RHS Certificate 3 -Garden Planning, Construction,Planting

Course CodeVHT042
Fee CodeS4
Duration (approx)200 hours
QualificationCertificate
  

LEARN TO CREATE STUNNING GARDENS

  • Become a garden designer
  • or Start a landscaping business
  • Accredited in the UK
  • Find a job, start a business, work in landscaping
  • 150,000 words of unique course notes developed by our staff
  • 200 hour self paced course
  • Support from an international team of highly qualified horticulturists and landscape professionals based both in the UK and Australia
NB: Level 3 in the UK is the 4th level in that system -as such this is a higher level than Australian level 3 certificates!   
 
Develop your ability to describe the principles of using landscaping and other specialist garden elements in the garden, landscape construction, garden design, survey techniques, specialist garden and urban planting.


PLEASE NOTE: This is a fantastic course that students can use anywhere in the world. If you are studying within the UK, you may arrange with the RHS to sit your RHS exams at an approved examination centre, in accordance with RHS requirements. If you are studying outside the UK, from 2015, changes within the RHS outside of our control may impact on the ease with which you can sit RHS exams outside of the UK. Save

If you discuss exam options with the RHS (after completing your assignment work through us) and find you are unable to sit the exam or travel to the UK for some reason then ACS is happy to conduct an exam and recognise a pass by awarding a Foundation Certificate in Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance. To be clear though, it would not have 'RHS' in the title.

Lesson Structure

There are 15 lessons in this course:

