He is a hugely popular garden designer, having produced award winning schemes at all RHS shows - including RHS Chelsea Flower Show - and has picked up many Best in Show's and Gold medals as well as awards from other international flower and garden shows.

You’ll recognise Chris as being a regular on BBC hit series Gardeners’ World, Hidden Gardens and The Flying Gardener. Chris is also a panellist on BBC Radio 4 Gardeners' Question Time - and regularly faces a live audience of gardening enthusiasts!

He has lectured and taught at many institutions throughout the world and is passionate about encouraging students to fulfil their potential and ambition within the rich and diverse world of plants, gardens and landscapes.

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