Professional Garden Design Training
- Study more, for longer.
- Learn more, be better than your competition; and give yourself every chance for exceptional career and business success.
Duration: 2100 hours (commonly 2 to 3 years full time study or equivalent at your own pace)
This course is made of 21 modules -19 compulsory modules, plus two elective modules.
Module 1. Landscaping I
The ten lessons are as follows:
1. Basic Design Procedure A. - collecting pre-planning information, landscape elements, principles, etc.
2. History of Gardening ... garden styles and themes, famous designers, garden influences.
3. Draughting & Contracting - drawing techniques, specifications, details.
4. Basic Landscape Construction - timber, steps, retainer walls, pathways, play structures, etc.
5. Surfacings - concrete, asphalt, gravels, mulches, grasses, gradients, etc.
6. Furnishings & Features - chairs, statues, figurines, birdbaths, skateboards, safety, etc.
7. Park Design A - good/bad park design characteristics, recreational landscaping.
8. Home Garden design - good/bad garden design characteristics.
9. Design Procedure B - development of concept plans and detailed planting plans.
10. Park Design B - development of park design, fun & fitness trails.
Module 2. Horticulture I
There are twelve lessons in this course, as follows:
1. Plant Identification: Naming plants; distinguishing the taxonomic divisions of plants including family, genus, species and variety or hybrid; identifying the different parts of a flower; distinguishing the morphological characteristics of leaves.
2. Planting: Planting methods used for different types of plants including annuals, perennials, evergreen and deciduous plants; influence of environmental factors on planting techniques.
3. Soils: Classifying soils; sampling and testing soils; chemical and physical properties of soils; soil improvement techniques; composting; potting mixes.
4. Nutrition: Major and micro elements necessary for plant growth; nutrient deficiencies and toxicities; fertilisers.
5. Water Management: Irrigation systems - characteristics, advantages and disadvantages; drainage systems; water wise gardening.
6. Pruning: Pruning techniques; importance of pruning to growth, flowering and fruiting; pruning tools.
7. Weeds: Identifying common weeds; characteristics of weeds; control techniques; herbicides.
8. Pests and Diseases: Identifying common insect and disease problems; control methods; Integrated Pest Management; pesticides; hygiene procedures; chemical safety.
9. Landscaping: Stages of landscaping; design procedures; collating pre-planning information; preparing plans; selecting plants for specified sites.
10. Propagation: Asexual and sexual propagation; taking cuttings; sowing seeds; aftercare of propagated plants.
11. Lawns: Turf grass varieties; laying a new lawn; cultural techniques including watering, fertilizing, topdressing, aerating, pest and disease control.
12. Arboriculture: Tree management techniques including pruning, removal and tree surgery; identifying tree problems.
Module 3. Landscaping II
There are twelve lessons in this subject as follows:
1. The Garden Environment
2. Landscape Materials
3. Using Bulbs and Annuals
4. Landscaping with Trees
5. Ground Cover Plants
6. Walls and Fences
7. Paths and Paving
8. Treatment of Slopes and Other Problem Areas
9. Garden Features
10. Designing for Low Maintenance
11. Development of a Landscape Plan
12. Management of Landscape Projects.
Module 4. Landscaping III (Landscape Styles)
There are 10 lessons in this module as follows:
1.Creating the Mood
5.Middle Eastern and Spanish Style
Module 5. Plant Establishment and Selection
There are ten lessons as follows:
3.Windbreaks, hedges and screens
4.Alpine and water plants
5.Annual and herbaceous plants
8.Pest and disease control
Module 6. Landscape Construction
There are ten lessons as follows:
1.Tools and Machinery
2.Landscape Plans and Setting out a Construction Site
3.Drainage in Landscape Construction
5.Surfaces, Paths, Paving and Turf
6.Construction of Garden Structures I
7.Construction of Garden Structures II
9.Establishing Hedges and Other Plants
10.Workplace Safety and Management of Landscape Construction Work
Module 7. Horticulture II
There are ten lessons in this course plus one Special Assignment (see later for details). The content of each of the ten lessons is outlined below:
