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COVID-19 update: Our day courses will start again in May 2021 per our timetable. Your safety is our top priority and a full risk assessment is available on our website, or you can email us to receive a copy. We have also made various adaptations to our schoolroom which is now set up to maximise social distancing and keep everyone as safe as possible.

Timetable 2020
"I wanted to say a huge thank you for the wonderfully inspiring 10 week Garden Design course last autumn."
Briony D

"I was looking for a career change after moving areas two years ago and from my first visit to the school I was impressed by the enthusiasm and professional approach of all involved. The course involves a balance of theory and teaching, with guest lecturers adding to Caroline’s core instruction, and practical work. Feedback from ‘real’ clients has been invaluable."
Dena W
"Thank you for a totally inspiring day. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and want to begin working on my survey, planting plans and mood board straight away. There is a whole lot to learn but instead of being overwhelmed I am very excited knowing that I can take my creativity and put it into a more structured plan to help move forward."
Anita C
"I attended your garden design day course last week and I just wanted to thank you for such an enjoyable and informative day. We both loved it and felt your amazing enthusiasm was deliciously contagious. Loads of ideas now buzzing around."
Rosalie A
"I just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed the last 10 weeks and how much I've learned from you and from the others on the course. I will miss Wednesdays at the gardening school but I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again at Malvern - and to turning my design into a reality in my own garden! And hopefully to steering my career in a totally different direction as a garden designer."
Carole N
“A belated but heartfelt thank you of the super day I spent at the school a few Saturdays ago! It was a real inspiration, and I am just itching to put ideas into practice and to learn more!”
Elaine M
"Thank you so much for the very informative and interesting course I attended last Saturday, also for the delicious lunch. I’ve certainly come home with plenty of ideas – now I just need the time, energy and vision to put them into practice!"
Geraldine G
"Sending our sincere thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable day at the Garden Design group last Saturday. You honestly made the day so interesting and I was actually amazed how much material I seemed to retain! Believe me Caroline, this is very unusual for me..... :-)"
Maggie N
"I wanted to gain some underpinning knowledge about gardening. Coming to an Open Morning convinced me that the Cotswold Gardening School was a great place to learn. I chose to do the Professional Horticulture course and this became the highlight of my week, every week, for 10 weeks! The School is an inspiring place with great facilities."
Diana M
"Very many thanks for a splendid day on Saturday. The day course was just what I was looking for and I learnt a lot – happy coincidence that we both share clay soil and so it was enlightening to discover new plants which would survive it and to be reassured that some of my choices were also yours. I appreciate the amount you packed into a day’s teaching especially on such a warm day."
Jean M
"Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the class today I feel very inspired with that fizzy beginning of autumn term feeling.Thank you also for all the precautions it felt a very safe learning environment."

Check out our NEWS

     on Instagram

Kate is now extremely busy as Creative Director for ‘A Garden Celebrated’, a new garden festival launched

this year at The Royal Garden, Highgrove. She will also be compering at the event and is thoroughly enjoying her new role. We will be inviting Kate back to teach with us in the future.

Emily Sharpe: Garden Stories

Emily has graduated  from the Ten Week Garden Design Diploma Course and the Ten Week Planting Design Diploma.  She has established and runs Garden Stories and designs gardens inspired by people - helping her clients create their own garden stories.

Emily has won an RHS Silver-Gilt medal at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in the Festival Garden category and this year is building one of the main show gardens there for the Ucare charity. She has also won ‘Best in Show’ at the Blenheim Palace Flower Show. Emily has also provided tuition for us and we hope to welcome her back soon.

Pippa Shennan: Earthmark Garden Design

She obtained her Garden Design qualification at The Cotswold Gardening School in 2012 and then returned more recently to study both Planting Design and Horticulture in order to obtain a Diploma. She now runs her own garden design company, Earthmark Garden Design.

This year Pippa is designing and constructing a show garden at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival, with the main theme based around the importance of noise attenuation, particularly in urban gardens.

Pippa is an Accredited Partner of the Wildflower Turf Ltd, specialising in designing, installing and maintaining wildflower meadows and planting schemes. Pippa also acts as a visiting lecturer on various courses for us.

Stacey Gibson: One Year Garden Design Diploma Course

Stacey Gibson graduated from our One Year Garden Design Diploma with a Commendation and in the same year also achieved a silver RHS medal for her Festival Show Garden at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival. Stacey is now working for Allensmore Nurseries as an Added Value Assistant.

Allensmore have a huge customer base, including Waitrose, Wyevale Garden Centres, B&Q and Homebase along with many smaller chains and independents. It's Stacey’s job to come up with new, innovative and on-trend ranges of all manner of planted containers for one and all and at a competitive price.

