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rhs book

ashley13ashley13 Posts: 162
Hi my name's Ash, im 41 from north wales.   I've suffeed head injury which has left me disabled and i use a wheelchair.   I work in a garden centre but i don't know much about plants.  I have the RHS  Botony for gardeners book which interests me as i want to learn how plants work.   How does that help with my working at the garden centre?


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,568
    Hello Ashley.

    Haven’t seen you for a while.

    How’s the garden centre?
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 162
    Same old same old, nah it's good still pricing and cutting back plants.  Got new plants in, one in particular caught my eye,  Dol something Leonardo.   I still feel like i couldn't help a customer if they ask about trees or plants.   
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,568
    edited March 2020
    I have had a couple of the RHS books for about forty years and I find them very good. But I don’t have one on botany.

    I studied botany at school. I found it interesting. But like a lot of stuff that I learned at school, it’s fairly useless in everyday life. I don't use any botany that I learned in school when I’m gardening. I don’t stand in the garden and say to myself “Oooh those petioles are enormous” or anything like that.

    So apart from you finding botany interesting in itself, I wouldn’t really expect you to be able to talk botany with me if I was a customer. A garden centre customer only really wants to know if something will grow in a particular type of soil or in shade or need a lot of water and so on.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,748
    One of the greatest things to learn is patience. 
    Handle as many plants as you can, you'll soon get to recognise them without reading the labels. Ask lots of questions, read lots of books, magazines etc . 
    If there's a local "freecycle" group near you , why not ask if anyone has any gardening books to give away?
    Most of all , enjoy it. 
    We're here to help in any way we can. 
    All the best to you.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,771
    I think one of the most useful things to learn is what the symbols on the plant labels mean ... I find that a lot of new gardeners don't understand the symbols that mean this plant does well in shade or needs a lot of sun.  Also whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial ... if you learn what those terms mean, very simply in one sentence, you'll be a lot of help to new gardeners.   :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • robiwanrobiwan Posts: 206
    I agree with the guys i also work in a garden centre and have found that customers want reassurance as to whether they are making the right choice etc good luck :)
  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 162
    Hi guys thanks for all the advice you have given me, there's a lot of information but i think that if i stick to one rule/advice hat'll help me not confuse things if you know what i mean.   My line manager suggested for me to take photos of bed cards because they have all the information about the plant that i need.    I took a picture of a bed card today of a Doronicum, it says on the card,
    30cm (12in.)
    Compact form of this popular cottage garden perennial 
    Yellow daisy flowers for long period, April - June, over light green foliage. 
    Very hardy and easy
    Ordinary soil
    Sun/part shade.

    If I take photos of bed cards and get information like this, what information do i need to know if a customer asks? 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,748
    You really need to know it all, eventually. Never be embarrassed to say to a customer " I don't know the answer to that, but I'll find out the answer right now for you" 
  • B3B3 Posts: 24,482
    edited March 2020
    They might need to know what 'cottage garden' or 'perennial' or ' hardy' or 'partial shade' mean.
    The last questions I asked at a garden centre  were: what are the different types of secateur for? And why do these two fertiliser contain different amounts of nitrogen?
    I once asked what was the difference between highly scented and strongly scented roses. I didn't get an answer!
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,383
    Thing is Ashley, you’ve been working in the Garden Centre for 3 years, they must be satisfied with you, so you must be getting it right.
    All the info on the back of the label is all you need to know.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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