residential garden design master classes

At the end of their formal studies the novice garden designer is faced with earning a living out in the real world. While understanding the techniques, this jump from theory to practice can be quite daunting.

The Garden Design Master Class is intended to bridge this gap in your experience while at the same time honing your skills and improving in your knowledge. It is tailored to your own individual requirements to give you the information and confidence required to strike out on your own.

This is an intensive, one-to-one residential course led by Colin Elliott who, in sharing the secrets of his successful garden design career, assists you to turn your own skills into a profitable business.

Typically we would work through a garden design contract from start to finish, from taking the client’s instructions, through the concept drawing stage, to the completed design. We look at CAD, surveying, contracts (terms and conditions) and much more. Each Master Class is different, as we adapt it to cover the skills gaps we or our students have identified.

Unlike our other residential courses, classes are for a single student or, on request, two friends or colleagues. In this way we are able to address your own specific needs and concerns.

The classes are held over the course of a week with work undertaken both in the classroom and outside in the garden. To break the week up and provide some inspiration, we visit one of the great gardens of the Loire Valley, often taking in the International Garden Festival at Chaumont.

Topics typically covered include:

  • Assessing clients requirements – intended uses, budget, maintenance
  • Choosing a garden style – formal, informal, traditional, modern or themed
  • Design considerations – looking at shapes, harmony, balance and proportion
  • Drawing the plan – paper vs. Computer; CAD and hand drawing techniques
  • Landscaping – paving, walls, decking, fences and water features
  • Plantsmanship and designing with plants – size, form, texture, colour, seasonal interest, plants for problem places
  • Site survey and measurement
  • The business of garden design

Who would benefit from this course?

  • Newly graduated students of garden design and landscaping
  • Career-change garden designers
  • Landscapers wanting to add garden design to their offer
  • Informally trained designers
  • Academy students at the end of a distance learning program
  • Working designers seeking continuing professional development (CDP)

As an active participant of this Masterclass you will benefit from our extensive knowledge of the industry, as gardeners, landscapers, designers and horticulturists. Questions are encouraged and the course is adapted to help each student profit to the maximum from the week with us. Start dates are by arrangement.

This residential course includes full board accommodation over six days (7 nights).

Book today to reserve your place.

Course cost: £2,500 (deposit required) (balance paid three weeks in advance)

Course Dates & deposit payment

Accommodation cost: £650 (paid on arrival)

Arrival: Tuesday pm       Leave: Tuesday am

Dates:   May, June, July, August, Sept and Oct 2016

(other course dates available by request - maximum two students)


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