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.

With the re-structuring of the RHS website the discussion forums in the My Garden area disappeared. These were helpful to some people studying through distance learning, as well as to RHS members with general plant identification queries, and other problems which could be solved by asking other experienced gardeners rather than 'Experts'.

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' emails redirected to any other account of your choice, so you don't have to be logged in to see email (only to answer it)?
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'Cherry' Ingram - a good read!
by Jenny Shukman - Monday, 1 April 2019, 8:50 PM

I've just finished reading a really interesting book - 'Cherry' Ingram The Englishman who saved Japan's blossoms, by Naoko Abe. It certainly isn't directly on the syllabus but has all sorts of interesting horticultural information interwoven between the history of the cherry tree in Japan and ...

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Fascinating flowers and pollinators
by Jenny Shukman - Monday, 11 March 2019, 7:09 PM

Here are some photos of the strange flowers of Aspidistra elatior seen in the glasshouses at Tyntesfield, a National Trust garden near Bristol. I wouldn't have noticed the flowers if there hadn't been some information next to them. Previously thought to be slug pollinated, it is now known that ...

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apple for the teacher?
Learn to love your aphids?
by Janet Prescott - Sunday, 10 March 2019, 9:15 PM

The article below  - scanned from the Telegraph because they no longer provide a news feed, I'm afraid - is very interesting on the role of aphids in the garden food chain and why trying to get rid of them, even with 'organic' insecticides,  can do more harm than good.....

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by Sarah Cheffins - Thursday, 28 February 2019, 8:43 PM

Nice example of fasciation

apple for the teacher?
Prickles, spines and thorns - and winter identifications
by Janet Prescott - Monday, 18 February 2019, 1:01 PM

In his readable review in the Telegraph of the excellent new book The Field Guide to Winter Twigs by John Poland, Ken Thompson gives a lucid explanation of the difference between these botanical  terms and how to identify each : 

'How many of us, for example, have ever given much thought to...

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apple for the teacher?
3101 paper Wednesday 13th February
by Janet Prescott - Thursday, 14 February 2019, 3:22 PM

To reassure anyone who is worried about this, we have received the following :

Dear Head of Horticulture,

RHS Qualifications is aware of an error on question 3 of exam paper R3101 sat on Wednesday 13 February 2019.

The diagram included in the question was incorrect. The question asked candidates...

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Good luck!
by Jenny Shukman - Sunday, 10 February 2019, 2:36 PM

Good luck to any of you taking exams next week!

Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure you read the questions properly and don't rush in to answer before you understand exactly what is required. 
  • Move on to another question if you are stuck on one, then come back to it later if you have time.
  • Make sure you ...
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Season's Greetings
by Jenny Shukman - Saturday, 22 December 2018, 7:39 PM

Enjoy the festive season and all the best for 2019!

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Watch out - there 's a lily beetle about...
by Janet Prescott - Tuesday, 1 January 2019, 6:18 PM

I just wanted to share with students in the Midlands and south of England this unseasonal guest in a border I was clearing today - New Year's Day, 1st January. Normally I wouldn't expect to see a lily beetle until late March or April, and only on fritillaries, then lilies.  Obviously the mild weather is confusing pests, so watch out !

(I realise that some of our students in the more Northern parts of the UK may not be familiar with the Scarlet lily beetle - how lucky you are.)

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Autumn colour at Stourhead, Wiltshire
by Jenny Shukman - Tuesday, 13 November 2018, 7:42 PM