Press Release: Learn the secrets of award-winning horticulturists at West Dean College

West Dean College is renowned for its surrounding historic gardens. The latest release of Short Courses includes talks and workshops by award-winning horticulturists such as Tom Brown, Head Gardener and broadcaster at Parham House; Rosy Hardy, plantswoman, nursery owner and winner of 21 RHS Gold Medals; and James Crebbin-Bailey, topiary specialist and Chelsea Gold Medal winner two years running in 2011 and 2012.

Students have access to the award-winning gardens during their stay and can explore the parkland, walled kitchen garden and St Roche's Arboretum during breaks in classes.

Working in the South of France for over 16 years, landscape designers, James and Helen Basson, create beautiful low-maintenance, dry gardens that mix contemporary design with traditional skills. They have won awards around the world and the L'Occitane Garden 2016 design by James was a Gold medal winner at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Using a client commission and a show garden project they will explain how to look at the natural landscape for inspiration and translate ideas into your own garden at home. Learn how to produce detailed planting plans and progress from paper to the garden. Lessons from the landscape (Garden Lecture, £73, includes gardens entry and lunch).

Following on from her experiences in the BBC Television series Small Town gardens, Annie Guilefoyle, designer and writer, focuses on designing and maintaining interest in a small site, avoiding overfilling the space and learning the basic principles and you work on your own designs. The small garden (9 April, one day, £111, suitable for all)

Enjoy a talk about the history of topiary and a practical demonstration on cutting techniques by James Crebbin-Bailey, a recognized specialist in Sculptural Topiary. Gain inspiration for topiary in garden settings, from embryo plans to finished topiary and take home tips on care and maintenance, followed by a hands-on workshop to create your own plant to take away. Create your own topiary (29 April, one day, £146, beginners/intermediate).

Explore the use of colour in your garden under the expert eye of Tom Brown and be inspired by his ideas as Head Gardener at Parham House. Discover new colour combinations and how to extend the season using late summer colour. You will have the chance to work on a planting plan for your garden. Working with colour in your garden (30 April, one day, suitable for all, £111).

If you are new to gardening and want to learn the basics, pick up tips on how to Grow your own fruit and vegetables - summer with Rosie Yeomans, horticulturist, broadcaster and designer. Learn about watering, training, weeding, summer pruning, pest and disease identification, and harvesting. Enjoy a day of hands-on practical demos and classroom based lectures. (18 June, one day, beginners/intermediate, £131)

Rosy Hardy co-founded Hardys Cottage Garden Plants in 1988 in the village of Freefolk, Hampshire, one of the finest nurseries in the UK, winning 21 consecutive gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Rosy will talk about the gardener's mantra, right plant, right place, and reveal ideas for sun or shade. Be inspired by her seasonal combinations, no matter what you have in your garden. Some like it hot and some don't - selecting the right plants for your garden (19 August, Garden Lecture, £73, includes gardens entry and lunch).

Special Offer. First time bookings are entitled to a 10% discount on the cost of course fees (telephone bookings only) +44 (0)1243 818300. Gift vouchers of £10, £25, £50 or £100 can be used as full or part payment towards a short course. To browse the latest digital brochure and to book online visit


Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • Learn how to grow and cook with chillies at the award-winning West Dean Gardens Chilli Fiesta 11 - 13 August 2017. Save 20% and book early bird tickets at
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.

Media Contact Information

For further information, high-resolution digital images of filming opportunities contact

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Officer, +44 (0)1243 811301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