Foundation Certificate in Residential Garden Planning and Care Level 2

Course CodeVHT039
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)150 hours
QualificationCertificate

Learn to Plan, Build and Maintain New Gardens

  • A very intensive course of study
  • Course notes developed by our team of professional horticulturists, from Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and England
  • An exceptional and unique foundation, for a business or career in landscaping, in any country, in any climate!
 

 

There are 10 lessons here, spread across 4 units:

Unit 1 – Garden features, plant selection and planning.

Unit 2 – The choice, establishment and maintenance of garden plants and lawns.

Unit 3 – The production of outdoor vegetables and fruit.

Unit 4 – Protected environments and their use in plant cultivation.

 

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. 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
  2. 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
    • Leveling Terminology and Procedure
    • The site Plan
    • Concept Plan
    • Final Plan
    • Other Plans
    • Design Procedure
    • Landscape Graphics
    • Putting Pen to Paper
    • Lettering and Graphics
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
    • Seed
    • 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
  6. Pruning
    • What, Where and Why Prune
    • Removing Dead and Diseased Wood
    • Controlling Type of Growth
    • Distinguishing between Bud Types
    • Controlling Shape and Size
    • Pruning to Rejuvenate a Plant
    • Winter Pruning
    • How to Prune
    • Pruning Different Specific Plant Genera
    • Espaliers
    • Dead Heading
    • Tree Pruning
    • Stopping, Disbudding, Root Pruning, Dead heading etc.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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 Sigificant types of Fruits, Berries and Citrus
    • Developing a Production Plan
  10. Protected Cultivation
    • Introduction to Protected Growing
    • Types of Growing Structures
    • Factors Affecting Light Transmission in Growing Structures
    • Management of Greenhouses: Benches, Hygiene, 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

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.

Aims

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

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Creating a garden properly and Avoid Problems Later 
 
It's always great to have a nice garden, but looking after it is another matter. If the budget for employing gardeners is unlimited, then a lot of the worry disappears, but that is a rare situation in today's world. It is far better if you can design a garden for ease of management from the outset.
 
All too often, saving time and money when building a garden, can result in far greater costs, and far more work later on. A well constructed garden doesn't deteriorate. A well designed garden is easier to maintain, less likely to develop sick plants or damaged structures. 
Learn to design a garden properly and you will save a great deal of time and money later on. 
 
The main rule to follow is "think things over carefully" before doing anything.
 
Plan the garden out on paper before starting any construction, then make up a list of what maintenance tasks might need to be done on a routine basis. Once this list is completed study it carefully to see if there are any ways you can reduce the amount of maintenance work required. Often the best remedy is to modify your proposed design. Even small changes to your design can have a major effect on how much maintenance you will have to do.
 
Good preparation of your site prior to planting out the garden is also worthwhile. A little work at this stage will save a lot of work in the long term, in particular providing for good drainage, improving your soil structure and fertility, installing irrigation systems, and good base preparation for lawns, paving and other surfaces.
 
 
 

What Does the Garden Industry Need?

Skilled knowledgeable workers: the industry is in need of people with knowledge to back up their skills. So many people working in horticulture tend to develop skills in a very narrow area.

Although there seems to be a lot of gardeners at work there are few that are truly knowledgeable. The industry needs gardeners that not only mow lawns and do a bit of pruning – it needs people that fully understand the care and maintenance of a large range of plants in many different microclimates and soils. They need to know how to choose the right plant for the right situation and to recognise and address problems that occur in the garden. They need to recognise a range of plants and know their common but also their botanical names.

This industry needs professional gardeners and you could be one of those too!

You also need to be able to transfer your skills and knowledge across industry sectors so that your ambitions or work advancement potential is far greater. Studying a Certificate - especially this one, as it is based on developing problem solving skills along with gathering and retaining knowledge, rather than just ticking you off against a limited set of competencies - will give you a very sound education and is a great starting point, as a professional, in this industry.

 
 
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