Chris Beardshaw

Container Gardening

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $75

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

Course Description

Chris Beardshaw (RHS Chelsea garden designer and expert plantsman) teaches you the secrets of container gardening, planters and gardening from pots.

What is container gardening?

A container garden is where plants, flowers, vegetables and shrubs are grown in pots rather than directly in the ground.

Container gardens and plants in pots have become increasingly popular over the last few years - there's now a category for container gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and they're a brilliant option for people with small gardens or balconies.

Container gardens also give you more control over the plants' environment - you can control the soil type and move the container if you need to.

Choose Expert option for personal feedback from Chris on your container gardening project.

You'll be creating your own container garden throughout the course, and be able to ask Chris for feedback on your planter and pot designs and project.

You'll learn:

  • advantages of planting using pots
  • how to choose the right container for your plants
  • which plants work well in containers
  • combining plants in your pot for texture, colour and form
  • creating complex container gardens
  • maintaining container gardens through all seasons

Armed with all the inspiration and information you need; you will learn how to create your own style of container gardening.

You'll create:

By the end of the course, with the support of Chris and his team, you will have designed a series of containers and garden pots 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 is for:

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.

Time to complete this container gardening course:

Every student is different but in general we think the whole course will take around 14 hours 20 minutes to complete including:

  • Video lessons: 2 hours 20 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 Chris Beardshaw
    • lifetime access to the video, notes and interactive class
    • flexible classes - join and learn when and where you like
    • downloadable lesson notes
    • practical (optional) container gardening assignments
    • 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 Chris on your container garden 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 14 hours, 20 minutes of CPD learning.
    The CPD Standards Office. CPD Provider: 50276.

    Course outline

    • Introduction and Types of Containers

      Using his own garden, Chris will use his 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.

    Back in school with pleasure! I definitely would have no chance studying with experts like this if it wasn't for Learning with Experts.


    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 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

    Gardening 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 Chris Beardshaw

    Chris Beardshaw - Gardening
    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 and has been awarded 15 Gold Medals at Chelsea Flower Show alone.
    He has also been awarded Best in Show on multiple occasions, along with People's Choice and an array of awards from international flower and garden shows - bringing his total accolades to 40 awards over the past 20 years.

    You’ll recognise Chris from the BBC hit series Gardeners’ World, and his solo TV series Hidden Gardens and The Flying Gardener. Chris is a panellist on the much loved BBC Radio 4 Gardeners' Question Time regularly facing 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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    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