The Garden Designer Course is a positive step in taking control of how you can plan and create your garden. It could also be the first step towards a successful garden design business.
No prior qualification is required and is suited to people of all ages seeking to gain a more formal understanding of the principles of designing and maintaining gardens both large and small.
To develop the student’s knowledge and understanding of selected skills in garden design and maintenance.
At the end of this course successful learners will be awarded a certificate of achievement by NCFE. This course has been accredited under NCFE IIQ Licence by Kendal Publishing Limited which has been approved as an NCFE Investing in Quality (IIQ) centre to give formal recognition to our courses. We have designed our training courses specifically to meet the needs of learners who prefer to study from home. The course measurable learning outcomes have been benchmarked at Level 3 (using Ofqual’s Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) level descriptors) to allow you to consider the depth of study, difficulty, and level of achievement involved.
The course is designed for study by distance learning at work or at home. Students receive course manual, assignments and studyguide plus tutor support by mail and email. You can start at any time and plan your studies over a period of up to one year from the time of registration.
Students complete three written assignments, which are submitted and marked by your tutor. There is no external examination required.
Students may register at any time and have a full year to complete their studies. The course will take around 80 hours of study to complete.
Comprehensive study notes for each element of the course
Assignment marking & feedback
Please refer to current price list
GARDEN DESIGN COURSE CONTENT
Unit One – Garden Design & You
The following topics are covered: Introduction to design; History and development; How gardens started; The beginnings; The garden today; Designers; Types of garden designers today; Where to find information; factors to consider; The gardens around you; And Unit 1 Summary.
Unit Two – What Good Design Achieves
The following topics are covered: Designers, what they do and why they are needed?; The design process; The owner’s requirements; What the designer does; The benefits of using a garden designer; Providing guidance; Types of client; You as the designer; Taking instructions; Drawing skills; and Unit 2 Summary.
Unit Three – Starting to Design
The following topics are covered: Getting started – Equipment & Dress; Design by computer (CAD); Impressions of the garden; The initial visit; The client checklist; The design recipe; Site assessment; Surveying and measuring; Slopes; The rough sketch; The FLP (Functional Layout Plan); Triangulation and chain surveys; drawing to scale; Labelling, heights, number charts and keys; The design principals of Direction, Rhythm and Harmony, and what they mean; and Unit 3 Summary.
Unit Four – The Importance of Soils & Sites
The following topics are covered: Soil and horticultural potential; soil and sites; climate (oceanic, etc); temperature; Light, shade and shelter; Rainfall and humidity; Soil types and pH; Topography; The soil environment and horizons; profile pits; Improving the soil with manures, fertilisers, line and mulches; Cultivation and drainage; Soil life – good and bad; and Unit 4 Summary.
Unit Five – Starting Real Design Work
The following topics are covered: Getting down to design; Arranging plants; practicalities; function and form; Right plant, right place; Height, borders and beds; Information sources; Plants for problem positions; Plants for alkaline and acid soils; Shade; Sunny; Dry; Plants for particular uses (focal points, climbers, ground cover); Designing for shapes and sizes (formal, informal); Linking shapes; Playing with ideas and concepts; Problem sites; Downward slope; Upward slope; Long and narrow; Short and square; L-shaped; Corner; and Unit 5 Summary.
Unit Six – Planning
The following topics are covered: Planning for themes – ideas, styles and how to enhance; Plants for colour and height; The colour wheel; Getting the planting mix right; Colour patch bedding; foliage; Features needing thought; Fruit growing in small areas; Containers, tubs and patios; Plants to define areas and give direction; Rockeries and alpines; Hedges; and Unit 6 Summary.
Unit Seven – Designing for Interest
The following topics are covered: The garden in winter; Attracting wildlife; Managing wildlife; Herbs and weeds; Other services; Lighting; Furniture; and Unit 7 Summary.
Unit Eight – Water in the Garden
The following topics are covered: Introduction and uses; Siting a pond; Materials, depths and size; considerations; equipment; safety; filters; planting the pond; planning for timing and colour; Maintenance; Lighting and lighting design for water; Water features; construction diagrams; and Unit 8 Summary.
Unit Nine – Children & Pets
The following topics are covered: Children; Play areas; Children’s gardens; Equipment and toys; Plants, poisonous plants and other potential threats; Safety - water and children; Pets in the garden; Clients’ dogs; Dogs; Cats; and Unit 9 Summary.
Unit Ten – Gardening for Users with Disabilities, the Elderly and Garden Safety
The following topics are covered: Access; Paths; Safety, features other issues; Watering; Tools; Visually and sensory impaired sensory gardens; Conclusion; Safety checklist; and Unit 10 Summary.
Unit Eleven – Upkeep & Maintenance
The following topics are covered: Introduction; Assessing maintenance; Builders, diggers and landscapers; Plants; Ponds; Structures; Lawns; Beds; Schedules of work; Maintenance schedules; Cost issues; Practicalities; Plant schedules; and Unit 11 Summary.
Unit Twelve – Structures in the Garden
The following topics are covered: Walls, fences and trellis; Timber; Iron; Wire; Paths and patios; Green houses, sheds and stores; Other structures; Summerhouses; Furniture; and Unit 12 Summary.
Unit Thirteen – Marketing Your Garden Design Business
The following topics are covered: Where are the clients; How to reach clients, Word of mouth, Advertising; Portfolio and plant files; Shows and fairs; Visiting potential clients; Clarifying your service; Charging; Keeping records; Tax and accounts; Help; VAT; Insurance; Unit 13 Summary and Final Course Project (Full Design).
Unit Fourteen – Tricks of the Trade
An additional unit crammed with useful hints and tips for garden designers.