How to prune with confidence with Benjamin Pope

Garden courses

Ref: S1D12393

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About this course

Focus on learning the theoretical principles and developing the practical skills that will enable you to prune your garden plants with confidence, making the most of your garden's productive and ornamental value.

Course Description

After an informal introduction the day will begin with a presentation on the principles of pruning, explaining the reasons why and how to prune garden plants. Continuing, Ben will illustrate how these principles are altered and adapted to accommodate different types of plants such as climbers and trees, along with plant groups such as hydrangeas and roses. Concluding, Ben will explain the importance of and differences between formative and restorative pruning, deadheading and trimming.

Following a tea break, the morning session will continue outside, where Ben will demonstrate practically some of what was covered in the presentation. This session will continue until lunch time, allowing time for you to practise your new found pruning skills alongside the tutor.

After lunch a second presentation will describe the details of fruit pruning, before visiting the kitchen gardens to study these methods and visually reinforce what has been learnt. A focus on tool selection and maintenance will continue the afternoon, where Ben will demonstrate cleaning and sharpening methods before concluding with a Q&A session, ensuring you complete the course feeling happy and confident to prune the plants in your own garden.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • On this course, the College will supply all of the materials, including plants for demonstration and practice.

What students need to bring

  • Secateurs
  • Safety glasses
  • Work clothes, including: boots, gloves and wet weather gear


Benjamin Pope

Ben Pope has been in the horticulture industry for the last 19 years, studying and training at the Merrist Wood and RHS Wisley, where he was awarded Best Practical and Best Overall Student. His work experience ranges from nursery practices and propagation in Australia through to design and horticultural research in London for the practice of Arabella Lennox-Boyd.

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