certificate in horticulture - landscaping and garden design

This 700 hour course is designed specifically as training for people who want to work in the landscape industry; as a designer, contractor or in landscape construction. It is suitable both for people who want to start their own business and for anyone seeking work with an established landscape enterprise.

The Garden Design Academy is run by experienced garden designers and landscapers passionate about passing on their knowledge to a new generation. It draws on decades of industry experience to offer a range of courses tailored to the needs of the modern professional.

This course develops skills in general horticulture, plant identification and use, landscape design, costing and construction, features and landscape business management.

To become a professional landscaper or garden designer it is important to learn how plants grow, how to identify them, how to care for them. If you have limited plant knowledge you cannot build or design a workable garden.

This qualification goes beyond the study of landscaping as the first half of the course provides you with broad horticultural knowledge to underpin your education. This keeps your options open for the future as well as giving you an 'edge' in the landscaping field where most employees or contractors do not possess this knowledge.

This certificate entails the following:

Core horticultural studies - half of the course, involving approximately 300hrs over 15 lessons.

Elective studies - half of the course, involving lessons specific to landscaping.

There are 30 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Plants. Nomenclature and taxonomy; The plant kingdom Genus, species, hybrids.
  2. Parts of the Plant. How plants grow; Plant structure; Parts of the flower and leaf; Modification of stems and roots.
  3. Plant Culture - Planting. How to plant and protect newly planted specimens, terms like: annuals, biennials, perennials, deciduous, evergreen and herbaceous plants.
  4. Plant Culture - Pruning. Purpose for pruning; Rules for pruning; How to prune.
  5. Plant Culture - Irrigation and Machinery Different irrigation systems; Components of an irrigation system; Designing an irrigation system; Maintenance.
  6. Soils & Media. Soil classifications; Soil testing; Potting mixes; The U.C. System; Ingredients of potting mixes.
  7. Soils & Nutrition. Fertilizers; Deficiencies and toxicities; N:P:K ratios; Salting; Fertilizer programming; Compost.
  8. Propagation - Seeds & Cuttings. How to propagate plants with the two easiest techniques: Seed and Cuttings; Propagating mixes; Cold frame construction; After care for young plants.
  9. Propagation - Other Techniques. Other methods to increase plant numbers; Budding and Grafting; Layering, division and tissue culture.
  10. Identification and Use of Plants. How plants are used in the landscape; How to choose and purchase plants; Selecting plants suitable for the climate and site.
  11. Identification and Use of Plants. Problems with plants; Choosing plants for problem sites.
  12. Identification and Use of Plants. Indoor and Tropical Plants, flowers, herbs, bulbs, ferns.
  13. Pests. Identifying and controlling pests; Chemical and natural methods for pest control; Chemical safety precautions.
  14. Diseases. Identifying and controlling diseases; Plant pathology; Fungi, viruses, non pathogenic problems; Interactions with the host and the environment.
  15. Weeds. Identifying weeds; Controlling weeds; chemical terminology.
  16. History of Landscaping. Garden Styles; Types of Gardens; History of Gardens.
  17. Principles of Design and Planning Information. Principles of Design; Pre Planning Information; Using Colour; Natural Garden Design; Eclectic Gardens; Minimalist Gardens; Plant Application; Aesthetic Criteria for Design; Procedure for Planting Design Entries; Birds in the Garden
  18. Drawing and Costs. Cost Effective Design Garden Style versus costs; Construction Decisions; Planting Decisions; Maintenance Decisions; Garden Investment; Determining Costs; Drawing Techniques; Computer Aided Design.
  19. Irrigation. Sprinkler Systems; Micro Irrigation; Planning an Irrigation System How to Use a Watering System; Automatic Watering Systems.
  20. Garden Designs. Park Design; Home Garden Design; Cottage Garden Design; Trail Design; Types of Trails (Fitness, Sensory, Cryptic, Environmental); Recreational Landsacaping; Playground Design; Barriers and Walls; Gradients and Dimensions.
  21. Earthmoving and Drainage. Levelling & Basic Surveying; Earthmoving Equipment; Earth Forming; Creating Mounds; Raised Beds; Importing or Improving Soil; Soil Shaping; Soil Degradation; Soil Rehabilitation; Earthworks calculations
  22. Materials. Using, Choosing & Preserving Timber; Recycled Timber; Rock Work; Concrete; Coloured Pebbles and Gravel
  23. Paths, Walls and Fences. Paths: Guidelines, Gradients, Surfaces Walls & Sleeper Walls; Types of Fences; Building a Wood Fence; Garden Structures; Play Structures; Skate Facilities; Motor Vehicle Parks; Pavers, Stone and Gravels; Contracts and Specifications
  24. Equipment. Manual Tools and Equipment Power tools for landscaping
  25. Water Features. Planning a Water Garden; Types of Water Gardens; Water Quality, depth, area, safety etc. Water Effects; Finishing Touches to a Water Garden; Fountains
  26. Garden Art: Statues, Sundials and Figurines Garden Rooms: How to Design a Garden Room, What to put in a Garden Room Positioning Garden Art; Painting in the Garden; Pots Sculpture and Statues; Outdoor Furniture
  27. Landscaping for Sports and Games. Fun and Fitness Trails; Outdoor Multi Purpose Courts; Skateboarding; Types of Playgrounds; Park Design Criteria.
  28. Landscape Management. Role of a Manager. Management Processes; Law and Business; Communication Skill; Marketing Industry; Awareness; Landscape Management
  29. Industrial Relations: Unions and Workers; Work Scheduling; Unions; Workplace Health and Safety
  30. Maintenance of a New Landscape; Protecting Young Plants; Replanting; Pruning; Weed Control; Maintaining Turf

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

Working with Colin Elliott, an experienced professional horticulturist, landscaper and garden designer, these courses are your route to a successful furture in the industry of landscaping and garden design.

Course cost: £ 1,200 (single payment)

OR 2 payments of £ 640

OR 4 payments of £345

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