Learn to manage landscapes created for recreational use, environmental improvement or visual enhancement. Understand the importance of green space and recreational areas.

Course Code: BHT325
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Study Amenity Horticulture

  • Learn about the various factors that impact successful provision of amenity horticulture facilities
  • Plan better for  parks, streetscapes, urban forests, green walls, interior plantscapes, urban landscapes and more

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


  • 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.

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
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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Bob James (Horticulturist)

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 Maste

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)

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 Depart

John Mason (Horticulturist)

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 edito

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