Changes to Royal Horticultural Society courses


In spite of all indications to the contrary, we have been very busy recently preparing for the new RHS Certificates and Diploma in Horticulture. The RHS Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture is by far the most popular of the courses run by the Garden Design Academy. As part of the Government reform of qualifications, a new structure has been introduced called the Qualifications and Credit Framework (or QCF). This is intended to make qualifications clearer, and to offer greater choice and flexibility to learners.

Cistus Rospico

New Rock Rose - Cistus x corbariensis Rospico

The RHS will be introducing a range of new qualifications through the QCF from September 2010. These will replace the existing qualifications at level 2 and level 3 although we may still offer these courses under another name. Partial completion of the current RHS qualifications can lead to exemption from particular units in the new QCF qualifications and from lessons or modules in Garden Design Academy qualifications.

The existing RHS Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture will be replaced by three courses:

RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development

  • Exams are only theoretical and can be sat, by arrangement, anywhere in the world.
  • The course involves 100 hrs of study
  • The course is now available through Garden Design Academy

 

RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance

  • Exams are only theoretical and can be sat, by arrangement, anywhere in the world.
  • The course involves 100 hrs of study
  • The course is being written and should be available very soon

 

RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture

  • This qualification is simply the two above certificates combined.
  • Can be awarded to anyone who completes the two certificates above.

 

In addition the RHS is seeking accreditation for a Practical Certificate to be taken in the UK only. Similar changes will be made to the RHS Level 3 Certificate in Horticulture so, as you can imagine, there is a lot of work to be done. Fortunately, the bulk of this work is being undertaken by our Australian partners ACS and we are looking forward to seeing how gardeners and horticulturists react to the new courses.

Penstemon Melting Candy

Penstemon Melting Candy

Back in the garden, some of our favourite summer flowers are blossoming. The variegated Cistus corbariensis Rospico was a very welcome addition to the garden last year and is doing well. Close by, Penstemon Melting Candy was less successful, with two of the three plants not overwintering. The remaining plant is looking delightful however, and I shall be taking cuttings to ensure I have backup plants if I have similar problems this winter.

And for those who commented on my photograph of Salvia argentea, here is what it looks like in flower.

Salvia argentea
Salvia argentea

This species is from north Africa and has been given the common name Silver Clary. It is said to be short lived so I am leaving some flowers in place in the hope of collecting seed later. Failing that, I see both Thompson and Morgan and Chiltern Seeds offer it.

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