Sustainable Environment
Sustainable Environment
We support alternatives to single use plastics
Consumption & Conservation
Consumption & Conservation
We harvest rainwater from our on-site reservoirs
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Reduced Carbon Footprint
With 80% of bedding plants grown onsite
Composting & Recycling
Composting & Recycling
We recycle over 90% of our on-site waste
per year
Booking Form

RHS (Level 2) Certificate in Principles of Horticulture (2 Years)

Course Length: 2 Years Tutor: Tessa Allen


About the course

The course tutor, Tessa Allen, has taught horticulture for over 31 years and the RHS Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture for the last 21 years. Throughout, Tessa has had a high achievement and retention rate, which she puts down to the friendly but organised classroom atmosphere.

The RHS (Level 2) Certificate is well recognised within the industry; students who achieve it will be well placed to progress onto further courses or into employment. This course is over 100 years old and still as popular as ever. The course is also ideal for the dedicated amateur gardener who wishes to extend their knowledge and perhaps achieve a nationally recognised qualification.

Structure and Assessment

Year 1 Course commences Tuesday 22nd September 2020 from 9.30am to 12.30pm, covers 3 terms and finishes in June 2021. Year 2 course commences September 2021, finishing June 2022.

Achievement on this course is through nationally set written examinations taken in February and June 2021 (Year 1) and February and June 2022 (Year 2) and the level of knowledge expected is equivalent to a good level of pass in a GCSE science subject.

The Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture is a broad-ranging course taught 3 hours a week over 6 terms and covers the full spectrum of horticultural subjects. It is ideal for beginners or for those with some experience.  ‘Level 2’ compares this course to other qualifications; the RHS does not offer a level 1 theory course.

Who can apply?

Entry onto this course is open to anyone who has a genuine interest in horticulture – no formal qualification is necessary.

What will I Learn?

The weekly session will include plant identifications as well as classroom-based theory. Comprehensive notes will be provided. Students will be encouraged to take part in weekly practical demonstrations.

The following outline is intended only for general guidance on the range of subjects to be studied:

Year 1: Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development

  • Plant Classification, Structure and Function
  • Propagation
  • Weeds, Pest and Disease Problems
  • Soil Management and Nutrition

Year 2:  Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance

  • Garden Design
  • Fruit and Vegetable Growing
  • Greenhouse Management
  • Plant Choice, Establishment and Maintenance

Guided tours including RHS Wisley Garden will be arranged and are included in the course fees.

What should I bring each week?

Writing equipment is advisable to enable you to take down any extra notes and your weekly homework. Secateurs and gloves will be required for most practicals. You will be advised of any extra tools required for practicals a week in advance. Sensible outdoor clothing and strong outdoor shoes, preferably steel toe-capped boots, should be brought in for the practical session each week.

How do I apply?

Please complete the booking form or contact Lesley Webster at Coolings Nurseries Ltd on 01959 532269 or email

Student numbers will be limited to each session so please book early to ensure a place.

If you are interested in any of our courses that are currently full please contact us to join the waiting list.  If there is sufficient interest then we will always consider running another course.

Please note:  Courses will only be cancelled if not viable to run.