Andy McIndoe

Gardening for Wildlife

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $75

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

Course Description

In partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), Andy McIndoe (Chelsea Flower Show Gold record holder) will teach you how to create a beautiful garden which is a haven for wildlife.

Learn how to create a garden for wildlife and how to attract attracts birds, bees, insects, butterflies and small animals into your garden. You'll learn how to respect the environment as you design and learn new wildlife garden ideas. As you learn you'll be creating a plan for your own wildlife friendly garden.

Choose Expert option for personal feedback on your assignments and recommendations for your region

Andy will show you that a wildlife garden doesn't have to mean a wild garden. You'll be given garden design tips for small and large gardens and urban and rural settings.

You'll learn which trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, annuals and grasses to plant to attract insects and birds.  Plus you'll find out how to naturally discourage undesirable wildlife (including slugs!)

Andy will teach you how to provide food and shelter for wildlife, and whether the garden is a place for wildlife to visit or to live.

You'll also learn how to garden to encourage wildlife, how to use garden features such as lawns and ponds and water features and how to make wildlife habitats and shelters including insect and bird boxes.

This course has been designed and approved by wildlife plant experts at the RHS, together with Andy. 

You'll learn:

  • how to combine a garden you love with a wildlife-friendly garden
  • trees, plants and shrubs to choose to attract and nurture birds, animals and insects
  • adapting garden habitats - from ponds to lawns for wildlife
  • the importance of pollinators in your garden

The course includes:

  • 4 on-demand video lessons - presented by Andy McIndoe
  • lifetime access to the video, notes and interactive class
  • flexible classes - join and learn when and where you like
  • downloadable lesson notes
  • practical (optional) wildlife gardening assignments
  • access on your mobile, PC, Mac or laptop
  • small interactive online classroom chat online to students from around the world

Time to complete this wildlife garden course:

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

  • Video lesson: 2 hours in total
  • Downloadable 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 assignment

Ready to get started?

Just add the course to your basket above - choose the 'Expert' option for personal feedback from Andy on your garden and wildlife plans.

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

Our Thanks to the Following Experts for their input:  Helen Bostock, RHS Senior Horticultural Advisor, Dr Andy Salisbury, RHS Senior Entomologist and World renowned wildlife photographer David Tipling, who supplied some of the images contributing to these lectures.

CPD Accreditation

Course activity has been accredited by the CPD Standards Office (CPDSO). The course equates to 14 hours of CPD learning.
The CPD Standards Office. CPD Provider: 50276.

Course outline

  • Introduction to the wildlife friendly garden

    In this lesson you will learn how to make your garden wildlife friendly, but still have the garden you want.

    We will cover the importance of pollinators and think about the continuity of nectar and pollen supply.

    We will discuss whether you have to go native or whether garden varieties attract wildlife.

    You will also learn about the difference between making your garden a food source for wildlife versus a habitat.

    In this lesson we cover an introduction to meadows, prairies, lawns and ponds. And also consider whether you can discourage undesirable wildlife.

  • Trees and Shrubs to attract wildlife

    This lecture is deliciously dense in recommendations for trees and shrubs to plant.

    It's worth asking Andy lots of questions wherever you are gardening in the world, so he can discuss recommendations for your region.

    Trees and shrubs are the structure plants of the garden and in the wildlife friendly garden they have many roles: as habitats, places to land, roost and shelter and of course as food sources both in terms of their flowers and fruit.

    If you only have a small garden please don’t think that you cannot accommodate any of these.

    Many nectar rich and fruit bearing shrubs can be grown in pots and containers and you might even find space for a small tree.

  • Nectar, Pollen and Seeds to Attract Birds, Bees, Insects & Pollinators

    This week we are going to talk about perennials, annuals and flowerbulbs.

    These are the plants that will fit into any garden, however small and they are subjects that you can easily add to make your garden more attractive to wildlife. We are trying to achieve a continuity of nectar supply to make our gardens attractive for as long as possible as a destination for bees, other pollinating insects and butterflies to come and feed. This is where this group of plants excels.

    From the earliest flower bulbs to the last of the grasses and perennials you should have plants performing for pollinators for at least nine months of the year.

  • Garden Habitats

    In this lesson you will learn about the benefit of creating habitats - ponds, insect houses and lodges, nesting boxes, climbers and grasses.

    This lecture is very rich with suggestions for what to plant in a water garden, and the secrets of success with a garden pond.

    The lecture also goes on to cover the benefits of insect houses, trellises and other forms of habitat creation for wildlife.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Andy McIndoe

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 4 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 4 assignments marked by Andy McIndoe
    • 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 Andy McIndoe

Andy McIndoe - Gardening

We are absolutely delighted that Andy McIndoe has won a record breaking 70th consecutive Gold at The Chelsea Flower Show for Hilliers. It’s a fantastic achievement!

Franky Kentish, The Telegraph
Andy McIndoe is our Chief Blogger, and teaches five courses on the site. Andy has over thirty years experience as a practical horticulturist and consultant. He has designed and advised on gardens of all sizes and was responsible for the Hillier Gold Medal winning exhibit at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower for 25 years.
A regular contributor to magazines, newspapers and BBC Radio, Andy lectures widely at home and abroad. Special interests include hardy shrubs, trees, herbaceous perennials, flower bulbs, wildlife and garden design; he has authored books on all of these subjects.
A keen gardener Andy and his wife Ros have a two acre garden in Hampshire, U.K. that is open to groups by appointment. Started from scratch fifteen years ago, the garden is naturalistic in style, with an extensive wildflower meadow and informal planting. The emphasis is on foliage to provide colour and texture.

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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