TV and Radio 4 gardening expert to launch gardening school at Bradford Garden Centre

An award winning Bradford Garden Centre has announced a collaboration with TV and radio gardening expert and award winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show designer Matthew Wilson.

Tong Garden Centre is the first centre in the North of England to host Radio 4’s Gardeners Question Time regular panellist Matthew Wilson’s Gardening School and has announced the dates of the first two workshops.

Matthew (pictured), the former curator of RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate and respected writer, broadcaster and lecturer, will mix practical with theory in the half day courses that will launch next spring.

During the first workshop, Planning Perfect Planting, which takes place on Tuesday April 24 2018, Matthew will share his knowledge and reveal tricks of the trade including how to choose the right plants for the right places; how to balance structural planting with flowering and textural plants and how to create year round interest and seasonal showstoppers.

The second workshop, on Tuesday May 15 2018, is a pruning masterclass that will address a task that is sometimes considered challenging. It will include advice on the best pruning kit and how to look after it; what, when and how to prune; how to achieve special effects; giving old plants a new lease of life and de-mystifying rose pruning.

Tong Garden Centre marketing manager Jo Dales said: “We are a garden centre first and foremost and are very proud to partner with Matthew for the Matthew Wilson Gardening School. Matthew opened Tong’s new plantaria in 2016 and we’re looking forward to working with him again and benefitting from his extensive horticultural experience.

“The workshops are a combination of theory and hands on practical work under Matthew’s supervision. Although they don’t take place until next spring, we anticipate that the events will be very popular and have made tickets available now in case people want to buy them as Christmas gifts for gardeners.”

Matthew Wilson added: “I’ve designed these workshops because so many people ask me what to plant and how to prune.

“These sessions will be informative, and filled with techniques to give you the confidence and knowledge to do all of this, irrespective of the size of your garden.”

Tickets for each of the half day courses, which run from 9.30am to 12.30pm, cost £55 per person and are available to book online at