Horticulture and gardening

Learn about local plants and trees, gain practical gardening skills, and explore the beauty of Waltham Forest.
Closeup of a garden: a bumblebee on a flower surrounded by plants. In the background is an old building.

Plants, gardening and sustainability

In a dense, busy city like London it is wonderful to take time to appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Our courses are for anyone with an interest in gardening or who wants to learn about plants and their cultivation.

Our programme is delivered by experienced lecturers. We offer beginner workshops and accredited courses. You can learn tree and plant identification on a plant walk, or attend gardening workshops and courses to build your skills.

Practical skills: You can take a short course or attend a one-off workshop. Focusing on fundamental skills, our gardening courses combine theory and practice in garden planning, preparing planted areas, pruning and maintaining lawns.

Outdoor spaces: Our courses will help you learn how to maintain your garden. You will study in local parks (Lloyd Park and Leyton Jubilee Park) for most courses. Some short courses will be at Coronation Gardens and Vestry House Museum’s garden.

Sustainability: In the current climate emergency, the role of gardeners as advocates for nature and green spaces is more precious than ever. We will help you improve your knowledge and skills so you can make a difference and encourage sustainable gardening.

We have a great partnership with the borough’s Green Flag parks. Our courses are interlinked with several community and volunteering projects. They are an excellent introduction to Waltham Forest’s vibrant gardening community.

Free sessions: Not sure which course is for you? You can try one of our free taster workshops.

Learning with us: Our courses will be a blend of online and face-to-face learning.

Example learner journey

You could begin by attending a one-off workshop like a plant identification walk. To build on this experience, you could attend another course or volunteer at a local park. To gain a deeper understanding, you could enrol on our City & Guilds Gardening Skills Level 1 course. You can then study a Level 2 course with us, or explore volunteering opportunities or paid employment.

From our learners

‘Excellent teaching. Cathy is a knowledgeable and engaging teacher with a clear passion for her subject.’

Learner, Horticulture course

Careers and opportunities

After completing our gardening courses, some learners move on to higher level horticulture courses, start working in the gardening industry, or set up their own business.

‘568,700 jobs were supported by the horticultural industry in 2017, amounting to 1.6 per cent of total UK employment … many people develop their knowledge by learning post-compulsory education.’

Reckless Gardener (online gardening magazine)

About us

Our horticulture tutors are expert gardeners and educators. Their experience spans amenity horticulture, organic gardening, food growing, bio-diversity and sustainability. Our main partner is the Waltham Forest Parks Development Team.

Start a course

Explore our 2020-21 prospectus and course listing to find your course today