It's nearly September, the traditional time for new academic ventures. In this spirit, I'm embarking on a new learning experience myself. I was asked if I'd participate in a four week online MyGardeningSchool gardening course, in exchange for writing about it on this blog. So, here is my first report. The course doesn't start until 2nd September but I thought I'd introduce the topic a little first.
I love learning, so this was a wonderful opportunity. I had a choice of a whole range of four week courses, including professional planting design, wildlife gardening, garden photography and veg growing - it's a pretty extensive list. I was sorely tempted by the garden history course, but I have studied that a little in the past. All of the tutors are experts in their field; for example, Clive Nichols is the tutor on the garden photography masterclass, and you'd be hard-pressed to not find his photographs in the best garden books and magazines.
The four week courses cost £145 so are not cheap, but are on a par with a day course, if you were to pay to spend the time with an expert. For this money, you get access to the virtual classroom, and four weeks of video tutorials with the named tutor. In addition, and perhaps slightly daunting at the moment, you have four assignments to complete. These are critiqued by the tutor, who provides feedback.
So which one did I choose to try? Well, parts of the garden are suffering at the moment from a lack of structure and succession, so my eye was drawn to Planting Design with Perennials. There are few tutors who would have as much academic experience in this area as Dr Noel Kingsbury, who has written a number of books on the topic, as well as recently publishing his first e-book with MyGardenSchool.
Rather exciting. One bonus is that because it's virtual, I don't need new school shoes. I used to hate that part of going back to school. Watch this space!
Note: I have received the course free of charge in exchange for writing my opinions on it. I have not been asked to provide a positive 'spin' in exchange for this, but just to provide regular feedback through this blog, for the duration of the course.