Copy of Copy of Introduction



This is an industry that has a deficiency of capable people. Surveys in recent years in Australia, the UK, and some other countries have show an increasing (and growing) demand for landscape and horticulture experts.
The duration and content of many government sponsored courses have unfortunately come under financial and other pressures; and industry recognises that there are simply not enough people who can draw good plans and know how to select the right plants for appropriate situations.
This certificate is substantial in content, and duration. It may take longer than some other landscape certificates (offered elsewhere), but in our experience, graduates from this course tend to be able to produce better plans, work with a wider range of plant cultivars, and do the job faster and with greater confidence. If you can talk to clients with more confidence, present more options for their gardens and produce better plans faster; your career is going to be assured in this industry. In short: The work exists There are too few good designers This course takes longer to complete; but that's what is needed to be a good designer.


  • Discuss the principles Garden Design.
  • Develop a foundation for systematic identification of plants and systematic determination of cultural requirements.
  • Develop an awareness of different styles of gardening, principally through the study of the history of gardening.
  • Develop the basic skills of landscape drawing as well as developing a basic understanding of contracts and specifications.
  • Identify soil conditions appropriate for a garden design.
  • Identify and properly account for environmental conditions within a garden design.
  • Determine earthworks required for a garden design.
  • Consider the relationship between design and construction when designing a garden.
  • Determine appropriate surfacing for different gardens
  • Determine appropriate garden structures for a garden.
  • Evaluate the functionality of a park design.
  • Evaluate the design of a home garden.
  • Develop an appreciation for the impact that design can have on the cost of a garden.
  • Discuss the functionality and design of surfaced areas in a garden or park, including paths, trails and sporting facilities.

  • Discuss the design of water gardens

  • Discuss the use of Rock, Stone, Brick and Concrete in garden designs.
  • Discuss the appropriate use of lawns in garden designs.
  • Discuss the appropriate use of irrigation in garden designs Discuss the design of natural gardens.
  • Discuss the design of cottage gardens.
  • Discuss the design of children’s play areas.
  • Discuss the design of garden beds.
  • Identify Management skills required to be a commercially viable garden designer.
  • Explain methods of rehabilitation of degraded landscapes.
  • Explain methods of dealing with drainage problems in a garden design
  • Discuss the relationship between garden design and maintenance.
  • Explain how a garden designer should successfully deal with clients. Prepare a significant garden design.


There are 30 lessons in this course:

  • Introduction to Landscaping
  • Plant Identification History of Gardening
  • Drawing Plans Soils & Nutrition
  • Understanding the Environment Earthworks & Surveying Basic
  • Landscape Construction Surfacings
  • Garden Structures
  • Park Design
  • Home Garden Design Costing & Specifications
  • Trail Design
  • Tools & Machinery Plant Establishment
  • Techniques Ponds & Pools
  • Rockwork & Masonry
  • Lawn Construction Techniques
  • Irrigation Design & Installation
  • Bush Garden Design
  • Cottage Garden Design
  • Playground Design
  • Garden Bed Design
  • Management
  • Land Rehabilitation
  • Drainage
  • Maintenance
  • Dealing with Clients
  • Major Design Project

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

  • Self-Awareness
  • Business Skills
  • Listening to the Client
  • Site Survey and Analysis
  • Conceptual Design
  • Detailed Design
  • Presentation Graphics
  • Bill of Quantities
  • Tendering and Contracts
  • Plant and Material Sourcing
  • Site Supervision
  • Handover to Client

The following are only some of the activities that the student will undertake in this course.

  • Find a site to be landscaped.
  • Visit the site and record pre planning information required to design the landscape.
  • Find five examples of the use of landscape principles.
  • Using sketches and written descriptions, describe the way the garden has been laid out in order to achieve those particular effects.
  • Find gardens which represent three different styles.
  • Submit a photograph or sketch plan of each along with a half page written description of the style of the garden.
  • Explain any historical influences, including the influence of those who build to owned the garden. The gardens may be gardens you have actually visited, or can be gardens you have seen in a magazine or book.
  • Copy the drawings of symbols (ie. drawings which show you how to represent plants, walls, rocks, etc. when you draw plans).
  • Practice drawing these various components of a landscape.
  • Using the pre-planning information collected, produce a design for that area. or part of that area.
  • Take a sample of soil and attempt to name it using the test given. Obtain components of potting or soil mixes; make up different mixes and test their characteristics.
  • Survey an area requiring earthmoving.
  • Draw a plan of the area, to scale, showing the area to be excavated.
  • Calculate the volume of earth to be removed.
  • Calculate where it is to be put.
  • Find, observe & report on some bad landscape construction work. (You might discuss a poor rockery, a wall which is falling over, or some playground equipment which is unsafe.)
  • Find three examples of bad selection of surfaces in a landscape (ie. home garden, park, sports oval, tennis court or whatever).
  • Describe the material used and explain why they are bad.
  • Consider both the aesthetic and functional qualities of the surfacing.
  • Develop a redevelopment plan for an existing park.
  • Submit a photograph of the park as it exists at the moment (otherwise submit a rough sketch).
  • Prepare a design for redevelopment in line with the suggested changes.
  • Choose an established home garden (your own or a friends), and draw a sketch plan as the garden exists.
  • Explain how well do you think this garden is designed?
  • Find another home garden, needing either a new design or redevelopment.
  • Prepare four rough sketches showing the stages you would go through in designing or redesigning that particular garden.
  • Develop a detailed explanation of how you prepared your costing in the set task.
  • Show the various components of the costing and explain how and why you costed it this way rather than higher or lower.
  • Design a trail.
  • It can be any type of trail (fun & fitness, nature, history, etc.) and may be located anywhere (a street, park, home garden, etc). Find and visit some recently landscaped gardens (completed within the last 4 months).
  • Visit up to three different properties.
  • Take note of any problems with the maintenance.
  • Consider what could have been done to prevent these problems occurring.
  • Design a perennial border along the front wall of a brick house Prepare a plan for the establishment of a large number of trees in a degraded area.
  • This plan should cover at least 5 years.
  • You should indicate clearly what the problem is and how you are going to use the trees to help rehabilitate the area.
  • Design a water feature (eg. a pond or creek bed) for a bush or natural garden.
  • Submit plans and a step by step description showing how you would construct such a water feature.
  • Design a rockery area for a bush garden.
  • Design a bush garden using mainly ferns, for a small courtyard of specified dimensions.

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