1. The Groups of Plants ‑ setting a framework for the whole subject.
2. Use of Plants ‑ plant selection, soils.
3. Australian Native Plants
4. Exotic Ornamental Plants
5. Indoor & Tropical Plants
6. Bedding Plants
8. Fruits, Nuts & Berries
10. Alternative Growing Techniques
Module 8. Horticulture & Research I
The course contains seven lessons:
1. Determining Research Needs
2. Searching for Information
3. Research Methods
4. Using Statistics
5. Conducting Statistical Research
6. Research Reports
7. Reporting on a Research Project
Module 9. Water Gardening
There are eight lessons as follows:
1. Introduction: Scope & Nature of water features, water quality, plants & animals in water, etc.
3. Equipment: Pumps, Lights, Filters etc.
4. Ponds, watercourses, bog gardens, dams –Design & Aftercare.
5. Spas and Swimming Pools –Design & After care
6. Water Features –Indoor & Outdoor –Fountains, Waterfalls, Fish tanks, ponds etc
7. Water Plants
8. Aquatic Animals
Module 10. Playground Design
There are eight lessons in this unit as follows:
1. Overview of Parks & Playgrounds
2. Playground Philosophy
3. Preparing a Concept Plan
5. Park & Playground Structures and Materials
6. Local and Neighbourhood Parks
7. Community Participation In Park Development
8. Special Assignment.
Module 11. Planning Layout and Construction of Ornamental Gardens
There are ten lessons in this unit as follows:
1. Site Appraisal, Interpretation and Risk Assessment
2. Preparing Site Plans and Specifications
3. Influence of Site Characteristics
4. The Use of Hard Landscape Features
5. Setting out a Site to Scale Plans and Drawings
6. Soil Handling and Storage
7. Land Drainage Systems
8. Ground Preparation Techniques
9. Construction of Paths and Patios
10. Construction of Steps, Ramps, Dwarf Walls and Fences
Module 12. Cottage Garden Design
There are eight lessons as follows:
1. Introduction To Cottage Gardens
2. History Of Cottage Gardens
3. Design Techniques and Drawing Plans
4. Plants For Cottage Gardens
5. Planting Design In Cottage Gardens
6. Landscape Features and Components
7. Cottage Gardens Today
8. Special Assignment - Design Of A Complete Garden.
Module 13. Permaculture Systems
The course is divided into eight lessons as follows:
1. Permaculture Principles
2. Natural Systems
3. Zone & Sector Planning
4. Permaculture Techniques
5. Animals in Permaculture
6. Plants in Permaculture
7. Appropriate Technologies
8. Preparing a Permaculture Plan
Module 14. Horticultural Management
There are ten lessons in this course as follows:
1. Horticultural Business Structures
2. Management Theories and Procedures
3. Horticulture & The Law
5. Financial Management
6. Staff Management
7. Improving Plant Varieties
8. Productivity and Risk
9. Managing Physical Resources
10. Developing an Horticultural Business Plan
Module 15. Natural Garden Design
There are 8 lessons in this course as follows:
1. Introduction to Natural Gardens.
2. History of Natural Gardens
3. Developing Concept Plans
4. Plants for Natural Gardens
5. Planting Design in Natural Gardens
6. Natural Garden Features
7. Natural Gardens Today
8. Bringing It All Together.
Module 16. Project Management
There are nine lessons as follows:
5.Project Completion & Evaluation
6.Technical Project Management Skills
8.Improving Key Personnel Skills
Module 17. Restoring Established Ornamental Gardens
There are 8 lessons in this module as follows:
1.Landscape History & Design Styles
2.Surveying the Site
3.Assessment of Plantings and Features
4.Selecting Components for Retention
5.Work Programming and Risk Management
7.Hard Landscape Feature Restoration
8.Planting Restoration and Maintenance
Module 18. Horticulture & Research II
There are 7 lessons in this module as follows:
1. Identifying research issues and determining research priorities.
2. Acquisition of technical information
3. Specialised research techniques
4. Research planning and designing
6. Conducting research
7. Writing reports
Module 19. Workshop I
This course uses PBL (problem-based learning) study projects to develop a "real world" relevance in your overall learning experience
There are 3 lessons in this module as follows:
1. Workplace Tools, Equipment and Materials: Identifying and describing the operation of tools and equipment used in the workplace; routine maintenance of tools and equipment; identifying and comparing materials used in the workplace; using different materials to perform workplace tasks.
