Nervous about what to do in your garden?

New to gardening?

Not sure about pruning?

Here's your answer -  private gardening lessons in and around Wantage, for individuals and for small groups.

I am frequently asked for instruction and guidance in gardening, so I am pleased to offer private gardening tuition - real, hands-on, dirty fingernails gardening. This can be on a one-to-one basis for individual help: or for small groups of up to four persons.

Sessions are normally a 3-hour afternoon, from 1pm to 4pm, and will include whatever level of instruction you require - from complete beginners, to those who know the basics but perhaps need a little encouragement or confidence to deal with topiary, roses, etc.

It can be a one-off session: it can be a regular weekly course, for as long as you require, or it can be a single session maybe three or four times in a year, to cover what to do as the season progresses.

If you have recently taken an interest in gardening, but really don’t know which are the weeds, or how to tackle the roses, this is a good way to learn, at your own pace, in your own garden. A beginners’ session can start with the absolute basics of real gardening: how to weed, how - and when - to hoe, how to tackle shrubs and climbers, how to prune those roses; and will cover when and why, as well as how. Learn about compost, mulching, propagation, and have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you wish. I can’t guarantee that I will know all the answers, but I will certainly try!

Some of the many subjects which can be included are:
  1. Introduction to your garden: weeding, plant identification, books and tools.
  2. Planting out: soil preparation, choosing good plants, giving them a good start.
  3. Topiary: maintenance, changing shapes, starting out.
  4. Plants for free: teaching you about splitting and division.
  5. Plants for free II: propagating from cuttings, and growing from seed.
  6. Pruning: roses, shrubs, climbers: where to start, and where to stop!
  7. Garden Design: how to focus your ideas.
  8. Vegetables: where to start!
  9. Retrieving a mature garden that has gone back to the wild.
  10. Organic gardening: pros and cons.
Kind and friendly tuition, fully hands-on, with the chance to see how a professional does it, then to have a go yourself.

Who is it for? Complete beginners, or people with a little experience: people who haven’t gardened for while and think they have forgotten how to: or people who are just a little unsure how to tackle specific problems.
What does it cost? £150 for a 3-hour afternoon.
What do I need to provide? Just the location, and whatever tools you already have.
Can I choose what subjects you will cover? Of course you can. Just assemble a list of what topics you would like to talk or learn about.
Are you terribly efficient and full of latin words? Well, yes I am terribly efficient, but I won’t rush you, we will go at your pace. I won’t force you to learn any latin, although I might possibly tell you why it's a good idea to learn just a little bit...
Can I have my friend along as well? Of course. The rate is the same for one of you, or for up to four of you. Obviously, the more of you there are, the less attention you each get!
How far will you travel? I am based in Wantage, so anywhere in and around that area.
How do I book you? E-mail me at Tell me where you are, what sort of things you would like covered, whether it’s just you, or a small group, and I will get back to you with a suggested date.

What others have said:

"You've really given me the confidence to tackle these shrubs myself."

"Now I can sharpen my own secateurs!"

"It's true that a picture is worth a thousand words - and seeing exactly how to make the [pruning] cuts has been worth every penny."

"You do realise that after you spent the afternoon with my wife, there is nothing in my garden taller than two feet now?" (nb I think he was exaggerating for comic effect, ha ha, thank you Steve.)

Finally, tuition or coaching? I was discussing this point with friends over a cup of tea and cake the other day: and they were suggesting that I should have the phrase "garden therapy" somewhere on my website, on the grounds that a) it's very trendy and b) gardening is indeed very therapeutic. I'm not totally convinced, I feel that "therapy" is not quite my forte: but the difference between tuition and coaching is an interesting subject.

Tuition seems to be more "this is how you do it" whereas coaching is more "you have the natural talent, you just need guidance in the best way to apply that talent, and encouragement to do so."

In which case, yay for coaching!  Do let me know if you have an opinion, one way or the other.

To email me: click on View My Complete Profile and use the link there, or email direct to Thank you!