Tom Cole

RHS: Garden Plants & Lawns (6)

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Course Description

This module teaches candidates the fundamentals required to grow and maintain a healthy a lawn. Candidates will also cover bedding and borders, including a review of how to select plants that are perfect for specific environments - one lesson will even focus exclusively on roses and woody plants. The module will allow candidates to put their garden design ideas into practice, guiding them in the correct ways to plant and grow trees and herbaceous perennials.

Course outline

  • Seasonal Displays, Bedding Plants, Borders, Hanging Baskets

    This lesson begins with defining plants suitable for bedding. You will then learn which plants are suited more to edging beds or to basic groundwork within borders. Additionally, you will cover the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid plants, coupled with the seasonal rotations necessary for maintaining any one of these planting systems.
  • Herbaceous Perennial Plants and Bulbs

    Here you will learn the factors to consider when selecting herbaceous perennials (e.g. shade and soil). From here you will learn how to prepare soil for herbaceous perennials, and how to then maintain them once planted. By the end of the lesson you will also have an understanding of which bulbs are suited to which planting methods (e.g. borders or containers).
  • Trees and Shrubs for the Domestic Garden

    In this lesson you will tackle the possible uses of trees in the garden. You will then be presented with an in-depth guide as to how to prepare sites for trees and shrubs, how to then plant out trees and shrubs, and then how to maintain and prune them once they are planted.
  • Modern Roses and Wall Shrubs for the Domestic Garden

    This lesson incorporates both types of bush roses (floribunda and hybrid tea roses). Looking at both these groups, you will explore their suitability for rose beds and the correct methods for planting them and even attaching them to structures, such as pergolas. The same will then be covered for wall shrubs. Additionally you will look at the pests and diseases that face these two plant groups, learning how to spot the signs and control them.
  • Alpine Plants, Rock Garden Plants, Water Plants, Bog Plants

    You will learn the key distinctions between these four groups and their suitability to certain regions and climes. Strong emphasis in this lesson is on how to choose rock garden sites, so you will learn how to prep and plant out the area, as well as how to maintain the rock garden. Additionally you will learn how to grow alpines in containers, and how to choose, plant and maintain aquatic plants.
  • Establishment of Lawns

    In this lesson you will discover the importance of lawn placement in terms of its interaction with the rest of the garden. Once you have mastered this concept, you will look at how to grow both from seed and from turf, examining the advantages and disadvantages of each method, before looking at how to prepare the lawn site.
  • Maintenance of Lawns

    Lawn maintenance doesn’t just end with mowing. Consequently you will cover in this lesson, not just the types of mower, but other aspects of lawn maintenance. These include: killing moss; fertiliser spreading; levelling lawns; and aerating lawns. You will also be informed of how to deal common lawn problems such as: weeds, fairy rings, and moles.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Tom Cole

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 7 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 7 assignments marked by Tom Cole
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 7 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
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  • 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
    • 7 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 7 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 Tom Cole

Tom Cole - Gardening
Tom has been involved in land-based education since 1991. He was a lecturer at Capel Manor College, which culminated in becoming Head of Horticulture in 1997-2009. This role involved overseeing and leading a team based at 5 sites covering the London area. During 2009, Tom moved to Writtle University College as a Curriculum Manager, overseeing Further Education covering Agriculture, Countryside and Horticulture. During 2010 he became the Head of Faculty.

More recently, Tom has spent much time delivering RHS qualifications at Capel Manor College. He is an RHS Associate and speaker, qualification writer for Pearson/ BTEC and marks RHS Level 2 exams. Tom is also currently expanding a small, but perfectly formed soft landscape and maintenance business. Aside from teaching, he regularly broadcasts on BBC Radio Essex with Ken Crowther and contributes to various garden magazines.

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