2. Workplace Skills: Determining key practical skills in the workplace; identifying and comparing commonly-performed workplace tasks; determining acceptable standards for workplace tasks; implementing techniques for improving workplace efficiency.
3. Workplace Safety: Identifying health and safety risks in the workplace; complying with industry OH&S standards; developing safety guidelines for handling dangerous items
Modules 20 and 21. Electives
plus two relevant electives from horticulture or another area of study of value to people working in landscaping.
For example … Advanced Permaculture; Irrigation – gardens; Trees for Rehabilitation; Horticultural Marketing; Plant Ecology; Conifers; Roses; Perennials; Australian Natives I; Tropical Plants; Photoshop; Starting a Small Business.
HOW WILL THIS LEARNING BUNDLE IN LANDSCAPING BENEFIT ME?
If you want to truly get ahead in this industry then a study program is the best option – however it takes a lot of commitment and study to finish a 2100 hour program, but it is a lot easier (especially when you are studying online) if you are supported by your education provider.
When choosing a course the most important things to consider are:
- Choose a course of study that best suits you and your future aspirations.
- Choose a course of study that will be broad enough for you to enable you to produce designs for a vast range of clients but also for all types of settings, topography and climate.
- Choose a course of study that can be tailored to your needs and ambitions.
- Choose a course of study with a school that will encourage and support you and also give you practical along with theoretical skills.
ACS prides itself on all these things – our learning system ensures that students not only gather information but they absorb, retain and recall it (even years later). Problem Based Learning and Experiential Learning beats Competency based Training hands-down in producing quality graduates. Our courses are based on developing problem solving skills.
Will Studying Help me to be a Professional Designer?
Many people study just to get a qualification, they rush their studies and just manage to scrape through their exams. In the workplace these people are found wanting as they just have not taken the time to gather the theoretical and practical ability to be true professionals. Advancing in a career or becoming a professional designer isn’t just about designing and horticultural skills and knowledge though - the industry needs graduates with:
- Sound demonstrable knowledge and skills across horticulture industry sectors but also pertinent to the job; A qualification is just one part of that, many people have qualifications but it is how you are able to apply and demonstrate your knowledge that will count most to your potential employer.
- Good communication skills: verbal, written and IT skills are the very basis of a professional in any industry and horticulture is no exception. You need to be able to communicate effectively at all levels – with workers, your peers, your employers and importantly your clients.
- Problem solving skills: this is so lacking in many graduates from competency based courses as their range of skills is limited to what is on the ‘list’ of competencies for that course, rather than expanded through the development of problem solving skills like ACS courses. In the work place, and as a professional, you will need to problem solve all the time – you need to be able to think on your feet, come up with quick solutions and make sure that those solutions are carried through and actually work.
- Efficiency: Being efficient doesn’t necessarily mean doing things quickly – efficiency is more linked to being a good organiser, a good planner, performing tasks in the correct, logical order and applying skills with adeptness and expertise.
- Professional attitude: be well presented and a team player, most employers are looking for people who can work with others effectively and work as a team.They prefer people with a demonstrable passion for the industry and those that network in within industry; volunteering to get experience, memberships to clubs, societies, associations; reading literature all help you gain a good profile and make you stand out from others applying for the same positions.
What Can You do to Improve Your Career Prospects?
When you study do it for the right reasons; open yourself up to learning, rushing through a course won’t give you a sound basis of knowledge and skills you need to succeed. When you study know that this is the first step – these days you need to continue learning throughout your entire career to advance.
- Technology also changes rapidly so being open to learning also keeps you abreast of new industry developments. Read, attend conferences, check the news in your industry, read industry papers, network and so on.
- Learn from a variety of sources: reading and learning from a variety of perspectives expands your knowledge, building a mix of skills that will make you stand out from the crowd.
- Make sure your C.V. is well written and presented and set out to current preferences –get help if you need it (tutors at this school will help our students with their C.V.'s if you ask - no cost. Resume writing services can also be used, but they charge).
- Recognise your weaknesses, and work on improving them - not just academically.