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RHS: Garden Plants & Lawns (6)Taught by Hilary Thomas

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‘You can trust the RHS to teach you everything you possibly need to know’ ~ Jamie Butterworth

  • Creating herbaceous borders

  • Selecting and growing trees

  • Lawn maintenance

  • Rose beds and rock gardens


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.

The Curriculum

  • 1. 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.

  • 2. 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).

  • 3. 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.

  • 4. 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.

  • 5. 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.

  • 6. 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.

  • 7. 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.

Meet your expert tutor

Hilary Thomas was Head of the School of Garden Design at the highly regarded Capel Manor College where she taught both Horticulture and Garden and Planting Design for over 20 years. Her students won ...read more

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