Ever been complimented on your green fingers? Or simply enjoy being outside at one with nature? Whether you wish to make a career out of it or simply want to wow your neighbours with your brand new garden there is a wide variety of gardening courses and classes that will get you on your way.
What will I learn?
Gardening courses can range from floristry and landscaping to garden design, planning and development. You really need to decide what you wish to do with the skills afterwards in order to choose the right course. For example BTEC, Diploma and Level 1/Level 2 qualifications will obviously be for those wishing to seek professional employment in the sector whereas a gardening course named anything similar to ‘for beginners’ or ‘rejuvenate your garden’ will be for those wishing to utilise their knowledge on a more personal level for themselves, and perhaps their friends and family also – rather than for financial/career purposes. Many of these types of course can be customised and taken in your own garden at a time to suit you.
Those not wishing to make a career out of their gardening skills may simply wish to be more knowledgeable for themselves. Gardening is a great way for many to de-stress from the anxieties of life and their garden will often be their own personal haven from the outside world. For those who are not so mobile, getting out into the garden will be a source of fresh air too. A great hobby in a modern world, gardening has numerous health benefits, many studies show that is a valid form of stress relief, better mental health for example relieving symptoms of low mood or depression, and of course a great form of exercise for those who aren’t so keen or even able to get out and about – and let’s not forget the nutritional health benefits of growing your own fresh fruit and vegetables!
For those wanting to forge a career out of gardening there are a number of ways in which you could do this. Gardeners are always required, be it by busy family households who do not have the time to tend to the job themselves, to public parks, large commercial buildings and attractions that require an environment that is maintained regularly and adequately. Typical tasks in gardening will include the basics of weeding, grass mowing, planting flowers and pruning however there are more specialised skills that are also in demand for example professional garden designing, landscaping and flower arranging. Hours of work are flexible in this industry, from full time hours, to part time, to weekdays to weekends, if you are a self employed gardener with your own business and staff you can of course set your own working hours. A career in gardening will mean a career outdoors therefore you must not scare easy when it comes to the elements. If a career in gardening is what you want, be sure to consider your levels of physical fitness, as strength will be required for bending, lifting and constantly moving.
Did you know?
- Torenia, a shade-loving flower, is called the wishbone flower. Look for tiny wishbone-shape stamens inside the purple, blue or burgundy petals.
- Bamboo is the fastest-growing woody plant in the world; it can grow 35 inches in a single day.
- Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that grapes were grown to make wine about 8,000 years ago in Mesopotamia (today's Iraq), although the ancient Egyptians were the first to record the process of making wine about 5,000 years ago.
- During the 1600s, tulips were so valuable in Holland that their bulbs were worth more than gold. The craze was called tulip mania, or tulipomania, and caused the crash of the Dutch economy. Tulips can continue to grow as much as an inch per day after being cut.
- The word pineapple comes from European explorers who thought the fruit combined the look of a pinecone with flesh like that of an apple.
- The flower of the Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanium) is the largest unbranched flower in the world and can reach up to 15 feet tall. The bloom produces a smell like that of rotting meat, giving it the common name of corpse flower.
- All parts of the Oleander (Nerium oleander), a beautiful Mediterranean-native flowering shrub, are poisonous. Ingestion can cause gastrointestinal, cardiac, and central nervous system problems and possible death.
- Snapdragon flowers resemble a dragon, if you squeeze the sides the dragon's mouth will appear to open and close.
- A sunflower looks like one large flower, but each head is composed of hundreds of tiny flowers called florets, which ripen to become the seeds.
- The first potatoes were cultivated in Peru about 7,000 years ago.
- Peaches, pears, apricots, strawberries, and apples are members of the rose family.
- The average strawberry has 200 seeds – it is the only fruit that bears its seeds on the outside.
- Sulfuric compounds are to blame for cut onions bringing tears to your eyes.
- Trees are the longest-living organisms on earth.
By Telsha Arora
Where: Cathie'S Gardening School
What: Pruning for beginners (Booked online with Hotcourses)
by Rob - March 2014
Really enjoyed the course and learned just what I needed to know about pruning roses. Plenty of practical work with a friendly class of amateur gardens. Over lunch time, we watched a DVD about pruning but I found it strange that the... more
Available: Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat
Next start: You choose
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is a well-known gardening society that promotes excellence in gardening. Formerly the Horticultural Society of London, the Society has a history of over 200 years. The RHS Qualifications is a body that awards accredited programs for gardeners and horticulturists. The Royal Horticultural Society offers various horticulture courses at levels one to three, and at master’s level in practical horticulture, plant growth, and garden planning. Centres that hold examinations for these qualifications must acquire approval from the Society to conduct them.
Gardeners grow and tend plants in public parks, private gardens and areas around shopping centres, schools, large offices and similar buildings. They may also be involved in garden design and gardening construction. Gardening tasks include sowing and raising plants, pruning, weeding, mowing and tidying pathways. This will involve using hand tools, such as spades, shears and saws, and mechanical tools, such as rotavators and ride-on mowers. Some gardeners perform basic building tasks such as erecting sheds, and help with the upkeep of garden machinery. In...more
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