  1. History of Garden Design and Styles
    • Garden Styles
    • The Earliest Private Gardens
    • Ancient Mid-Eastern Gardens
    • English Garden History
    • The English Landscape Garden
    • Japanese Influences
    • Important English Landscapers
    • Monastery Gardens
    • Hispano-Arabic Gardens
    • Italian Gardens
  2. Site Appraisals, Basic Surveying Techniques and Client Briefs
    • Influence of Trees on Buildings
    • Influence of Trees on Atmosphere
    • Species Suitability
    • Planning Considerations
    • Pre Planning Survey - Appraising the Site and Collecting Data
    • Understanding Soils
    • Soil Texture
    • Nutrient Availability and pH
    • Landscape Plans and Survey Techniques
    • Site Plan/Base Plan
    • Topographic Plan
    • Concept Plan
    • The Final Plan
    • The Planting Plan
    • Surveying Techniques
    • Steps in the Design Procedure
    • Landscape Graphics
  3. Principles and Elements of Garden Design and the Influence of Site Characteristics
    • Principles and Elements of Landscape Design
    • Creating Landscaping Effects
    • Colour and Garden Design
    • Influence of Site Characteristics
    • The Sun’s Path and Its Affect on Shade
    • Extending the Garden Potential
    • Fragrant Trees and Shrubs
    • Potager and Picking Gardens
    • Determining Shadow Length
    • Gardens with a Sense of Mystery
    • Focal Point Ideas
    • Gardens for Children
    • User Friendly Gardens
    • Seating
    • Shelters
  4. Hard Landscaping Features and their Contribution to Garden Design and Function
    • Hard Surfacing
    • Paving
    • Flexible and Rigid Paving
    • Materials Used in Paving
    • Selecting Materials
    • Coloured Surfaces
    • Barriers and Walls
    • Creating Barriers
    • Fences
    • Plants to Grow on Trellis
    • Stone Walls
    • Garden Structures
    • Gazebos,Verandahs,Pergolas
    • Where to build in the Garden
    • Accessibility
    • The direction of the sun
    • Views
    • Drainage
    • Rockeries
    • Rockery Ideas
    • Water Gardens
    • Fountains, Waterfalls, Pot Ponds, etc
    • Using Water Features in the Landscape
    • Planning for Children's Play
    • Play Differs with Age
    • Child Safety
    • Designing the Garden for Children
    • Play Equipment for Different Ages
    • Recommended Play Surfaces
    • Environmental Sustainability
  5. The Function of Drainage Systems in the Garden
    • Symptoms of Poor Drainage Systems
    • Typical Permeability Rates
    • Solving Drainage Problems
    • Hard Drainage Methods
    • Soft Drainage
  6. Soft Landscaping Features and their Contribution to Garden Design and Function
    • Plant Selection
    • Plant Varieties
    • Colourful Year Round Foliage
    • Plants that Tolerate Poor Drainage
    • Coastal Plantings
    • Trees
    • Selecting Woody Plants
    • Deciduous or Semi-deciduous Trees
    • Evergreen Trees
    • Flowering Shrubs
    • Selecting Flowering Shrubs
    • Establishing Woody Plants
    • Planting Procedure
    • Windbreaks, Hedges and Screens
    • Establishing Hedges and Screens
    • Pruning or Trimming an Established Hedge
    • Alpine Plants
    • Selecting Annual Plants
    • Types of Annual Plants
    • Selecting Annuals of Differing Heights
    • Perennials
    • Selecting Herbaceous Perennial Plants
    • Maintenance Hints For Perennials
    • Scented Plants
    • Dry Gardens
    • Selecting Water Plants
    • Establishing Water Plants
  7. Turf and its Contribution to Garden Design and Function
    • The Benefits of Turf
    • Selecting Turf
    • Turf Varieties
    • Lawn Mixes
    • Wild Flower Meadows
    • Turf Establishment
    • Soil Preparation
    • Sodding/Instant Turf
    • Golden Rules for Laying Instant Turf
    • Drainage
    • Mowing Turf
    • Mowing Heights
    • Direction of Cut or Pattern of Cutting
    • Mower Safety
    • Other Turf Maintenance Techniques
    • Fertilising Turf
    • Weed Control
    • Preventing Dispersal
    • Non Chemical Control Methods
    • Herbicide Use in Turf
    • Turf Health Problems
    • Commonly Used Chemical Pesticides
    • Commonly Used Chemicals; fungicides
    • Spray Equipment
    • Domestic Lawn Care Program
    • Turf Water Needs
    • Understanding the Movement of Soil Water
    • Irrigating Turf
  8. Setting out a Site to Scale Plans and Drawings
    • How Landscape Plans are Presented
    • Setting Out the Site for Landscape Construction
  9. Earthworks, Soil Storage and Drainage Systems
    • Earthworks
    • Slope Stability
    • Soil Types and Foundations
    • Try to Maintain Vegetation Cover Where Possible
    • Developing a Grading Plan
    • Required Grading Drawings
    • Grading Operations
    • Earth Moving Machinery
    • Use Experienced Operators
    • Cost of Earthworks
    • Earthworks Calculations
    • Volumes of Irregular Solids
    • Land Drainage Systems
    • Drainage Design
    • Springs and Under-ground Water Courses
    • What a Landscaper Should Know about Drainage
    • Sub Surface Drainage
    • Gradients
    • Distance between Drain Pipes
    • Depth of Drains
    • Types of Drains
    • Laying the Drain
  10. Landscape Construction Procedures and Materials
    • Paths
    • Load Bearing Capacity
    • Concrete Reinforcement
    • Paving Essentials
    • Paving a Slope
    • Setting out Circular Paving
    • Curved Paving
    • Concrete Surfaces
    • Laying Pebbles
    • Building a Timber Deck
    • Decking Materials
    • Decking Around Pools
    • Changing Levels , step by step
    • Ramps
    • Railings
    • Retaining Walls
    • Construction Materials
    • Types of Retaining Walls
    • Drainage
    • Timber
    • Dry Stone Walls
    • Clay Block Walls
    • Recycled Rubber Walls
    • How to Render a Wall
    • Fencing
    • Fencing Materials
    • Supporting the Fence
    • Tips for Building a Timber Fence
  11. Constructing Rock Gardens and Water Features
    • Rockeries
    • How to Build Artificial Rocks
    • Ponds
    • Construction of a Water Garden
    • How to Make a Water Garden using a Liner
    • How to make a Water Garden using a Preformed Unit
    • Pumps
    • Pond Filtration Systems
    • Work Safety
    • Safe Work Management Plans
    • Risk Assessment of a Landscape Construction Site
    • Risk to the Project
    • Risk to the Workers
    • The Adequacy of Existing Controls
    • Risk Control Methods
    • Example of a Risk Assessment Procedure
    • Example Risk Assessment of Protected Crop Production
    • Safety Techniques
    • Manual Lifting
    • How to Lift
    • Using Machines to do the Heavy Work
  12. Amenity Bedding Schemes
    • Flower Bed Layout for Annuals
    • Other Types of Bedding Schemes
    • Shapes for Beds
    • Achieving the Best Results
    • Colour Themes
    • Get Your Timing Right and Getting the Most out of Your Flower Bed
    • Using Perennials
    • Herbaceous Perennials
    • Making Garden Beds - The Variables
    • Planting
    • Basic Planting Procedure
    • Staking
    • Time of Planting
    • Mulching
    • Pruning
    • Water
    • Popular Annuals
    • Supporting Herbaceous Plants
    • Shade Tolerant Perennials
    • Bulbs which Grow in Shade
    • Plant with Fragrant Flowers
    • Fragrant Foliage
    • Night Scented Plants
    • Some Evergreen Perennials
    • Ornamental Grasses
    • Ornamental Grasses for Year Round Effect
    • Some Ornamental Grass-like Plants
  13. Specialist Garden Areas and Urban Garden Options
    • Specialist Garden Areas
    • Garden Ornaments
    • Plants for the Eclectic Garden
    • Art Gardens
    • Plants for Topiary
    • Hedges
    • Pleaching
    • Miniature and Table Top Gardens
    • Trough Gardens
    • Urban Gardens; other options
    • Acclimatising Indoor Plants
    • How to Care for the Acclimatising Plant
    • Acclimatising Period
    • How to Help Indoor Plants Survive
    • Watering Pot Plants over Short Periods
    • Fertilising
    • Re-potting Tips
    • Inner City Gardens
    • Types of Inner City Gardens
    • Community Gardens
    • Living Walls
    • Courtyards
    • Making a Small Courtyard Look Bigger
    • Natural Garden Planting Design
    • Planting Design Elements for the ‘Natural Garden’
    • Some Plants suited to Wild Gardens
    • Wildlife in Gardens
    • How Plants Benefit Birds
    • Using Ferns in Shaded Areas
    • Sensory Gardens
    • Low Maintenance Amenity Gardens
    • Container Plants
    • Planning the Cropping Program
    • Getting the Best Out of the Vegetable Plot
    • Sowing Vegetable Seeds
    • Sowing and Transplanting Guide
    • Broad Bean
    • Beetroot
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels Sprouts
    • Cabbage
    • Capsicum
    • Carrot
    • Corn(Sweet Corn)
    • Celery
    • Lettuce
    • Onion
    • Pak Choi
    • Parsnip
    • Pea
    • Potato
    • Pumpkins, Maqrrows and Squash
    • Silver Beet
    • Spinach
  14. Specialist Pruning Techniques
    • The Basic Rules of Pruning
    • Pruning and Rejuvinating
    • Controlling the Plants Shape and Size
    • Pruning Overgrown Shrubs
    • Removing Dead or Diseased Wood
    • Controlling the Type of Growth
    • Rejuvenation Limitations
    • Pruning overgrown climbers and wall shrubs
    • Pruning Roses
    • Rejuvenating Old and Overgrown Hedges
    • Specialist Pruning Techniques
  15. Adapting Gardens for Water Sustainability
    • Conserving Water in the Garden
    • Reducing run-off
    • Collecting and Storing Water
    • Water Quality
    • Recycling Water
    • Saving water in the garden
    • Minimising Plant Water Requirements
    • Irrigation - water saving techniques
    • Mulch
    • Mulch Materials
    • The Green Roof

