Course CodeBHT325
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


There are 7 lessons in this module as follows:

  1. Adapting Amenity Horticulture to Changing needs
  2. Macro Panning for Amenity Land Provision
  3. Resources and Information.
  4. Environmental impacts
  5. Economic Impacts
  6. Community Involvement
  7. Developing a Management Plan


  • Identify optional management approaches for amenity horticulture sites.
  • Determine varying features of optional management approaches for amenity horticulture sites.
  • Explain planning concepts and processes used for provision of amenity land.
  • Identify and describe up to date information sources relating to changing influences on the amenity industry
  • Explain current social environmental issues as they evolve in a changing political climate, for example community involvement, sustainability, public/private partnerships
  • Explain current economic issues as they evolve in a changing political climate, for example community involvement, sustainability, public/private partnerships
  • Describe Methods of community involvement from user surveys and consultation exercises through to physical involvement using volunteer groups.
  • Explain the relationship between the amenity industry, government policies and communities.
  • Critically evaluate the means by which the community can be engaged with the amenity industry.
  • Determine the impact of community policies on local strategies
  • Determine relevant issues (social, political, economic and environmental) that relate to management of amenity sites.
  • Develop an appropriate management plan for an amenity site.

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Adapting Amenity Horticulture to Changing Needs
    • What is an amenity horticulture site
    • Challenges of amenity horticulture: political, social, economic, environmental
    • Management of Amenity horticulture sites
    • Defining a mission, vision, goals and activities planning
    • Ensuring that the above are reached or planned within a specified timeframe
    • Managing budgets
    • Managing human resources
    • Managing material resources
    • Managing natural resources
    • Management options
    • Amenity sites; horticultural displays
    • Management framework
    • Types of organisational structures
    • Chains of command
  2. Macro Planning for Amenity Land Provision
    • Macro planning introduction
    • What to plan for
    • Principles of neighbourhood planning
    • What is a community
    • Principles of leisure facility planning, including sports grounds
  3. Resources and Information
    • Information sources
    • PBL project to create and present a report that identifies, describes and uses up-to-date information sources relating to changing influences on the amenity industry
  4. Social, Cultural and Environmental Impacts
    • Introduction
    • Comparing positive and negative aspects of different factors
    • Examples of environmentally driven management decisions
    • Cultural, social and environmental issues
  5. Economic Impacts
    • Financing amenity horticulture sites
    • What are we funding
    • Funding sources
    • Funding amounts
    • Human resource management
    • Volunteer management
    • Material resources management
  6. Community Involvement
    • Amenity horticulture and the community
    • Where might you find community participation
    • Community needs or wants: not always the same
    • What motivates community involvement
    • Community participation to develop parks and playgrounds
  7. Developing a Management Plan
    • PBL project to create and present a management plan for an amenity horticulture site.
    • Components of a management plan
    • What to do to make those plans come true
    • Staff morale and enthusiasm
    • Involving the community so that they take responsibility
    • Solving the budget problem without cutting on services

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.

The management of amenity horticulture sites requires a broad understanding of all the factors that have an influence on the site itself: social, political, legal, financial and environmental. It also requires consideration of the value of the site for the community, region and, in some cases, for the country or the world. Decisions adopted must take into account all these interactions and what the consequences will be in all those aspects.
  • The type of management performed will depend on:
  • The type of amenity site: small or large, public or private, garden or natural park, etc.
  • Value of the site: economically, socially, environmentally, historic
  • Financial resources available and accountability for those resources
  • Number and skills of personnel available to care for the site
  • Projected long-term land planning for the site and for the geographical area.
There are many different options for how amenity horticulture sites can be managed. Concerning the organisation of the amenity industry services, options might include:
  • Sub-contracting all maintenance and development (landscaping) to outside contractors
  • Sub-contracting development (landscaping), but employing staff for maintenance
  • Employing full-time gardening staff to handle all work
  • Employing full-time gardening staff to handle routine work, but sub-contracting extra ordinary work (e.g. tree surgery, chemical spraying)
  • On larger properties, sub-contracting selected tasks requiring expensive or specialist equipment which might not be viable to purchase (this may even include large mowers, travel towers for tree work, etc.)
  • Employing staff but hiring expensive equipment that is only periodically used
  • In public facilities (e.g. parks, schools, church grounds), community participation may be used (e.g. working bees to clean up a site, or even for routine maintenance).
Often the simplest solution may be to sub-contract the task of maintaining the site (whether private or public). This may be appropriate in many circumstances, but it can limit your capacity to change direction in the way you manage the site if circumstances change.

