Horticulture lecturer celebrates new book publication - The Evesham Observer

Horticulture lecturer celebrates new book publication

Evesham Editorial 7th Oct, 2023   0

A HORTICULTURE lecturer is cultivating a new chapter in plant literature following the publication of his new book.

Duncan Coombs, who has been a lecturer in decorative horticulture for more than 40 years at Pershore College, has released his second book entitled The Complete Guide to Compact Trees and Shrubs for the Garden.

The book is aimed at all beginner, amateur and professional gardeners, and tracks how plants and shrubs have been bred over time to become more compact, reflecting how the size of British gardens have decreased over the years.

Duncan’s book, which was completed over three years, highlights the variety of compact plants, shrubs and trees on offer and how gardeners can utilise their own space skills for the best results.

Work on the project involved intensive research trips to nurseries and gardens across the UK, with the guide’s unique subject matter also inspired by cohorts of student gardeners on Duncan’s course.

The course take place at every Friday morning at Pershore College and Duncan focuses on teaching skills with tools, soil makeup, plant use and maximising plant growth and health.




Pershore College is a national centre of horticulture and offers Level 1, 2, 3 and degree level courses in horticulture within specialisms such as plant propagation, landscape design and production horticulture.

In recognition of the college’s influence, Duncan presented Pershore College’s library with a copy of his most recent publication, adding to the shelves of specialist titles available to learners to use during their studies.


The new book follows success from Duncan’s first text, The Complete Guide to Pruning, which explored the technique and he is planning another book on the topic of herb use in the modern garden.

Duncan said: “I am delighted to present a copy of my most recent book to Pershore College, having spent over 40 years of teaching and lecturing at the college.

“My work at the college was a key source of inspiration whilst writing the book so it is wonderful to be able to show my appreciation for the students and colleagues who have supported the making of this book.”

Josh Egan-Wyer, Head of Horticulture at Pershore College, said: “It has been great to celebrate the success of Duncan’s new book, which promises to be an educational and entertaining read.

“Duncan is a wonderful tutor and the college is proud to provide excellent teaching by respected professionals from the industry.”

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