Landscape Construction

Learn landscape construction materials, methods and operations, drainage, earthworks, structures, equipment, irrigation, on site practices, etc. 100 hours.

Course Code: BHT111
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn Landscape Construction


 
CONSTRUCT A FOUNDATION TO WORK AS A LANDSCAPE GARDENER OR CONTRACTOR

 “This extremely practical course works as the perfect guide to direct the student through tool selection and use, understanding plans, and preparing a site, to the actual construction of landscape features. It’s compelling study for those with a bent towards construction or those working as landscape gardeners.” - Gavin Cole B.Sc., Psych.Cert., Cert.Garden Design, MACA, ACS Tutor.



Course Summary

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Tools and Machinery
    • Manual Handling
    • Materials used for Constructing Tools and Equipment; ferrous metals, non ferrous metals
    • Safety with Electricity
    • Engine Troubleshooting
    • Machine Maintenance
    • Types of Machines
    • Chainsaws: safety, buying, using
    • Brushcutters
    • Earthmoving and Cultivating Equipment; rotary hoes, ploughs, cultivators, etc
    • Workshop and Hand Tools; spanners, chisels, hacksaws etc
    • Hand saws, Rakes, Spades, Shovels, Rollers, Wheelbarrows, Sprayers, etc
  2. Landscape Plans and Setting out a Construction Site
    • Reading Landscape Plans, Scale, etc
    • Understanding and Using Triangulation
    • Slope, Contouring, Grid Systems
  3. Drainage in Landscape Construction
    • Introduction to Drainage
    • Testing Drainage
    • Improving Drainage
    • Improving Soil Water Infiltration
    • Improving Drainage after construction; sand slitting, aerating, sub soiling
    • Sub Surface Drains; types, layout, outlet, gradients, pipe spacing, etc
    • Surface Drainage
    • Soil Testing; testing nutrients, pH, toxins
  4. Earthworks
    • Levelling terminology
    • Levelling Procedure
    • Levelling a Sloping Site
    • Earthmoving
    • Earthmoving Machinery; Bobcat, Backhoe, Dozer
    • Use an Experienced Driver
    • Topsoil Considerations
    • Earth Forming: creating Mounds
    • Building Raised Garden Beds
    • Earth Quantity Calculation
    • Soil Degradation
    • Erosion; water erosion, wind erosion, controlling erosion
    • Soil Acidification Management
    • Managing Soil Compaction
    • Managing Chemical Residues
  5. Surfaces, Paths, Paving and Turf
    • Introduction
    • Surfaces for Play Areas
    • Concrete; concrete, cement, mortar, variations in treatment and use
    • Loose Surfacing Materials: advantages and disadvantages
    • Bark Surfaces, Crushed tiles, pebbles, etc
    • Paths; concrete, asphalt, etc
    • Paving; laying pavers, setting out circular paving, curved paving, edges to paving
    • Lawns and Turf; shape, design, establishment
    • Garden Edges
    • Playing Field Construction
    • Sand Based Technology
    • Constructing Steps
  6. Construction of Garden Structures I
    • Buildings in a Garden; gazebos, verandahs, storage buildings, cubbies, etc
    • Where to build a building
    • Floors and Foundations for Buildings
    • Walls; brick construction, coping, expansion joints, etc
    • Fencing
    • Retaining Walls
    • Wooden Walls
    • Construction with Rock or Masonry; dry walls, wet walls
    • Home Playgrounds
    • Using Timber in the Garden
    • Differences between Softwood and Hardwood
  7. Construction of Garden Structures II
    • Compost Bins
    • Traditional Features: gazebos, statues, gates, arches, sundials, bird baths, urns, tubs, pergolas, pleached alleys, etc
    • Wooden Decks
    • Constructing a Deck
    • Greenhouse and Shadehouse; types, construction, installation
    • Water Features; Waterproofing, keeping water clean
    • Landscaping a pond
    • Tennis Courts
    • Spas
    • Rockery Construction
    • Artificial Rock Formation
    • Mulching Rockeries
    • Garden Furniture
    • Lighting in the Garden
  8. Irrigation Systems
    • Planning an Irrigation System
    • Types of Systems: sprinkler, drip, automatic, etc
    • Using and Maintaining an Irrigation System
  9. Establishing Hedges and Other Plants
    • Factors affecting successful plant establishment
    • Physical Plant Protection Methods
    • Hedges; site preparation, plant selection, spacing, planting, pruning, hedge maintenance
  10. Workplace Safety and Management of Landscape Construction Work
    • Risk Management on a Landscape Construction Site
    • The Risks
    • Keeping a Work Site Safe
    • Duty of CareSignificance of Illness
    • Protective Clothing
    • Safety with Tools and Equipment
    • Safety with electricity and different types of equipment
    • Tool Maintenance

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Tools and Machinery
  2. Landscape Plans and Setting out a Construction Site
  3. Drainage and Landscape Costruction
  4. Earthworks
  5. Surfaces, Paths, Paving and Turf
  6. Construction of Garden Structures I
  7. Construction of Garden Structures II
  8. Irrigation Systems
  9. Establishing Hedges and other Plants
  10. Workplace Safety and Management of Landscape Construction Work

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.



What Does a Garden Cost?

 

Costs in a garden have a tendency to sneak up on us, but with a little forethought and the right choices, you can vastly increase the value for money you spend.

