EGT have produced a series of small books which are a must for all would-be researchers and garden historians.  See our Publications and Inventories pages for more details.

There are a few places that run garden history courses – some long term, higher education, and some shorter sessions.  Most require attendance but the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, are planning an online 2 year diploma course (although it’s not clear if it’s up and running yet). More details here.

The University of Oxford is also offering an online course in English Landscape Gardening 1650 to the present day written by Tim Richardson, the next one starts 29 January 2020. More details here.

the head gardener, william henry hunt, the courtauld.

the head gardener, william henry hunt, the courtauld.

There is also an online course at the Academy for Distance Learning, more details here (click on the PDF to see the details); and another one at Learning with Experts, more details here.

Learning with Experts have also started another online course on Conservation of Historic Gardens which aims to provide the information and tools for researching and preparing Statements of Significance, more details here.

The Institute of Historical Research runs a 1 (full-time) or 2 year (part-time) MA in London, which is now the only dedicated higher education course in the country. More details here.

Various short courses are available within a 50 mile radius, such as at the Cambridge Botanic Garden, more details here.

or at the City Lit. in London. More details here

The Garden Historians run a summer term course in Hampstead which alternates lectures with garden visits, and also arrange garden tours. See here for details.

The Garden Trust Education group runs Grapevine courses in various locations, but mainly in London, more details here.  

And The Gardens Trust also run the Historic Landscape Project to facilitate local researchers.  See here for details

Don’t forget to look at the wonderful Parks and Gardens site online which is the most fantastic resource for the history of gardens and people connected to them.  More details here.


If you are handy with your mobile phone you may like to download PlantSnap (find them here) which claims to identify plants by viewing them through the camera of your phone. Good Luck.

We are very lucky to have the renowned Writtle University College on our doorstep. They have many horticultural courses from part-time certificates and diplomas to Master’s Degrees.  They also offer RHS courses level 2 and 3. More details here.

William Henry pyne gardeners vol 2

William Henry pyne gardeners vol 2

Royal Horticultural Society Hyde Hall has many garden related courses.  Download a brochure here.  The RHS also do an online ‘gardening for wildlife course’ more details here. They also have details of all the centres that run their courses, find out where here.

Beth Chatto Gardens have various short term garden related courses as well as many gardening and design courses and offers RHS courses level 2 & 3. More details here.

Cambridge Botanic Garden have lots of interesting courses on painting, history botany etc., which are very popular.  More details here.

Garden Masterclass are a new venture with various one-day classes at venues around the country from well-known gardeners and designers (admittedly not in Essex, but in sites worthy of a day trip or mini-break). Find out more here.

Some nurseries provide tuition, such as Green Island Gardens near Colchester which offer practical and design classes. More details here.

The Plant School, based at The Garden Museum, Lambeth has courses based around plant knowledge rather than practical gardening, but cover interesting subjects such as a scent and taste course.  More details here.

The Horticultural Correspondence College offers home tuition in gardening and garden design.  More details here.


Several of the organisations above also teach design courses, but in addition there are several other renowned places (mainly in and around London) such as the English Gardening School, based at Chelsea Physic Garden, who offer long and short courses, find out more here.  

The London College of Garden Design based at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew also have courses. More details here,

as do Capel Manor College in Enfield, more details here.