Key functions of management are planning, organising, training, leading and controlling the work/activities of the members of an organisation. The management’s effectiveness, or lack of it, can be judged from the way in which they carry out these key functions.
A good horticultural manager needs both horticultural and management skills appropriate to the task at hand. Such managers typically come to the job from either a horticultural background (but often lacking a comparable level of management skill and experience) or from a management background (usually lacking a comparable level of horticultural knowledge and expertise).
The best managers are those who integrate perfectly both horticultural and management skills, acquiring those they are less experienced in through formal or informal studies. Some achieve a balance between the two roles by hard work; others have developed that balance before coming to such a management role. An example of the latter might be a horticulturist who started with his or her own company and grew with it.

Management begins with careful planning to establish and meet organisational goals plus comply with legislative demands. Good managers use planning to determine the best course of action in a particular situation, or over a period of time, such as a year. Clear goals enable more logical and methodical decisions on how to achieve those goals, and take into consideration such factors as cost, resources, anticipated growth or decrease and market trends.
Organising is the process of coordinating people and resources to achieve goals. Managers who can use resources (time, money, skills, people) more efficiently and effectively will improve organisational productivity, whereas managers who under-utilise existing resources or use them inefficiently will decrease organisational productivity. Truly effective organisation depends on successful integration and coordination of many factors, including processes and people to achieve set goals, and to balance between competing goals and priorities.
Leadership is the means by which managers influence subordinates to get things done in the desired way. Managers can best lead by creating an atmosphere that helps and encourages people to do their best. Leadership is less about power than it is about harnessing the capabilities and motivation of others to achieve goals. Effective leadership also ensures that priorities take precedence, and are clearly communicated to all involved.
Management is partly about exercising control, and this can be done in many ways. Control helps keep the people in an organisation on track, and helps maintain and monitor processes to ensure that their outcomes are what is expected or desired. To carry out these processes effectively, managers must have the following qualities:
  • Ability to make decisions, including difficult decisions
  • Willingness to take responsibility for outcomes and for their subordinates
  • Ability to work with and through other people (i.e. delegate)
  • Ability to balance conflicting or competing goals and priorities
  • Ability to analyse and explain concepts
  • Ability to deal with different people, and the conflicts that can arise between them
  • Ability to focus on goals to get things done
  • Good communications skills.
Managers must work on maintaining their awareness. A good manager is an up-to-date manager. Managers can maintain awareness in many different ways, such as:
  • Active involvement with professional associations (e.g. attending conferences, serving on committees, networking).
  • Subscribing to and reading newspapers, trade publications, e-zines or anything else that is relevant to their job
  • Conducting market research; or accessing and reading survey data gathered by others
  • Talking with staff who are in direct contact with clients/customers
  • Communicating directly with clients/customers

Meet some of our academics

Bob James Bob has over 50 years of experience in horticulture across both production sectors (Crops and nursery) and amenity sectors of the industry. He holds a Diploma in Agriculture and Degree in Horticulture from the University of Queensland; as well as a Masters Degree in Environmental Science. He has worked a Grounds Manager at a major university; and a manager in a municipal parks department. Over recent years he has been helping younger horticulturists as a writer, teacher and consultant; and in that capacity, brings a diverse and unique set of experiences to benefit our students.
Gavin Cole Gavin started his career studying building and construction in the early 80's. Those experiences have provided a very solid foundation for his later work in landscaping. In 1988 he completed a B.Sc. and a few years later a Certificate in Garden Design. In the mid 90's he worked as a manager and garden designer with the well respected UK company -The Chelsea Gardener. A few years later he formed his own garden design business, at first in the UK, and later operating in Queensland Australia. He has since moved to, and works from Adelaide. Apart from his work in landscaping, Gavin has been a prolific garden writer and a tutor with ACS Distance Education since 2001. He is currently part of the team of garden experts that produce Home Grown magazine.
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; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Rosemary Davies Rosemary trained in Horticulture at Melbourne Universities Burnley campus; studying all aspects of horticulture -vegetable and fruit production, landscaping, amenity, turf, aboriculture and the horticultural sciences. Initially she worked with the Department of Agriculture in Victoria providing advice to the public. Over the years she has taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing

Check out our eBooks

Getting Work in HorticultureFind out what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse the industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
ManagementManagement is the process of planning, organising, leading, and controlling an organisation’s human and other resources to achieve business goals. More importantly though, effective management needs to be a process of human interaction and compassion. Most bad managers don’t know they are bad. They may well admit that they are a bit erratic, or they are sometimes late to appointments, but it is rare that they will recognise that they are ineffective as managers. Never here. This book has something to offer even the best of managers.
Professional Practice for ConsultantsExplore becoming a consultant. This ebook contains chapters on how to be a consultant, packaging your services, delivering the services, building your resources, finding the work and getting the job, planning and ethics.
What to Plant WhereA great guide for choosing the right plant for a particular position in the garden. Thirteen chapters cover: plant selection, establishment, problems, and plants for wet areas. Shade, hedges and screens, dry gardens, coastal areas, small gardens, trees and shrubs, lawns and garden art.



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