Online Design Courses for Adult Learners

Garden Design

Garden Design

COURSE DESCRIPTION: If you enjoy garden design and are considering working as a garden designer then this garden design course will cover all you need to get started. In this past a garden designer was usually an expert in planting and lawn maintenance.  However, the garden design industry today is different.  A good garden designer knows that planting is only one ingredient in the recipe for a great garden design. In fact, a GREAT garden design is a space where plants, building materials, colour and form all work together. And…when it’s done right, each component of your garden design works seamlessly to create an environment that is functional, stimulating and increases the value of the property.

Green thumbs may be helpful for a garden designer but fundamental garden design skills are absolutely vital. This is exactly what you learn on this garden design course. If you would like to expand your knowledge and offer garden designer services to homeowners then this garden design course can give you a great qualification and the skills to get started ASAP in garden design. Topics covered include the following:

  • Surveying and assessing your garden – successful site surveys and soil analysis
  • Garden design styles – What they are and when they are appropriate
  • Principles of Garden Design & Planning – creating, prioritising & drawing your plan
  • Features & Focal Points – the main elements of garden design style & how to use them
  • Guide to planting – choosing plants, tress & shrubs
  • Maintenance & aftercare – creating a checklist for year round garden care

STUDY METHOD: 100% online with 1 to 1 tutor support

START DATE: Newly revised & updated course is available Jan 2019. Enrolments now open so you can book your place early and save.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: None – just the ability to read & write clearly, commitment and a willingness to learn

DURATION: You will have 8 months to complete the course. Paid extensions are available if required.

HOW IT WORKS: Continuous Assessment/No Exams – There are 6 Modules in this course. Each module has an assignment so you can put into practice what you have learned. You’ll receive personal feedback from your tutor for each assignment so you continually improve. At the end of the course you will complete a Final Project bringing together everything you have learned throughout the course and integrating your skills. The work you complete is deliberately structured so that as you complete your projects you will simultaneously build a great portfolio.

WHAT YOU’LL GET: An internationally recognised qualification (with university credits) and a fantastic portfolio. This will provide you with a powerful tool to SHOW what you can do and help you get work as quickly as possible.
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Introduction

Gardens are no longer just an extension of our homes – they are important areas in themselves, an outdoor space that provides contact with nature and a tranquil environment in which to relax and rejuvenate. With the majority of people spending most of their day inside, the garden is becoming increasingly important, it is something to be appreciated and enjoyed. However, a beautiful garden is not just an indulgence, as it can also work hard for you and increase the value of your property. Like other areas of our home, the garden presents an opportunity to make a statement about who you are, but good garden design goes beyond simply “looking nice”, instead creating a space where plants, building materials, colour and form all work together to create an environment that is stimulating, cohesive and enjoyable for everyone.

Getting this balance right can be difficult for the untrained person, while successful garden designers avoid expensive mistakes and exude an air of confidence because they know how the end result will look before they have even begun. They do this by simply assessing the existing garden, prioritising their design and designing out a new plan accordingly. These skills are the key to success as a Garden Designer, and like all skills they can be learnt. Following is a detailed overview of what you can learn on this course…  

Introduction

Gardens are no longer just an extension of our homes – they are important areas in themselves, an outdoor space that provides contact with nature and a tranquil environment in which to relax and rejuvenate. With the majority of people spending most of their day inside, the garden is becoming increasingly important, it is something to be appreciated and enjoyed. However, a beautiful garden is not just an indulgence, as it can also work hard for you and increase the value of your property. Like other areas of our home, the garden presents an opportunity to make a statement about who you are, but good garden design goes beyond simply “looking nice”, instead creating a space where plants, building materials, colour and form all work together to create an environment that is stimulating, cohesive and enjoyable for everyone.

Getting this balance right can be difficult for the untrained person, while successful garden designers avoid expensive mistakes and exude an air of confidence because they know how the end result will look before they have even begun. They do this by simply assessing the existing garden, prioritising their design and designing out a new plan accordingly. These skills are the key to success as a Garden Designer, and like all skills they can be learnt. Following is a detailed overview of what you can learn on this course…

Assessing the Garden

Experimenting with garden designs is exciting and fun, but before real plans can be made it’s vital to assess what you have to work with. The best way to begin is by taking a proper survey of the garden you are working with and objectively assessing all the major components and environmental factors. By drawing out your plan to scale, you will then have a realistic picture of what you have to work with and you can begin the process of planning what you want to achieve by experimenting with layouts and designs. A properly planned design will help you to get the job right first time, saving unnecessary heartache and expense from mistakes that could have been avoided with a little extra forethought, and it is the essential key to success if you plan on working in this industry. Among the topics covered on this course you will learn…

  • Surveying the garden – how to carry out an accurate survey of a garden, no matter what shape & size it is
  • Drawing a plan – how to draw up a scaled plan & present it professionally
  • Environmental considerations – understanding how local climatic conditions, wind direction and aspect will affect the layout of the garden
  • Windbreaks & noise barriers – how trees & structures are used to protect the garden
  • Soil evaluation – what is the soil type and how can you improve it
  • Permanent structures & trees – how to objectively assess what to work with and what to remove

The Elements of Garden Style

What is it that makes a great garden design? Many people have a natural instinct for selecting plants, features and details, but they may be unable to explain their ideas or define exactly why a style works or doesn’t as the case may be. Good design is certainly instinctive, but the inability to justify your design ideas can cause doubt in a client’s mind, and besides, if you don’t fully understand what works and why, then how can you ensure repeated success every time….?