Her department is in charge of the entire process, from coming up with a design, creating samples, costing and collating the new ranges into catalogues so the sales team can get out there and sell them, ordering stock for the production line to checking the spec of the finished product before it is dispatched to stores. It's going to be a great experience and she is really enjoying it.

Stacey is also working with a local landscaper on future projects which require planting plans.

Nikki Hollier: Ten Week Garden Design

Best of luck to Nikki Hollier who graduated last year from our Ten Week Garden Design Course and who is building a Festival Show garden at this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival.

Dena Wray,

Anthea Birden and Denise Longman:

One Year Garden Design.

Congratulations on your RHS Silver medal for your Festival Show Garden at last year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival

Lisa Burchill:

Ten Week Garden Design.

Congratulations on your RHS Silver medal for your Main Show Garden ‘Out of Darkness at last year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival.

Briony Doubleday: Bee’s Gardens  Briony graduated with a distinction from our ten week garden design course. She won Gold at RHS  Tatton Park in 2018 and she has set up her own successful garden design practice.

“After working in the NHS as a clinician for two decades, I went on to study RHS Horticultural qualifications and worked as a Horticultural Trainee in a large country garden, I wanted to explore Garden Design as a career change and chose to study at The Cotswold Gardening School in 2015.

My business Bee's Gardens based in Oxford was created to provide Garden and Planting Design with a focus on naturalistic planting and encouraging wildlife into gardens.

I have created show gardens at Blenheim Palace, RHS Tatton and in 2019 The UK Expo Garden for the Department of International Trade in Beijing, China.”

Gary Bristow: Gary Bristow Design

Gary is a graduate from the One Year Garden Design Diploma in 2018. He is an RHS award-winning garden designer and now runs a successful garden design practice.

“Completing the Garden Design Diploma with the Cotswold Gardening School gave me the

opportunity to enhance my industry skills and hone my creativity. The professional but relaxed

atmosphere at the school provided me with the knowledge and confidence to create my garden

design business.

In my previous life I worked as a graphic designer, the Cotswold Gardening School was key in

facilitating the career switch into horticulture to follow my passion. My background in art and

design strongly informs my garden design practice enabling me to provide clients with unique and

creative gardens. Working collaboratively to design outdoor spaces that truly express a client’s

personality and passions, creating beautiful lifestyle enhancing gardens.

I am currently working with clients in Bristol, the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire. My festival show

garden was awarded a RHS Gold Medal at the Malvern Spring Festival and my Macmillan Legacy

show garden was awarded a RHS Silver-Gilt medal in 2019.

Areas of particular interest for me are contemporary garden design, special gardens, gardening

for mental health, the gardens created by artists, designers and other creative people, organic

gardening, sculpture in gardens and encouraging UK gardeners to be more adventurous in using a

wider palette of plants, colour and art in their own gardens.

Recently I have contributed garden design articles for magazines, created garden graphics for

other designers and have been invited to give some garden design talks in 2020.”

Eleanor West: Ellyswellies Garden Designs  Elly graduated with a distinction from our planting design course and has gone from strength to strength.  She has set up her own successful garden design practice and is also a gardening journalist.

“Studying at the Cotswold Gardening School was one of the best life choices I’ve made, as it’s led to a fulfilling and rewarding career in this exciting and friendly industry. Caroline was a great source of both knowledge, experience and inspiration, and the courses that I took at the school gave me solid foundations for starting my own business, Elly’s Wellies Garden Designs. I’ve completed more than fifty projects since graduating in 2016, and each job brings new challenges so I’m constantly learning and developing my skills. I’ve teamed up with a local landscaping company - Westend Landscapes - which has led to more referrals, better practical knowledge, and they’ve built many of my designs. I also write a double page spread for the Bristol Magazine each month on gardening-related topics, which has been invaluable in raising my profile in the community and advertising my business. Thank you to the Cotswold Gardening School!”

Martyn Wilson: Wilson Associates Garden Design

Award winning Garden Designer Martyn Wilson graduated from the One Year Garden Design Diploma in 2015. He established and runs Wilson Associates Garden Design, a successful and busy garden design practice and has kindly agreed to come back and do some teaching for us - watch this space.

Martyn has designed two RHS award-winning show gardens including: RHS Silver-Gilt for the ‘The Bees Knees’ supporting the Bumblebee Conservation Trust at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2015; (built while he was also studying on his diploma course!) and RHS Silver medal for ‘The Journey’ supporting The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2014. He won People’s Choice for his third show garden at Malvern and won gold at the 2017 RHS Hampton Court Flower Show.