Garden courses

Designing a shade border with Sally Gregson

Ref: S1D09003

Suitable for all

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About this course

This practical approach to designing a border for shade will include the study of a shady border in West Dean Gardens. You will draw up a planting plan for this border, which can then be applied to your own shady garden.

Course Description

This course will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to your tutor and to the topic of the day.
  • Slide Show of different types of shade and suitable planting.
  • Visit the identified site at West Dean and review the existing planting.
  • Measure/analyse the area and note existing trees/shrubs.
  • Take soil samples, work out the structure, test the pH of soil.
  • Draw up planting plans for the proposed area.
  • Sourcing of plants.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Warm and weather proof clothes, as part of the day will be spent in the gardens.
  • An iPad, if you have one could be useful for researching plants and suppliers. If not bring some nursery catalogues if you have them at home.
  • Any plant reference books from home
  • Garden magazines that you find inspirational
  • Circle guide
  • Scale ruler
  • Coloured pencils may be useful

Available to buy

  • Tracing paper
  • Notebook, pens, mechanical pencils /coloured pencils
  • Large A3 drawing pad or large sheets of paper
  • Eraser

Please note: The tuition will be held in the Sculpture Courtyard and the Old Dairy about 10 minutes walk from the main College building. We return to the main College for lunch.


Sally Gregson

Sally has been tutoring gardening courses at West Dean for over five years. She trained professionally at Hadlow College, and runs Mill Cottage Plants in Wookey Somerset.

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