Landscaping Home Gardens

Landscaping ideas for garden landscaping, studying landscaping design for backyard landscaping, front yard landscaping and landscaping design.

Course CodeAHT103
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Design the garden and landscape that you want in your own garden

  • Design a beautiful garden at home
  • Create a better garden for your home
  • Learn to produce a Landscaping Plan
  • Avoid wasting thousands of dollars on the wrong plants and landscaping materials
Study backyard landscaping, front yard landscaping, landscaping plants
Be guided by a team of internationally renowned garden experts
“I've designed hundreds of home gardens over the years; and come to realize that no matter how good a designer is; the only person who can really create the best design for you is yourself!
You know your own need, likes and dislikes better than anyone; and the only thing you are missing is often, knowing how to put it all together.
This course shows you how to take your desires and systematically plan to bring them to life.
If you can afford the time to learn garden design, this is a really good way to move forward in the creation of your ultimate garden"  

John Mason FIOH, FAIH, FPLA, Garden Editor, author and principal of ASC Distance Education

This course is designed to teach you how to design (or renovate) a home garden; and then, to maintain it.  

It aims above all to develop a solid understanding of the principles and procedures underlying the design and development of garden areas.  The course is relevant to both small and large landscapes, equally of value in developing a new home garden, or improving an existing one.  Though consideration is given to both design and construction, the emphasis in this subject is on landscape design.

Each one of the ten assignments will require written answers to set questions (sometimes drawings), plus a series of plant reviews. Learning about plants in the context of their landscape use is so very important to developing any garden. Choosing the wrong plants or using them in an inappropriate way can create structural and maintenance problems; not to mention detract from the overall aesthetic of the garden.

Six plants are to be illustrated and reviewed with each assignment.  Each plant should be labeled with both scientific and common names plus details of size and shape, conditions it will grow in, maintenance requirements, lifespan, appearance (and any way it's appearance might change throughout the year) plus several recommendations as to suitable situations it could be used in by the landscaper.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Designing Gardens - the basics of design concepts through to understanding how to use them.
  2. Styles of Gardens - formal, informal, natural, and other themes.
  3. Drawing Plans ‑Designing Gardens - learn how to draw basic landscape features and garden designs.
  4. Understanding Soils - clays, loams, sands - how to identify them and treat them for better plant growth.
  5. Basic Landscape Construction - what is involved to build basic structures like steps, walls, paths, etc.
  6. Weeds & Pests - how to identify and treat garden weeds and pests.
  7. Planting and Pruning - techniques to plant, prune and care for garden plants.
  8. Lawns, paving and other surfacing - care for various surfaces
  9. Garden Features - how to select and use garden features in a landscape.
  10. Developing "YOUR" Garden - Special Project

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.


  • Understand the design procedure and the principles of landscape design
  • Develop knowledge of garden styles through history and apply this to your own designs
  • Develop skills in graphical techniques for plan drawing
  • Develop knowledge of soil properties and their relevance to home horticulture
  • Understand the principles and practices of basic landscape construction
  • Develop knowledge of pests and weeds, and their management in home horticulture
  • Develop skills in planting and pruning for home gardens
  • Develop knowledge of lawns and surfaces appropriate to home landscaping
  • Develop knowledge of landscape furnishings and other features appropriate for home gardens
  • Utilise skills developed during this course to develop a landscape design for a home garden.

Tips for Home Landscaping



Many areas around a house can be suited to growing tropical or warm climate plants because a warm micro climate is created. Courtyards, especially, paved or concreted areas tend to have much higher temperatures than other parts of the garden. Balconies too, can often experience a slightly higher temperature, particularly if they are well protected ones.


With a little imagination, research & planning a courtyard or balcony can become the most striking part of your home, drawing your attention from the interior of the house, and creating a feeling of extra space or of the exotic. Landscaping a courtyard or balcony is similar to landscaping any other type of garden; in that planning is the key.



Often courtyards and balconies are exposed places, if not to wind then to sun which can be inhospitable to many types of plants. Wind in particular may be a problem, and depending on the aspect, a balcony may be either a sun trap, becoming too hot at times; or continually in the shade, starved of light and warmth particularly in winter. Balconies may be protected by large trees growing nearby, or shaded by adjacent tall buildings. Large structures may also create wind tunnels though, complicating the task of successful gardening.



Consider possible uses for the area to be landscaped?

Your selection will depend on the amount of space available, and it's outlook. It might be for sun baking, for outdoor living, for outdoor entertaining, for eating outside, for growing cut flowers, herbs or vegetables to use inside, for aesthetics (to make the building look good from outside, or to provide a feature to look at from inside.

Consider the walls of the building backing the area?

Consider the style of the wall, if it's attractive - then landscape to complement it and show it off; if it's unattractive - then landscape to hide the walls, or do something, such as painting to improve the appearance of the wall.

Are there side walls?

These will help to further "contain" the area. This can have a variety of effects, such as blocking off neighbouring units, restricting good views or blocking out bad ones, reducing the overall feeling of extra space that more open verandahs provide, reducing wind (which can be both beneficial, making the area more pleasant, or can reduce the cooling effect that the wind provides on hot days).

What type of windows or doors lead or look out onto the courtyard or balcony?

Remember the view from inside. It is important to avoid placing objects, such as outdoor furniture, B-B-Q's, or plant containers where they will create obstructions or reduce access.

  • Surfaces might be dressed up by paving, or by painting to create different effects.
  • Getting more use of available space.

Look at existing structures that are currently within the area to be landscaped. Are they essential? Are they aesthetically in tune with what you desire in a landscaped arrangement? If not remove them, at the very least you might try to hide them.


Flexible Study with ACS Distance Education

ACS Distance Education is unique. We allow you to choose how you study, where you study, what you study, how much you study, and when you study. 

  • Work fast or slow –you choose the intensity of study
  • Start, pause or restart according to changing demands of work, family or lifestyle.
  • Study this course by itself; or combine with others for a qualification
  • Mix and match modules so you only study what you want or need to learn -We allow you to construct your own “tailor made” certificates
  • Options in assignments allow you to focus on things with greater interest to you.
  • Study electronically (online or using a CD); or using printed notes.
  • Use (or don’t use) supplementary services for extra learning want –unlimited access to tutors,  an online student room, social media, bookstore, etc
  • Orientation video and student Manual at the start of your course will provide a clear guide to how you can study and get all sorts of support no matter where you live
Contact one of our academic staff for free course counselling and learn from our vast experience in landscaping gardens.

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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 (c
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
John Mason

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.
Jacinda 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 year
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