I started my new college course this week.
It's the Plants and Plant Design course, run by Capel Manor College - and I'm told they're the only ones in the country who do a course focussing solely on designing with plants (rather than general garden design, which in most colleges means a lot of stuff about paving slabs). It's one half of their full diploma course - the other half being their "Principles and Practice" garden design course, which at the moment anyway I don't think I shall take as I don't really want to be a garden designer. That's tantamount to heresy in some quarters, it seems, and I may yet see the error of my ways and change my mind, but right now I just want to learn about plants.
The first day was pretty much an orientation session - working out what we're going to do and when, where the library is, all that kind of stuff. We were initiated into the arcane science of plant idents - something I do day-to-day in my normal job, but not something which I've had to do formally before. This week it's Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldtau', a couple of Persicarias, a Sedum and a rather floppy-looking Achillea ('Summerwine' if my memory serves me right). Plant names aren't usually a problem for me, but remembering all their various habits, sizes, tics and quirks is a bit more challenging - unfortunately the plants are chosen for you, or I'd use the opportunity to learn a whole load of plants I don't already know!
The course syllabus includes a visit to Great Dixter, another to Beth Chatto's, and a third to - get this - the Netherlands to visit some of the iconic gardens they have there (unfortunately not Piet Oudolf's, but fortunately Het Loo which is somewhere I've wanted to go for a very, very long time). Now this is my kind of school lesson!
So long, and thanks for all the fish - I have had a simply lovely time over the half-dozen years or so since I started this blog. Since July 2009, when I began by writing rather shyly about sala...
2 years ago