Courses and Workshops
Cathies Gardening School Courses
At CGS we provide an array of courses and practical workshops. Whilst I have taught the RHS and City and Guilds for over 30 years to a very high standard I have decided to teach people who want to learn about gardening and horticulture and share their love for the subject with like-minded people.
My classes are limited to six learners and based at my Gardening School in Ash, Surrey. There is also the opportunity to visit students’ gardens and of course RHS Wisley too. As well as the mentoring where I can teach you in your own gardens you can also come to mine and learn. I have set up my whole garden over the last few years to share my love of the subject with you.
Learning with Cathie’s Gardening School
There are no exams, no inspectors and no pressure just fun learning in a relaxed environment, which is what adult education should be!
It may be that you would just like to learn a bit more about gardening to be able to maintain yours with confidence?
It may be that you have a gardener and would like to be able to advise them knowledgeably?
It may even be that you would like to do some gardening for clients yourself and don’t know where to start?
Perhaps in lockdown, you wanted to makeover your garden but realised you needed to learn a bit more before having the confidence to tackle it?
Whatever reason, CGS can help you. I am not an accredited centre and despite the RHS insisting I become one I have decided to remain independent.
If you would be interested in learning at Cathie’s Gardening School I would be happy to offer you an informal chat and show you my garden.
How does it work?
CGS Certificate in Horticulture involves lots of hands-on practical and lots of sharing of knowledge. There is some self-study to give you a chance to learn the subject which in turn will help you understand the practical elements. For example, it’s not enough to know how to prune a shrub but also when and why? If one of your favourite plants is looking sick wouldn’t it be amazing to know what is wrong and how to put it right? What about the weeds, are they perennial or annual and how best to deal with them? What sort of soil do you have and what plants can you grow in your garden to suit the conditions?
CGS ref 1521 GREENHOUSE GARDENING includes protected cropping and the production of vegetables that are started inside. Tomatoes form a big part of this course and you learn how to grow them, as well as other veg, from seed to table. This course is always run from January to March for 10 weeks.
CGS ref 1522 GARDEN MAINTENANCE is mainly practical with some theory that looks at identifying and maintaining the plants in your garden including lawns. This course is always run from April to June around Easter for 10 weeks.
SOILS and GROWING MEDIA
CGS ref 1523 SOILS and GROWING MEDIA which is at the root of gardening success. We can analyse your soil and determine whether it is sand, silt, clay or a good loam as well as the pH. We look at soil texture and structure and learn what plants grow where. Very often it explains what has gone wrong in the past! This can be run at any time of the year 10 weeks.
CGS ref 1527 PLANT PROPAGATION and how to grow plants from seed and cuttings. We will also delve into other methods including grafting. Each plant has a preferred method of propagation either naturally or with our help. Again a very practical course with lots of goodies to go home with. 10 weeks.
GROWING YOUR OWN FRUIT and VEGETABLES
CGS ref 1524 GROWING YOUR OWN FRUIT and VEGETABLES has to be mainly practical but there is a little bit of background information you will need to get to grips with. We look at tree fruit, soft fruit, vegetables and salads. In the past we have set up a vegetable growing area for a lucky student. There is always produce to share! 10 weeks.
CGS ref 1529 PRUNING COURSES are always popular and this one is run in my garden and yours depending on the season and what needs to be pruned when. Usually they are day courses and include lunch wherever they are held. The client provides the plants and refreshments and we provide the labour. Oh and you learn how to do it properly of course. Places are strictly limited.
DESIGNING YOUR GARDEN
CGS ref 1528 DESIGNING YOUR GARDEN and where to start. This is a course with a difference. There is a little technicality involved with the measuring up which I don’t like much but when I ran this course at Kingston students came up with a proposal for their own garden. Course members voted on which project they wanted to become involved with and one lucky participant had a garden makeover. This course follows the whole process from the site survey through to plant purchasing and implementation. Dead exciting and normally an Autumn module 10 weeks.
PLANT IDENTIFICATION and CLASSIFICATION
CGS ref 1526 PLANT IDENTIFICATION and CLASSIFICATION which sounds like a bit of a mouthful but it’s important to be able to identify plants so you know how to maintain them. Annuals, biennials, herbaceous perennials, trees and shrubs all have names, functions and life cycles. It’s important to understand how plants grow in order to look after them. Once you learn a few plant names it’s addictive and I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you learn them, ask any previous student!.10 weeks.
TRAINING FOR GARDENERS
CGS ref 15210 TRAINING FOR GARDENERS. If you are a gardener or a gardening agency there are a variety of training days to suit your needs. If you want to set up your own gardening business it’s important to know what to do relating to subject knowledge, equipment, self employment and so on. This is run as requested on a 1:1 basis or as a small group so please ask.
WEEDS, PESTS AND DISEASES
CGS ref 1525 WEEDS, PESTS AND DISEASES and how to keep your plants healthy. Identifying what is wrong with your plant is something I was asked very often when I worked at Wisley and once you know what the matter is you can work out why and how to make it better. We can learn in my garden, your gardens and by research and it is a fascinating subject. The identification of weeds forms a large part and students undertake a weed project which involves pressing herbarium specimens. I learnt this at Kew as a student and found it very rewarding. This module has to be done in the Spring/Summer 10 weeks.
There are no booking procedures for CGS courses and they are very often full but please come and meet me to discuss your gardening requirements if you would like to join any of the above courses.
I write a gardening column in the local Round and About Magazine and have a Facebook page Cathie’s Gardening School but you can always drop me a line.