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Course Title: Residential Garden Planning and Care

Residential Garden Planning and Care

Horticulture Course
Price:£325 Qualification: Certificate

Certificate in Residential Garden Planning and Care. Formally known as the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance, which has now been updated in line with new RHS protocols, you will find this course invaluable if you want to pursue a career in residential garden design, or are already doing so.

If you require an RHS qualification, please click here

Course Structure for Residential Garden Planning and Care

This course consists of 10 in-depth lessons which comprehensively cover a wide variety of subjects required to become a professional garden designer.

To receive a certificate awarded by an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation, the learner must sit and pass a final written exam taken at a time and place of their choosing. Students can also elect not to sit the exam and obtain a Certificate of Achievement instead, for completing the course.

Principles of Garden Design

  • Introduction
  • Landscape Principles (Unity, Balance, Proportion, Harmony, Contrast, Rythm)
  • Design Elements (Line, Form, Mass, Space, Texture, Colour, Tone)
  • Landscape Effects
  • Colour in Garden Design
  • Formal Gardens
  • Informal Gardens
  • Cottage Gardens
  • Minimalist Gardens
  • Natural Landscapes
  • Oriental Gardens
  • Mediterranean Gardens
  • Tropical Gardens
  • Plant Identification, Culture and Use -Reviewing a range of plants

Conducting Garden Surveys and Planning

  • Appraising a Site and Collecting Data for Planning
  • Components of the Pre Planning Phase
  • Use of Hard Garden Features and Hard Surfaces
  • Scale for Landscape Plans
  • Triangulation
  • Surveying Slope
  • Direct Contouring
  • The Grid System
  • Levelling Terminology and Procedure
  • The site Plan
  • Concept Plan
  • Final Plan
  • Other Plans
  • Design Procedure
  • Landscape Graphics
  • Putting Pen to Paper
  • Lettering and Graphics

Use of Hard Landscaping Features

  • Hard and Soft Landscaping
  • Surfaces in the Garden
  • Paving
  • Using Pebbles
  • Rockeries
  • Mulching and Erosion Matting
  • Barriers and Walls
  • Trellis
  • Types of Fencing
  • Patios
  • Seating
  • Garden Structures
  • Garden Art, Features and Furnishings
  • Pools, Ponds and Water Gardens
  • Environmental Sustainability

Use of Soft Garden Features

  • Choosing Plants
  • Purchasing Plants
  • Trees in the Landscape (Deciduous, Semi Deciduous, Evergreen)
  • Shrubs
  • Perennials and Herbs
  • Types of Herb Gardens
  • Wildflower Meadows
  • Perennial Displays
  • Annuals
  • Flower Bed Design
  • Cottage Gardens
  • Scented Plants
  • Climbers and Growing plants on Trellis
  • Lawns and Turf varieties

Plant Establishment and Maintenance

  • Plants in the Landscape
  • Plant Selection
  • Environmental Factors
  • Improving Environmental Conditions
  • Selecting the Right Plant
  • Which Plant to Buy
  • Understanding Soils and Fertility
  • Plant Nutrition
  • Preparing a Garden
  • Transplanting Techniques
  • Fertilising and Staking
  • Planting Bare Rooted Plants
  • Time of Planting
  • Planting Mistakes to Avoid
  • Gardening in Dry Areas
  • Colourful Year Round Foliage
  • Establishing Annual and Herbaceous Plants
  • Selecting Herbaceous Plants and Bulbs
  • Dividing and Separating Perennials
  • Herbaceous Borders
  • Maximising Flower Displays
  • Selecting Woody Plants
  • Trees and Tree Health
  • Selecting Flowering Shrubs
  • Hedges
  • Climbers
  • Water Plants and Pond Management
  • Plant Health
  • Weed Management


  • What, Where and Why Prune
  • Removing Dead and Diseased Wood
  • Controlling Type of Growth
  • Distinguishing between Bud Types
  • Controlling Shape and Size
  • Pruning to Rejuvinate a Plant
  • Winter Pruning
  • How to Prune
  • Pruning Different Specific Plant Genera
  • Espaliers
  • Dead Heading
  • Tree Pruning
  • Stopping, Debudding, Root Pruning, Dead heading etc.

Lawns; Establishment and Maintenance

  • Turf Establishment
  • Soil Preparation
  • Seeding, Stolonising, Sodding, Sprigging, Plugging
  • Mowers and Mowing Turf
  • Fertilising Turf
  • Renovation: aeration, scarification, top dressing etc

Outdoor Food Production; Vegetables

  • Introduction to Growing Outdoor Food Crops
  • Growing Techniques for Vegetables
  • Planning a Crop
  • Starting a Vegetable Garden
  • Managing the Crop (Weed Control, Pests, Water etc)
  • Special Techniques: No Dig, Green Manure, Cover Crops, Compost etc)
  • Sustainable Cultivation Techniques
  • Planting Techniques
  • Review of major Vegetable Crops
  • Managing Water and Irrigation

Outdoor Food Production; Fruit

  • Choosing a Site and Establishing an Orchard
  • Location, Climate, Rainfall and other Site Considerations
  • Deciding what to Grow
  • Scope of Fruit Growing
  • Pest and Disease Management on Fruit -Chemical and Non Chemical
  • Environmental Problems and their Management
  • Pruning Fruit Trees
  • Pollination
  • Review of Significant types of Fruits, Berries and Citrus
  • Developing a Production Plan

Protected Cultivation

  • Introduction to Protected Growing
  • Types of Growing Structures
  • Factors Affecting Light Transmission in Growing Structures
  • Management of Greenhouses: Benches, Hygeine, Watering, Temperature Control etc
  • Shade Houses
  • Computerised Environmental Control
  • Heating Systems
  • Controlling Light
  • Irrigation & Nutrition Control
  • Feeding Plants
  • Pest and Disease Control in Greenhouses
  • Containers for Growing in
  • Potting Media
  • Indoor Plants and their Management

Aims of Residential Garden Planning and Care

  1. Develop an understanding of: design principles and how to apply them
  2. Basic surveying; garden features, plant selection; garden planning.
  3. Develop an understanding of plant selection, establishment and maintenance of a range of ornamental plants and lawns.
  4. Develop an understanding of basic cultural operations and production methods for outdoor vegetable and fruit crops.
  5. Develop an understanding of: environmental controls, uses and appropriate applications of greenhouses and other protected plant growing structures
  6. The production of a range of plants in protected structures and the care of plants in the house and conservatory.

Price: £340
Qualification: Certificate
Estimated Course Duration: 100 hours
Available Learning Methods: Online, USB (+£5) and Correspondence (+£55)
Enrolment Dates: Our courses are self-paced and you can start at anytime

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As soon as payment has been confirmed you will be able to access your course materials online within 24 hours. Any further correspondence will arrive at your address between 3-4 days.

For any Questions or to Enrol please call 01227 789 649