Pip Bensley

Climbers & Clematis

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    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $99

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

Course Description

Suitable for all abilities

If you have desire to learn more about clematis and climbing plants this is the course for you. 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. 

Questions Pip will be tackling include “when should I prune my Clematis?”; “Why has my Wisteria not flowered?”; “Does my rambling rose need pruning?”; “How can I screen my neighbours?”; “What can I grow up through my tree?”; and “What can I grow on a north facing wall?”.

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

Learning Outcome: A good all-round knowledge of climbers including when and how to prune, different varieties for different situations, and an increased knowledge of both clematis and many other climbers.

Course outline

  • Climbers, and Their Role in the Garden

    This is all about the practicalities. Gardening can seem like a really complicated world in which you are the person who knows the least. 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.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Pip Bensley

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

Learn better together

  • Online classroom

    Start anytime and join a class of no more than 20 students

    Start anytime and join a class of no more than 20 students
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with assignments after each lesson

    Practice what you learn with assignments after each lesson
  • Personal tuition

    Exclusive assignment feedback from Expert Tutors

    Exclusive assignment feedback from Expert Tutors
  • Share

    Share ideas with classmates from around the world

    Share ideas with classmates from around the world

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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