Sue Gibson's School of Gardening

Welcome to my Gardening School

Established in 1999

On my informal and friendly courses, you can study all aspects of Gardening and Garden Design and Management.

Courses are held in the stimulating surroundings of my cottage garden alongside the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal in the Severn Vale. The relaxed, friendly atmosphere and hands-on practicals make the whole learning experience an inspirational journey, enabling students to create and maintain the gardens to which they have always aspired.

By learning to see the world with new eyes, students are inspired to produce imaginative garden designs, planting plans and gardens.

On the practical horticulture courses, students learn garden management to a high standard, encompassing propagation; growing fruit in small spaces; understanding soil care and improvement; making plant supports out of natural materials, and the often misunderstood techniques of pruning; etc.

Sue Gibson’s School of Gardening has been established in Slimbridge for 20 years. Students have graduated to become highly skilled, professional garden designers and gardeners.  Some are also guides at the Gardens at Highgrove.


Learn to:

  • Design your own garden
  • Plan beautiful borders
  • Maintain your garden to a professional standard
  • Use organic gardening techniques

Courses in:

  • Garden Design
  • Plant Planning
  • Training fruit in small spaces
  • Pruning in Spring and Summer

Courses are held in and around May Cottage in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.

Please see Contact Info for more details.

Courses for 2020/21

As a result of the Covid crisis, all the summer term 2020 courses have had to be cancelled, as well as the day courses on shrub pruning and training fruit trees.

 I am hopeful that provided social distancing is officially confirmed as 1m/3ft, courses will restart in the autumn the week beginning 13th September.

The classroom will be set up so that students will be seated a minimum of 1m/3ft apart and, of course, this distance can be maintained during practicals outdoors.

Design your own Garden Year I
(1 morning a week for 3 terms)

These classes for beginners will commence on Tuesday, 14th September till Tuesday 14th December. The maximum number of students will be five to allow for the minimum distance between them of 1m/3ft.

Garden Design and Management Year I/II

To make up for missing your final summer term 2020, your term three of this course will take place on Wednesdays, starting 15th September till Wednesday 15th December.

Year II, Garden Design and Management will commence in January for three terms, ending December 2021.

Garden Design and Management Year II 2019/20

To make up for missing your final summer 2020 term, I will be offering this course starting in April 2021 for one term, on a day to be agreed.

Advanced Students

These fortnightly practical classes will continue on Thursdays as normal, commencing 16th September and I will be in contact with you all to organise dates.