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


Why Study an RHS Course with ACS Distance Education?

  • Teaching RHS courses from both Australia and the UK since the 1990's
  • These are world class courses examined and awarded by the largest horticultural organisation in the world
  • Very strong tutor support -you actually get to communicate one on one with professional horticulturists, each with degree level qualifications in addition to at least a decade of industry experience
  • Course notes developed by ACS staff and backed up by a data base of millions of words of original and unique horticultural resources.


Course Structure

The RHS breaks this certificate into four Units. Our lesson structure relates to those units as follows


Unit 1 - Garden Survey Techniques and the Principles of Garden Design:
  • Lesson 1 - History of Garden Design and Styles
  • Lesson 2 - Site Appraisals, Basic Surveying Techniques and Client Briefs
  • Lesson 3 - Principles and Elements of Garden Design and the Influence of Site Characteristics

Unit 2 - The Selection and Use of Landscaping Elements in the Garden:
  • Lesson 4 - Hard Landscaping Features and their Contribution to Garden Design and Function
  • Lesson 5 - The Function of Drainage Systems in the Garden
  • Lesson 6 - Soft Landscaping Features and their Contribution to Garden Design and Function
  • Lesson 7 - Turf and its Contribution to Garden Design and Function

Unit 3 - Setting out and Construction of Landscaping Elements in the Garden; Risk Assessments
  • Lesson 8 - Setting out a Site to Scale Plans and Drawings
  • Lesson 9 - Earthworks, Soil Storage and Drainage Systems
  • Lesson 10 - Landscape Construction Procedures and Materials
  • Lesson 11 - Constructing Rock Gardens and Water Features

Unit 4 - Specialist Elements in the Establishment of Garden and Urban Plantings:
  • Lesson 12 - Amenity Bedding Schemes
  • Lesson 13 - Specialist Garden Areas and Urban Garden Options
  • Lesson 14 - Specialist Pruning Techniques
  • Lesson 15 - Adapting Gardens for Water Sustainability

  

SITTING THE RHS EXAMS 

This Certificate has 4 exams (one for each unit). Exams are held twice a year by the RHS in February and in June. You must contact and apply to sit exams with the RHS Exams office in Wisely (just outside London). Exam fees are paid to the RHS for these exams. Exams for this course may be able to be arranged in other parts of the world.

