About the BEST in Horticulture Group

BEST in Horticulture was set up in August 2011 by a group of lecturers from leading horticultural colleges, to offer the quality of training that specialist land-based colleges can give to a much wider audience, through distance and blended learning. BEST in Horticulture also provided RHS practical courses.

Building on the success of BEST in Horticulture, in 2015 The Academy of Practical Horticulture was established to concentrate on providing a wider range of practical training.

Because we have worked with the RHS and City and Guilds in question setting and course development, we are up-to-date with all the changing requirements for both types of qualification, and have written notes which cover the courses outcome-by outcome.

Our aims are:

  • To give you the knowledge you need to go into a career in horticulture
  • To help you train to move upwards in your career
  • To give you the best possible preparation to achieve your qualifications
  • In doing this, not to lose sight of the fact that horticulture is a wonderful, interesting, life changing subject

BEST in Horticulture Group operates RHS centres at Ryton Gardens, Coventry and North Moreton, Oxfordshire.

These centres have been visited and approved by the RHS and delivery is monitored twice-yearly by a process of verification which not only examines practical teaching and student achievement but also looks at all relevant administrative processes, staff qualifications and facilities. We are pleased to report that since each centre began teaching, our visits have resulted in a "Performance Grade1" for each visit.

BEST in Horticulture was started by Tony Davies and Janet Prescott to provide horticultural education outside a conventional college environment; their team of tutors and subject specialists come from a number of horticultural colleges and the industry.

Tony Davies

Mhort(RHS), DipHort(Dist), SCD(HONS), DipRSA, CertED, FI Hort.

lectured in business planning and development at Sparsholt College and went on to be the Learning Manager in charge of Horticulture. He is the former Head of Horticulture at Warwickshire College (Pershore College). A professional horticulturist for many years, he has run a number of commercial enterprises, specialising in ornamental nursery stock production and horticultural retail.

As an educationalist, he has worked with a number of awarding bodies; City & Guilds, EDEXCEL and the RHS as an examiner and in developing qualifications. He is a qualified instructor and a registered City and Guilds Assessor for a wide range of machinery and equipment.

Tony is a career horticulturist; he is passionate about horticultural education and training and is keen to share his expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm with anyone who wants to learn about the diverse world of horticulture.

Janet Prescott

BA (Hons) BSc Hort (Hons) PGCE, PGDip in the Conservation of Historic Gardens and the Landscaped Environment

lectured on RHS courses and Horticultural Science at Sparsholt and Pershore Colleges, and with Tony Davies helped to construct Gold medal-winning exhibits for Warwickshire College at Chelsea and Hampton Court in 2009-2011. She has worked with the RHS on course development and has also written for City and Guilds qualifications.

As a mid-life career changer into horticulture, she is keen to help other people to achieve their own horticultural ambitions. For several years she has opened her garden under the NGS.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us using the button below.