I have just completed a four day course held at the brand new Horticultural Skills Centre in Greenwich SE18. As part of the legacy of the 2012 London Olympics the Royal Borough of Greenwich in partnership with Hadlow College have created the Horticultural Skills Centre.
Along with the Equestrian Centre the Horticultural Centre will provide residents of RBG with access to practical courses and employment focused training. The Greenwich Horticultural Centre is located in Shooters Hill, SE18 3HP, immediately opposite Eaglesfield Road (see map).
The Horticultural Centre currently consists of a new building that contains a reception area, classrooms for theoretical and practical work, computer facilities plus a kitchen and small dining room. There is also work currently taking place to convert a very large barn type building which will contain a classroom, an area for practical indoor work, computer facilities and storage. In addition other outside areas will house raised flower beds and a wildlife centre. Once all the work has been completed the centre will then be able to offer residents of RBG many practical introductory courses plus work based qualifications up to level 3 and 4.
The four day course that we attended gave an introduction to the basics of Container Gardening and Maintenance. This was a .practical course suitable for those with limited garden space, with patios or balconies or for those who just want to generally brush up on their gardening skills. Guided by our tutor Neil Bone we were given both theoretical and practical hands on experience of all aspects of container gardening. We were also given the opportunity to take home all of the pots we had planted up during the duration of the course.
The course was excellent, great fun, very informal but most importantly very informative. The itinerary covered both vegetables and flowering plants and we were introduced to a whole range of topics including: types of compost; different soil types: types of containers; planting seeds and potting on; summer bulbs; slow release and soluble fertilizers; making a Hotbed for out of season planting; propagation including heel cuttings and succulents and cacti; plant design; permanent planting; plant terminology; potatoes and salad crops; pests diseases and disorders; and so much more.
I would thoroughly recommend this course to all aspiring gardeners and even experienced gardeners (who might possibly find that they have been doing some things in the wrong way). It is also a great taster for those who are thinking of taking up horticulture as a career Best of all, the course is free for Residents of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
For more information about the Greenwich Horticultural Centre and the courses on offer please contact Hadlow College:
Tel: 01732 850551 or 0500 551434