Logo
Tuition button.


Private Gardening lessons, Consultancy, and Garden Talks in and around Wantage, for individuals and for small groups.

Private Gardening lessons: 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, 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.

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 session.
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 neighbour 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? Contact me by E-mail at Inquiries@rachel-the-gardener.co.uk. Tell me 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.)


Consultancy:

I also offer Consultancy: if you have recently taken on a new garden, or have just run out of steam in your old one, it can help to have an Expert spend a couple of hours with you, talking through plant and design issues, to help you get the most out of your garden. Sometimes this means literally identifying the actual contents of the garden: sometimes it involves redesigning parts, or the whole, of it. A fresh eye can make a big difference.

And yes, sometimes what starts out as a Consultancy session will veer into "can you show me exactly how to do that?" and will then turn into a practical session!

The cost is the same as for tuition, as there is a fair degree of crossover between the two, and the same conditions apply: in and around the Wantage area, for individuals or small groups, and the rate is £150 for a 3-hour afternoon session.

Contact me by E-mail at Inquiries@rachel-the-gardener.co.uk. Tell me 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.


Work Experience:

New for 2019 - Work Experience!

Are you thinking about starting up as a gardener: are you sick and tired of slaving in an office all day, and desperate to work outside in the fresh air, with real living things, and for people who really appreciate your work?

Would you leap at the opportunity to work alongside a real gardener for half a day, to see if you would like it, and to see how it is done? I've already written the book on how to be a self-employed gardener (I'm not kidding!) and now, thanks to the generosity and bravery of one or two of my Clients, I am able to offer you the chance for some practical, hands-on work experience in real gardens, alongside me, a real gardener.

This can start with the basics of weeding, and regular maintenance, and can include a chance to have a go at real topiary (I said they were brave!) and other practical jobs: alongside the opportunity to observe how to deal with Clients, and the chance to ask as many questions as you like about how to find them and work with them.

Contact me by E-mail at Inquiries@rachel-the-gardener.co.uk. Tell me 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.