Thursday, August 13, 2009 - 11:49

The Eden Project’s groundbreaking Practical Horticulture programme - designed to encourage gardeners of all abilities - is returning by popular demand for its second year.

The programme, run in conjunction with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, is practical and hands-on and runs from September 19, 2009 to June 19, 2010.

Returning following a fully-subscribed first year which saw people from all over the country take part, the courses are ideal for anyone who wants to hone their basic gardening skills, from keen amateurs to those considering a career in horticulture.

The courses will be led by Eden’s own team of skilled horticulturists and will take place at the main site – home of the world-famous Biomes – as well as at the project’s Watering Lane nursery near Pentewan.

Participants of all ages and abilities can choose to undertake the series of eight hands-on and informative one-day short courses either together as an entire nine-month programme or alternatively as individual units.

An additional practice day and assessment day in June are provided for those who wish to gain the jointly-badged Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Certificate in Practical Horticulture.

The courses are Understanding Plants, Plant Health Problems, Vegetative Propagation, Planting and Potting, Plant Maintenance, Soils and Growing Media, Seed Propagation and Plant Care.

Mark Paterson, Eden’s Tertiary Education Co-ordinator, said: “The Certificate in Practical Horticulture was a huge success in its fist year at Eden and we’re building on that this year.

“The programme is constantly being improved in collaboration with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and our horticulturists are confident, experienced practitioners.”

John Bray, a graduate of the course’s first year, said: “The success of the course is largely due to the friendliness, enthusiasm and skills of the Eden staff running the various modules. I don't know enough to count myself a true plantsman, but at least my eyes have been opened to the riches that are available.”

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has been delivering high quality practical horticulture training for more than 100 years. Its partnership with Eden in offering this programme highlights a wealth of experience and knowledge surrounding the important relationship between plants and people.

Each individual course will cost £50 (including the practice day and assessment day), with a 10 per cent discount available to those who book the entire course. Places can be booked through the Eden box office on 01726 818762.