Garden Design Course
Garden Designer course brochure
“The support and regular encouragement is there whether by email from the Blackford Centre or from the tutor.”
Richard, Devon, UK
Do it! The materials and the support are very good.
Lynn, UK
“If you enjoy your garden and its design, go for it!”
Deborah, Ely, United Kingdom
“It is a great program for the money and you can work at your own pace.
Brandon, Massachusetts, USA
“I have been very impressed with both the quality of the course and the helpfulness of all of the staff I have had contact with.”
Maggie, Norwich, UK

Garden Design Course

The 18 Garden Design Modules

1. WELCOME

  • The aims of the course
  • How to do the course. Getting the most from it.
  • How to do the assignments
  • What skills do you need?
  • Assess your strengths and weaknesses
  • Getting inspiration
  • Any problems?
  • Assignment

2. GARDEN DESIGN INFLUENCES

  • Sources of influence in garden design
  • Influence of garden history
  • Fashions and trends
  • Impact of television
  • The principles of design
  • Movement
  • Direction
  • Rhythm
  • Unity and balance
  • Using colour to influence your design
  • Assignment

3. WHAT DO YOU, OR YOUR CLIENT, WANT IN THE GARDEN?

  • Assessing your needs
  • Asking the right question
  • Making a list
  • How to record the information
  • Adding comments
  • What else can the client tell you?
  • Your form
  • Getting the client to sign on the dotted line
  • The maths. Areas
  • Triangulation
  • Chain surveys
  • Level surveys
  • Assignment

4. MEASURING A GARDEN AND RECORDING THE DETAILS

  • The Maths!
  • Measuring the area of a garden
  • How to find the area of a triangular part of the garden
  • Working with curves
  • Triangulation
  • Chain surveys
  • The 3, 4, 5 triangle
  • Recording the information
  • Measuring heights and changes in level
  • The importance of measuring the levels
  • Calculating changes in level
  • Using surveying equipment
  • Using the figures
  • Assignment

5. GETTING DOWN TO EARTH

  • The garden's aspect
  • How to measure and plot it
  • What are its implications?
  • Drainage.
  • Soil
  • What is topsoil and why do we need it anyway?
  • Texture
  • Structure
  • Nutrients
  • pH Scale
  • Assignment

6. PUTTING PEN TO PAPER (OR MOUSE TO PAD)

  • Using computers for design
  • What type of computer will you need?
  • What other equipment will you require?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of using computers
  • Presenting your drawing
  • Choosing a scale
  • Drawing to scale
  • General rules for drawing
  • Tools for drawing
  • Using a template
  • Using symbols
  • Assignment

7. PLANT USE IN THE LANDSCAPE

  • Using plants for screening and windbreaks
  • Food production
  • Using plants for their aesthetic appeal
  • Trees
  • Hardy shrubs
  • Herbaceous perennials
  • Grasses
  • Climbers
  • Lawns
  • Planting for harsh environments
  • How many plants to use
  • Where to source the plants
  • Assignment

8. PRESENTING YOURSELF AND YOUR WORK

  • Getting a corporate identity
  • Business cards
  • Headed notepaper
  • Compliment slips
  • Using a computer
  • A drawing board
  • Presenting your plans
  • The title block
  • The garden layout plan
  • The planting plan

9. USING INSETS, CONSTRUCTION DIAGRAMS AND NUMBER CHARTS

  • Preparing insets
  • Creating construction drawings
  • Using number charts

10. PAVING AND WALLS (HARD LANDSCAPE)

  • What is hard landscaping?
  • Flagstone paving
  • Block paving
  • Gravel surfaces
  • Decking and Walling
  • Assignment

11. WATER

  • Types
  • Positioning a water feature
  • Pumps and filters
  • Construction
  • Water safety
  • Assignment

12. GARDEN LIGHTING

  • Warning
  • Garden lighting today
  • Lights and their use
  • Lamps. Filters. How to choose a lamp.
  • Fittings
  • Water
  • Focal points and statues
  • Steps
  • When to consider garden lighting
  • Selling the principle of lighting to the client
  • Think about lighting early in the process
  • Electricity
  • Irrigation and water conservation
  • Assignment

13. GETTING DOWN TO DESIGN

  • Arranging plants
  • Height
  • Plants for particular problem positions
  • Plants for particular uses
  • Designing for shapes and sizes
  • After you decide the theme
  • Problem sites

14. SCHEMATIC PLANNING

  • Colour
  • The colour wheel
  • Getting the planting mix right
  • Colour patch bedding
  • Foliage for colour
  • Height
  • Fruit growing in small areas
  • Containers, tubs and patios
  • Plants to define areas
  • Hedges for defining areas

15. MAINTENANCE

  • Putting together a schedule
  • Putting together a maintenance guide
  • Water maintenance
  • Hard landscape maintenance
  • Assignment

16. GOOD BUSINESS PRACTICE

  • What will you include in your service? Plans only, contract management, or maintenance schedule? How many copies and how many different types of drawing.
  • Selling by the hour or contract.
  • Where do your responsibilities end?
  • Writing terms and conditions, to protect both you and your client.
  • Assignment

17. ADVANCED GARDEN DESIGN

  • Designer's block
  • Adding shapes to the garden
  • Inspection covers
  • Blocking unsightly views
  • Hiding sheds
  • Changing the shape of the garden
  • Assignment

18. PERSONAL PLANT FILES AND PORTFOLIOS

  • The plant file
  • What to start with
  • The file itself
  • What else to include in the plant file
  • Your portfolio
  • Presenting your work to clients
  • Presentation tips
  • How to present your work

We supply all the modules at the beginning of the course, so you can study topics whenever you choose.

We reserve the right to improve or amend the course contents.

Read more: What you'll find in the pack