Growing Along with the Botanic Garden

Growing Along with the Botanic Garden will run from March – July 2014. The project is as 15 week long accredited course and will result in learners gaining a certificate from ASDAN, an exam body specialising in courses for adults with learning disabilities.

The course is assessed on the portfolios of work submitted by each learner that document the activities and new skills acquired during the course in the form of photos and worksheets. The course has been allocated a compact allotment at the Botanic Garden, near the banks of the river Cherwell. The learners will be planting this up with a variety of crops which will be harvested and tasted throughout the course.


Learners will be:

  • Learning how to garden safely
  • Choosing and planning plants to grow
  • Finding out what seeds need in order to germinate
  • Sowing seeds directly, sowing seeds in pots
  • Pricking out seedlings, potting on and planting out
  • Working as a team, making new friends and having fun!


Learners will also have the chance to do more than just learn basic horticultural skills. They will be creating herbarium specimens (pressed plants) of plants that are growing and flowering during the time of their course. Herbarium specimens are a vital resource for botanists and are a chance for learners to find out how a botanic garden differs from a normal beautiful park or garden.

We will also be keeping a keen eye on the Garden’s larger vegetable beds to see what the Hardy Team are growing through the season!

The sessions are made possible by the course tutor, funded by Oxfordshire County Council, the learner’s support workers and the Garden’s fantastic volunteers.

To find out more read the project report. Botanic Garden Conservation International included this project as one of their case studies in their 'Caring for our Communities" manual. Click here to download a copy of the manual. Read our case study on page 11.