ACS offices and offices of ACS affiliates have in the past been approved as a location to site these theory exams.

Another Option -If you are not in the UK, and have difficulty arranging to sit the "official RHS exam" -ACS can also offer the option of conducting an ACS exam, and awarding a Foundation Certificate. (This is not the same as the RHS certificate; but what you study and learn is identical)

If you require assistance with arranging an exam location, staff at ACS is happy to contact the RHS Education office on your behalf if any difficulty is encountered in arranging an exam location; though the final decision is controlled by UK accreditation authorities, and cannot be affected by this or any other college.

Exams can often be arranged to be sat anywhere in the world (but unless you are in the UK, this cannot be given a 100% guarantee as the provision is controlled by UK authorities beyond any school's control).

  • Exams are offered once annually in June. A separate fee applies for exams; set by and paid to the RHS.
  • A network of exam centres are located across the UK for students located in the UK
  • For students located elsewhere; a provision is made for exams to be conducted "under arrangements for exceptional supervision". ACS students will need to arrange to sit exams externally by contacting the RHS: qualifications@rhs.org.uk
  • This is one of several new RHS Qualifications  phased in to replace older courses over the second half of 2010; and revised again in 2015.

How Can This Course Help You?

This is a very comprehensive course which covers a range of garden styles, use of components and elements in the landscape, and principles of design. It is also immersive with regards to plant knowledge and how and where to use plants in design. In addition it covers fruit and vegetable production techniques. The course is a natural upgrade to the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment & Maintenance, but can be taken as a stand-alone course.   
 
People who take this course include those working in, or aspiring to work in:

  • Landscaping and construction
  • Garden maintenance
  • Garden centres
  • Orchards
  • General horticulture

 

 



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Credentials

Member of the Institute of Horticulture Careers Advisory Bureau
Member of the Institute of Horticulture Careers Advisory Bureau

These studies satisfy curriculum developed by the Royal Horticultural Society
These studies satisfy curriculum developed by the Royal Horticultural Society

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council
ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council

ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture.  ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member. http://www.aih.org.au/
ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member. http://www.aih.org.au/



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  Diana Cole

B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
  Gavin Cole

B.Sc., Cert.Garden Design. Landscape Designer, Operations Manager, Consultant, Garden Writer. He was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up his own landscaping firm. He spent three years working in our Gold Coast office, as a tutor and writer for Your Backyard (gardening magazine) which we produced monthly for a Sydney punlisher between 1999 and 2003. Since then, Gavin has contributed regularly to many magazines, co authored several gardening books and is currently one of the "garden experts" writing regularly for the "green living" magazine "Home Grown".
  Rosemary Davies

Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing
  Yvonne Sharpe

RHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. Over 30 years experience in business, education, management and horticulture. Former department head at a UK government vocational college. Yvonne has traveled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.
  Garden Design Part 1
This stunning full colour Garden Design ebook is full of useful tips, information and inspiration. It contains around 300 colour illustrations! It is comprised of three parts: Design, How a Garden Functions and Aesthetics (making it look good).
  Garden Design Part 2
Part 2 of the Garden Design Series is an inspiring accompaniment to the first book, but works equally well in its own right. It's brimming with ideas and practical advice for designing a wide variety of different gardens. You will learn about different styles of gardens and how to create a style to suit a site or client. It contains around 300 colour photos! Written by John Mason over several decades of visiting and photographing gardens, writing, teaching and creating gardens.
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Find out what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse the industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
  Tropical Landscaping
Tropical Landscaping is a style that may be used more in tropical places, but can still be created in cooler climates. This book provides practical advice and inspiration over 8 chapters: “Garden Design”, “Components of a Tropical Garden”, “Building the Garden”, “Outdoor Living Areas”, “Pools, Ponds and Water Features”, “Lawns”. “Plants (to use), and “Caring for Plants”. 103 pages 69 colour photos