Pip Bensley

Climbers & Clematis

  • $75

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

Course Description

Florist, plant buyer and RHS flower show exhibitor and judge Pip Bensley teaches you how to grow climbers and clematis in this online clematis and climbing plants course.

If you're new to gardening or climbing plants or if you're looking to develop your knowledge about clematis or choosing the best climbers for your garden, Pip will take you through from beginner to expert.

Choose the Expert option for personal feedback from Pip on your assignments.

You'll learn:

  • when to prune clematis and other climbers
  • which climbing plants to choose for your garden
  • how to choose climbers that can grow through trees
  • creating garden privacy with climbers
  • what types of climbing plants to grow in which areas of the garden
  • how to solve wisteria flowering problems
  • pruning rambling roses

Perhaps you have some in the garden and want to learn how to make more of what you have? You might be planting a new garden from scratch or helping a friend or client choose climbers for their garden. 

Subjects like pruning, planting and using climbers in your overall design can be really intimidating but this course demystifies all of these so that you can really enjoy using climbing plants in your gardening.

Course outline

  • Climbers, and Their Role in the Garden

    To choose the right climbers for your garden I am going to show you how they grow and what kind of supports you need for each of the different types.

    I will also introduce the idea of different planting layers in the garden and how you can make use of them to bring more colour and flower to your planting.

    This is climbers and clematis demystified.

    All this information is generously peppered with invaluable hints and tips I have picked up over 30 years of buying and selling plants.

  • Be Prepared

    When you start to choose plants, whether for your garden or someone else’s there are a series of questions you should ask.

    This lesson takes you through them one by one and covers important topics like shady spots, climate, soil types, buying on a budget and future maintenance. 

    Don’t ever be led astray by a pretty picture on a label again.

    Armed with this checklist you can be sure that you are ready to choose with confidence. I also look at colour schemes and the effect that colours have on mood plus how to make the most of an inherited colour scheme.

  • The Nitty Gritty

    You’re ready to go out and buy the climbers you have chosen now. Garden centres and nurseries can be intimidating so I arm you with all the information you need to choose the very best quality plants.

    I explain about pot sizes and the benefits of planting specimen plants.

    There are some professional tips you can use when planting to get the best from the climbers and clematis, I will share these with you.

    Pruning is a subject that even very experienced gardeners find confusing so I have put together a simple guide to pruning with special emphasis on Clematis and Wisteria, two of the trickiest subjects.

  • The Fun Stuff

    Now you are ready to put together all the skills you have learnt and lesson 4 is all about how to use clematis and climbers in your design.

    It includes tips on making the most of colour, scent and fruit.

    Different kinds of garden features are also considered – would a pergola be best for you or would pillars work best?

    Finally I look at planting in pots, the best shaped pots, different materials for the and which composts should you use.

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


Buy now, start anytime

  • Included in this course

    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 Pip Bensley

Pip Bensley - Gardening
Pip has a long background in hardy trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, bedding and houseplants from her career at Hillier Garden Centres where she was the buyer for all these products for their 12 garden centres.
Her book about Climbers is filled with answers to questions you may want to ask and was described by the Evening Standard as "probably the most useful book published on the subject of what to plant against walls, fences, arches and pergolas".
She is also an accredited RHS judge and judging panel chair at all their shows including the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. She is also a keen floral designer and has three Chelsea Gold Medals for her exhibits in the Floral Design Studio. She is also a Nationally qualified NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arrangement Society).

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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