The elements and principles of design represent universal ideas that are relevant to all areas and disciplines of design and these can help you to objectively assess what it is about a garden that works, or doesn’t as the case may be. By understanding how a successful style is constructed, you will be able to recreate any style effectively, whatever your own personal preferences – and you should be able to do so with your own unique twist! In addition to “training your eye”, this section of the course will give you the design vocabulary and terminology to communicate your ideas effectively and professionally, both to clients and to other design professionals, so that you can make a plausible and confident case for your creative suggestions. Topics covered include the following:

  • Assessing style – training your eye to notice the details
  • The elements of style – identifying the individual components of style and how to use them
  • Harmony – working with scale, proportion and symmetry to achieve balance and harmony in your design whatever the style preferences
  • Building a mood – using the right combination of elements to create the mood you want

Garden Structures, Features & Focal Points

When we think of gardens we naturally imagine plants and greenery, but the garden walls, fences and other structures will determine the garden layout and the materials selected will set the style. There are numerous outdoor structures to choose from but when you consider that hard landscape structures can cost 60 to 70% of the total cost of a garden, you can see why it’s important to get it right. The key to success is to design structures thoughtfully, so that they compliment the house and that the proportions and colours are in the right proportions.

In addition to these structures, there are many additional features that can be also be added – focal points are essential in any space and the garden is no exception. When positioned correctly, these details entice the viewer to explore the garden further and create a sense of mystery and surprise. These are the little treasures that make the difference between a “good” garden design and one that is “spectacular”. Some of the things you will learn include…

  • Boundaries – walls, fences and other ways of marking boundaries
  • Changing levels – whether you are dealing with a sloping garden or merely creating visual interest, split-levels can create an attractive design detail
  • Walkways and seating areas – choosing between patios, decking or gravel areas etc…
  • Water features – using ponds, pools and fountains to please the senses
  • Garden Ornaments & Accessories – how to accessorise your outdoor space and use these important style details effectively
  • Finishing Touches – Using garden lighting and furniture to make the garden an outdoor area of comfort and relaxation

Principles of Planting

Clearly these is a lot more to garden design than choosing plants – yet plants, shrubs and greenery are essentially what makes the difference between a garden and a yard! While aesthetic features are important, so too is an understanding of how plant properties will change throughout the year, as all too often a garden that presents a stunning riot of blooms and colour in the summertime, can look bleak and barren throughout the winter. A skilled garden designer however, will have the knowledge and ability to co-ordinate plants successfully…

Like every area of garden design, there are no hard and fast rules to a planting scheme, except that they should generally be developed to complement hard landscaping structures and plants should work with the natural climatic conditions. However, for long term success and enjoyment of the garden, the clients attitude towards maintenance issues must also be taken into consideration, as should any individual concerns such as choosing plants that are child and animal friendly. Some of the things you will cover include:

  • Climatic conditions – choosing plants according to soil type, climatic location and aspect
  • Shape & Proportion – understanding plant shapes and how to co-ordinate them successfully
  • Colour & foliage – choosing and co-ordinating plants for an attractive garden all year round

Prioritising Your Design

In our modern world we are extremely fortunate because there are more choices available to us now than at any previous time in history. While this is wonderful in many ways, unlimited options often make it harder to choose and it’s easy for a novice designer to make a mistake. Design is not just about making things look good, it is about combining aesthetics with practical solutions to create designs that work and function on an everyday basis. The key to success is to clearly define the design parameters through proper assessment and then work with them rather than against them…

We may all dream of having a tropical oasis at the back of our home, but the reality is that most of us are limited by functional requirements, maintenance issues, budget and the existing size and shape of what we have to work with. Certain aspects will clearly take priority and a skilled garden designer will ensure the best fit by creating a plan and then objectively selecting design components that work with the plan, while ignoring all others. It’s not that difficult to achieve, but it does require discipline and a methodical approach. Among the topics covered you will learn…

  • Establishing the requirements – objectively determining needs and desires
  • Working with space – making the best use of the garden space, position and layout
  • Maintenance issues – selecting the right components for maximum long-term enjoyment
  • Special considerations – designing family gardens to cope with children and pets
  • Unsightly garden accessories – how to work with details such as clothes lines, oil tanks and refuse bins

Conclusion

This course has been created to give you a thorough grounding in the skills and knowledge required to be a successful landscape and garden designer. Starting with the basics, you will be introduced to each new topic in a comprehensive way, with complex topics broken down into a series of steps so that you can master them easily. As you learn, you will immediately apply your new knowledge by completing a series of practical assignments so that by the end of this course you can approach landscaping and garden design with confidence and ability. If would like to earn additional income in the garden design industry or if you simply want to learn from the best, this foundation course will be everything you need to get started

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IS THIS COURSE FOR YOU?

This introductory course is ideal for anyone who is working in (or wants to work in) the garden design industry. It’s also ideal if you want to learn how to create your dream garden or take your passion to the next level and get paid to do something you love. This course will give you a rounded set of skills & knowledge that you can immediately apply. Recommended for…

Employees of nurseries and horticultural suppliers
Builders and contractors providing garden services
Taking your passion for garden design to the next level

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