Advanced Certificate in Ornamental Horticulture

Course CodeVHT077
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate


This collection of courses provides professional training for people to work in the management, care and development of gardens, parks, sports grounds, or other areas of amenity horticulture (e.g. tree management, turf management, interior plantscaping).

It is an extremely comprehensive course that is aimed at technician or management level, for people  working or looking to work in positions such as: managers, technical officers, or consultants.

This course is designed to assist the graduate to gain employment in any area of ornamental horticulture; for example: Garden Company Manager, Technical Officer, Marketing Manager, Consultant, Teacher, Gardens Manager, Horticultural Writer.

ACS was founded by John Mason, former parks director, nurseryman and landscape designer, in 1979 as Australian Horticultural Correspondence School. Mr Mason heads a faculty of more than a dozen highly qualified and experienced horticulturists, spread across Australia and beyond. 

What is Involved in Managing Ornamental Horticulture?

The ultimate goal of anyone doing this course will be to be involved in the provision and management of landscapes. This always starts with planning the landscape, then moves on to building the landscape, and following that, managing it's ongoing maintenance and use.

This course will develop your awareness, understanding, knowledge and skills in all of these areas for all types of landscapes.

Some graduates will go on to work across a broad scope of these tasks (e.g. a parks manager), while others may become specialists (e.g. garden designers, nurserymen, irrigation consultants).

What to Plan For?

The first planning decision is to allocate land for amenity horticulture purposes. This involves deciding the different types of sites then their location and size. Initial planning for amenity horticulture sites may involve the following:

Home gardens – factors to consider include deciding the minimum and maximum sizes of residential properties that will be permitted; what uses will be allowed on zoned land, and whether single or multiple dwellings will be allowed on properties.

Streetscapes and car parks – consider how much land should be allocated to public car parks, road verges or nature strips, whether traffic islands will be landscaped or hard sealed (concreted), etc.

Public facilities (e.g. schools, community centres, public swimming pools) – such facilities can add to the overall quantity of land within a locality that is used for amenity horticulture. Provision of facilities may be shared by the wider community, and if so, reduce usage pressures on other local facilities.

Reserves – some sites need to be reserved for one reason or another; for example, land might be set aside for watercourses, pipe lines, access roads, or because the land is prone to flooding. Though the primary reason for restricting development might not be for amenity horticulture, these sites are often allocated for amenity horticulture purposes.

Commercial properties – factors to consider include minimum sizes be, what percentage of the property is reserved for landscaping, to what extent buildings will be allowed, what types of use will be designated (e.g. golf course or office building, hotel, shopping centre).

Parks – these may be allocated on the basis of type of use, size or even the clientele they serve. For example, on the basis of clientele: 

  • neighbourhood parks serve the local neighbourhood or areas within easy walking distance
  • community parks serve a larger but still local community

  • regional parks serve a wider area with clientele being drawn from a number of communities.




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