A new horticulture school has opened in Lewisham after millions used gardening to help their mental health during the pandemic.

The London School of Horticulture has been launched by Dr Mima Taylor, a horticulturist trained by Kew Gardens, to bring gardening to south east London.

According to the Horticulture Trades Association, three million new people took up gardening during lockdown and 2.3 million of them have continued this hobby into 2022.

The study also found that whilst 80% of Londoners have access to a garden or outside space, many of them do not know how to get into gardening.

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Dr Taylor said: “Lockdown sparked a lot of interest in gardening, and many of us discovered the positive impact it has on our mental health.

“There is very little available for the keen amateur gardener.

“We have opened The London School of Horticulture to widen the reach of horticulture education in London and make it accessible to everyone eager to learn.”

The courses are just a fraction of the cost of a lot of top gardening schools which they say will “answer a growing need for quality and affordable horticulture education in London.”

Trial classes have already taken place in classrooms in Telegraph Hill and Herne Hill, but the school is now launching its first official one-year course.

The ‘A Year in the Garden’ course will teach key skills and knowledge for gardening through all the seasons, including design, planting, and maintenance.

There are also other short courses such as Garden Design for Beginners and Making the Most of Your Garden and plans are in the works for a sustainable gardening course as well.

Short courses start at £45 for a day, £80 for two days, or just under £2,000 for the year-long course which can be paid in instalments.

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