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' 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)?
Picture of Deborah Lord
Strange and Worrying Days
by Deborah Lord - Friday, 20 March 2020, 6:25 AM

Hi all, how is everyone bearing up in this new way of living?  It's probably the same for you all but my garden, allotment and favourite outdoor green spaces have become my havens of sanity while the man-made world faces so much uncertainty.  Watching the birds the other day from my window made me realise that nature is oblivious to all this and continues on regardless of our worries.  It was a very humbling and heartening moment. 

I hope that you are all as OK as can be and getting out sowing and growing as the season starts proper.

Take care and happy gardening!

apple for the teacher?
Accidental hostas
by Janet Prescott - Tuesday, 19 May 2020, 11:58 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 circumstances!  

An offer of 'cheap' unnamed hostas from Bowdens seemed like a good way of getting more material for division practicals ...
Read the rest of this topic
(187 words)
Picture of Jenny  Shukman
Texture and plants
by Jenny Shukman - Friday, 15 May 2020, 7:56 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


Picture of Karen Greenwood
Cucumber pollination conundrum
by Karen Greenwood - Thursday, 14 May 2020, 6:24 PM

Hello all,

Hope you're all well.  I have a question relating to L3 Unit 1 Pollination.

I've been growing an F1 cucumber variety at home for a number of years. The packet states it only has female flowers, and if you see a male flower to remove it.  I grow only this variety in a small greenhouse ...

Read the rest of this topic
(116 words)
apple for the teacher?
Merging chat rooms
by Janet Prescott - Wednesday, 13 May 2020, 1:52 PM

This recent crisis , reinforcing the need for communication at a distance to give us all a sense of community in our studies, has encouraged us to do something we've been considering for a while: we will be merging the level 2 and 3 chat rooms so that you can all communicate more freely with one ...

Read the rest of this topic
(188 words)
apple for the teacher?
Downside of using a mist unit
by Janet Prescott - Monday, 11 May 2020, 11:55 PM

Anyone studying the science units may find this picture relevant to the pros and cons of various propagation facilities. 

Mist units really need to be run with a built-in water softener, so that you don't get limescale blocking the nozzle or deposited on the leaves, and commercial propagation ...

Read the rest of this topic
(165 words)
Picture of Jenny  Shukman
Walnut flowers
by Jenny Shukman - Saturday, 25 April 2020, 8:33 PM

Took some photos of the common walnut, Juglans regia, in our garden today which are just coming into leaf and flower. These show the female flowers and male catkins - a good example of a monoecious plant:

apple for the teacher?
Intruder alert!
by Janet Prescott - Wednesday, 29 April 2020, 11:53 PM

Muntjac invader.MOV 

The Practical soil plots at North Moreton are in an orchard, which has two stiles for a footpath to cross it; they have makeshift gates above, to deter muntjac, but with the increase in people walking footpaths they don't know well sometimes these get left open ... after a few minutes of panic the muntjac exited the way it had come!

Picture of Jenny  Shukman
Apple blossom and honey bees
by Jenny Shukman - Sunday, 12 April 2020, 8:22 PM

The apple blossom has come out over the last couple of days and the trees were full of bees today. Some had the most enormous pollen sacs.

apple for the teacher?
Wilf's garden
by Janet Prescott - Tuesday, 24 March 2020, 8:39 PM

Wilf Simcox usually teaches the practical groups at North Moreton, but at the moment he's self-isolating at home in Winchester, and has sent us some pictures of his garden.