Gardens can be relatively cheap or very expensive. Unlike most other things we buy though, most of us tend not to think about the full cost of what we do in our garden.

  • Do you know what you spend on your garden every year? 
  • How much do you want to spend on your garden next year? 
  • Do you go to the local garden supplier just to see what you can find?
  • Do you have to go to the hardware store for a new tool every time you have a job to do? 

If you answered ‘yes’ or ‘don’t know’ to any of these questions, maybe it’s time to think about working out a garden budget.


The Budget

Gardening should be part of your household budgeting.  Like your household budget, it requires realistic estimates of how much you can afford to spend, what you would like to buy, and what you need to buy.  A garden budget will also help you to control those impulse purchases that you might later regret. 

Remember, an attractive garden can add to the value of your property. Money wisely spent on improving your garden adds to your quality of life and is also a sensible financial investment. 


Having a Plan

Many people simply let their gardens 'happen'.  If you have a garden plan, you can work out what tasks need to be done and in what order to do them. This can make budgeting much easier. 

Plans can be either a drawing of how you would like your garden to look, a list of priorities for the garden, or a combination of both. Once you have this, you can work out how much each item is going to cost and whether you can afford it.   
 

Set-Up Costs
Costs for establishing a new garden or rejuvenating parts of an old garden are much greater than ongoing maintenance expenses. Set-up costs include things like:

  • Paving 
  • Fences
  • Retaining walls
  • Furniture and garden ornaments
  • Drainage
  • Irrigation
  • Lighting
  • Water features
  • Plants
  • Turf
  • Soils, mulch and fertilisers

For each category, you will need to work out a realistic budget. If your budget is limited, you may need to choose between using cheaper materials (e.g. recycled, seconds, second-hand, home-made) or using better materials but less of them (e.g. having a smaller paved area, smaller pond, or fewer plants).


Maintenance Costs

All gardens require maintenance, but the cost of maintenance can be greatly reduced by making the right design choices. Some examples are as follows:

  • Gardens with less lawn will usually require less maintenance.
  • Certain varieties of lawn grass need mowing more often than others.
  • Gardens that are designed to have very sharp straight or smooth edges (e.g. between a garden and paving) require those edges to be trimmed regularly. If the design allows for uneven edges then the frequency of trimming is less.
  • When foliage textures and colours are mixed, weed growth tends to be less noticed - but when they are uniform, a weed will be far more obvious.
  • Some plants (e.g. conifers, leptospermum, or eucalyptus) will deter weed growth under their canopy.
  • Paths that are shaded, sloping and near to plants which drop leaves will require more frequent cleaning if they are not to become a safety hazard.
  • Plants that attract or harbour pests or diseases are going to cost more to maintain.
  • Plants that are shorter-lived (e.g. annuals and biennials) will need to be replaced more often.
  • Hedges can cost more to maintain if you use faster growing plants. Slower growing plants take time to establish, but require trimming less regularly.
  • Despite needing routine trimming, a hedge can be used neaten up a garden even when a garden bed behind it is poorly maintained (i.e. a trimmed hedge can take one’s attention away from weeds and shabby plants behind it).

Here are just some of the ongoing costs you may need to spend money on to keep a garden looking good:

  • Power tools
  • Replacement tools
  • Tool servicing
  • New plants
  • Annual plants
  • Mulches and fertilisers
  • Soil to top-dress the lawn
  • Water for irrigation
  • Ties and stakes
  • Pest control chemicals and equipment

Keep these costs in mind when you design the garden, and you will be able to minimize the long term cost of your garden maintenance.


The Plants

For a small garden, the cost of plants might not be a major issue but as people with larger gardens know, re-stocking plants for a large area can cost an awful lot of money.

One solution is to buy mostly smaller plants, and wait for them to grow. Another is to propagate them yourself. You might also try talking to your local nurseryman about discounts for bulk purchases. If you work out what you need and buy all of your plants at once, most nurserymen will offer some sort of discount.

Also, instead of buying vegetable and flower seedlings, buy seeds and grow your own. It may be more time-consuming and a slower process, but new trees and shrubs can be grown from seeds or cuttings if you know how to do it. Buy a book or do a plant propagation course. It doesn’t take too much to learn the basics.
 








WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?


  • Those who work or would like to work in the landscaping industry but do no have any formal training.
  • Landscape designers - you need to understand the fundamentals of landscape construction in order to produce effective designs.
  • The home landscaper that would like to tackle some smaller landcaping jobs
  • The professional gardener who would like to expand their business opportunities

ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.

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

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

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.

Principal John Mason has been honoured to be awarded a Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia, having been an active member since 1974.

Our Principal John Mason, was awarded a fellowship by the Australian Institute of Horticulture in 2010

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112


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.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


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 has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

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 exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. 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.


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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

Adriana Fraser (Horticulturist)

Over 30 years working in horticulture, as a gardener, propagator, landscape designer
, teacher and consultant. Adriana has spent much of her life living on large properties, developing and maintaining her own gardens, and living a semi self sufficient li

John Mason (Horticulturist)

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant.
Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK.
He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world.





Tutors

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

Jacinda Cole

B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA

Jacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.

Lachlan Allan

BA (Hons) Business Administration, BEng (Hons) Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Lachlan has experience in the hospitality, banking and utilities sectors in managerial positions in the UK. Following a career change after moving to Australia, he is also experienced in the medical engineering field where he was an engineer responsible for devices at hospital sites and laboratories

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