New London College of Garden Design prepares to open its doors this month

The London College of Garden Design (LCGD) will launch this month with the first two sessions in its short-course series.

The new college - the brainchild of RHS chief assessor Andrew Wilson, garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin and landscape contractor Mark Gregory - kicks off 2009 with a workshop entitled Winning Business in a Tough Market.

The interactive workshop on 27 January, led by Fisher Tomlin, aims to produce strategies for facing the short-term challenges of a downturn while looking at ways to plan now for a future market upturn.

A further seminar on the same day will explore the new rules on designing front gardens. Gregory will discuss sustainable materials and surface treatments, as well as the design and installation of rainwater harvesting systems.

The school's one-year garden design diploma course will begin in September and director of garden design studies Wilson said there would be a strong emphasis on business skills, as well as design and plant knowledge to prepare students for winning work.

The LCGD will be based at Regent's College, in London's Regent's Park.

Further short courses will run throughout 2009 and an open day is being held on 7 April. The college's website has now launched at

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