An open forum for chatting about anything you want to.

These classrooms don't contain notes or handouts for the syllabus; they are a space for students.

BEST has its own Facebook page where you can talk to past and present students - you'll see the icon on your home page - but if you aren't a habitual Facebook user you may not want to get involved in some of the online alternatives to meet other RHS students. So we hope you will think about using this space to communicate with our other students - who are also trying to make sense of the handouts, work through past papers, and decide if it's worth planting out their potatoes yet!

One area has been set up for level 2 students, and another for level 3; your tutor can help if you have general queries you want to raise.

You will all be enrolled in the chat areas - did you know that if you go into your user profile settings you can get your 'internal' messages redirected to any other account of your choice, so you don't have to be logged in to see messages (only to answer them)?
If you find the chatroom posts interfere with your studies let me know and I can unenrol you.
Picture of Deborah Petrick
Sweet peas / Lathyrus odoratus - Hardy or half-hardy?
by Deborah Petrick - Wednesday, 12 August 2020, 2:49 PM

 The RHS Website says H3 (half-hardy) but under the "Name Ten hardy plants grown as annuals" spec for R2111 on the RHS website  they are suggested as an example, they are not listed  as an example under "Name ten half-hardy plants" on the spec for R222(RHS website) , so I am a bit confused where to list them. Any help appreciated. thank you! 

Picture of Jo Brown
Newby Question
by Jo Brown - Saturday, 1 August 2020, 11:15 AM

Hello everyone, 

I am a newby, 42 yr old Mum with two little ones and am on a career change from Events Management only had my online course access a few weeks and I am currently trying to print everything off (just the course notes as I work better off paper) and I have discovered it is a massive ink drain, have used up nearly three sets of cartridges already just printing off unit 1, so I was wondering can you request a paper copy of the basic notes or is printing them off myself the only option with the online course access?

Many thanks for your help in advance


apple for the teacher?
by Janet Prescott - Monday, 20 April 2020, 3:31 PM

I've just posted this in the new classroom for the Level 2 Practical students who are unable to attend class during lockdown  - it might be of interest to other students.

NB there are many more than five reasons to appreciate nettles  - Cornish cheese wrapped in nettles, nettle eating competitions...

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Picture of Jess Couceiro
by Jess Couceiro - Wednesday, 10 June 2020, 12:56 PM

Hello Everyone, 

I recently enrolled onto the course, I've just worked my way through outcome 1 of unit 1 and I have taken the quiz. Do you know if this quiz counts toward our mark at the end of the course or is it just practice for the exams if we choose to take them? 



Picture of Katie Kesterton
Inspiration from my garden!
by Katie Kesterton - Tuesday, 2 June 2020, 4:37 PM


I have a small back yard that I have gradually over the years removed more and more slabs to make way for plants!! My garden is directly in the lap of a self seeded Ash tree that lives behind my garden wall. It must drink huge amounts of water from the ground, it makes for a challenging ...

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(136 words)
Picture of Charlene Howson
by Charlene Howson - Tuesday, 19 May 2020, 2:05 PM

Hello everyone - 

So I signed up to the level2 certificate a while back and I just feel over whelmed. I have worked through the L2GPunit1 and got stuck at outcome 6 where I need to learn a portfolio of 105 plants their decorative merits, height spread and site requirements - which I have been doing slowly but I haven't moved on from that. 

I seem to be concerned that I am not achieving anything? Anyone else had a similar issue?

Picture of Paul Smith
Looking forward to doing more than weeding!!
by Paul Smith - Tuesday, 2 June 2020, 6:32 PM

Hi everyone, Paul Smith here.  No, not the designer, just an ordinary Paul Smith.  

I'm sort-of retired and have plenty of time on my hands.  I enjoy pottering about in the flower beds and the veg garden with my grandson when he visits, and have decided that, fairly late in life, I'd like to turn ...

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Jelly lady
Hello! New Student
by Colette Gibbings - Monday, 18 May 2020, 12:40 PM

Hey everyone, 

I joined the course a few days ago after a very long time of considering how i'd like to change my career. I currently work in the animal display industry, but over the last couple of years i have become completely obsessed with plants and that side of the natural world. 

My aim is ...

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(131 words)
apple for the teacher?
accidental hostas
by Janet Prescott - Tuesday, 19 May 2020, 11:53 AM

 I thought I might share the 'accidental' hosta collection at North Moreton as an example of 'real' design, which is often a matter of adapting to changing circumstances!  

An offer of 'cheap' unnamed hostas from Bowdens seemed like a good way of getting more material for division practicals ...
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Picture of Jenny  Shukman
Texture and plants
by Jenny Shukman - Friday, 15 May 2020, 7:59 PM

Texture in garden design is often a misunderstood term. It is quite difficult to separate from other aspects such as form when thinking about plants, but refers to the surface quality. Here are a couple of photos to illustrate this. The first shows a plant with a glossy texture, reflecting the sunlight and appearing to advance towards you. The second shows plants with a very fine texture and matt flowers giving a greater feeling of distance.

Acanthus mollis

Anthriscus sylvestris