In order to learn more about my beloved hobby, I have been thinking for a while to study some horticulture.
Here in the UK the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has extablished nationally recognised certifications, starting at Level 2 -which I am told is the equivalent of A levels - up to the master degree's level. You can study for these certification on distance learning, with colleges offering learning material and tutoring, followed by proprietary RHS exams (which you may decide not to take). I am told students generally take 10-15 months to prepare the material, and I decided to give it a go. There's nothing organic about it but hey ho, it's a start: I guess plants are plants... or maybe not? We'll see...
It has been a bit difficult to select colleges: from an horticultural outsider's perspective they looked all more or less the same, nothing validated one over the other, and prices varied - sometimes considerably. Luckily I got some expert advice from Garden Organic - I have to thank Sally for her very sweet email and really sound suggestions!
Out of a list of three colleges, my final choice went to the Horticultural Correspondence College. I have just signed up: wish me luck!
BTW, I have noticed with great pleasure that there are a few ladybirds at my allotment - and they are mostly native 7-spot as you can see (picture taken on Sunday morning)! Only one Harlequin to be seen.