Foundation Certificate in Garden Planning and Development Level 3

A fast track certificate to build on prior learning or experience. 200 hours covers planning, construction and planting for gardens. Advance your career or business prospects.

Course Code: VHT042
Fee Code: S4
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 200 hours
Qualification Certificate
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LEARN TO CREATE STUNNING GARDENS

  • Become a garden designer
  • or Start a landscaping business
  • 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
 
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.

 

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 a Foundation Certificate Course with ACS Distance Education?

 

  • 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

 
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

  

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.
 
People who take this course include those working in, or aspiring to work in:

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

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

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

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

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.


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

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What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding in your selected discipline. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Jacinda Cole (Horticulturist)

B.Sc., Cert.Garden Design. Landscape Designer, Operations Manager, Consultant, Garden Writer.
She was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up her own landscaping firm. She spent three ye

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

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





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Rosemary Davies

Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of 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.

Alexander O'Brien

Alex was born and raised in Cork, in the Republic of Ireland. Having been trained in Architecture, Permaculture, Mechanical Engineering, Ceramics, Furniture Design/Construction, Sustainable building and Art,Craft and Design, his knowledge base is broad. Much of his professional work has been designing and making nature inspired spaces, creative reuse of materials, permaculture and natural ecology regeneration.

That being said, in his own words, "....my real passion is teaching. I adore sharing my knowledge and experience. Seeing students progress, and learning, that is my soul food."'

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