You can spread the cost of our course with Interest Free Credit on selected courses**.
£456Amount of credit
£1924 monthly payments of
This is exclusively available for a limited time by calling us on 0800 083 9191 or 01409 220 777.
Horticultural Correspondence College Limited is registered in England no. 03819370. Lyne Akres, Brandis Corner, Devon, EX22 7YH. Horticultural Correspondence College is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, register number 774548 and acts as a credit broker and offers finance through the Deko platform, which is provided by Omni Capital Retail Finance Ltd. Omni Capital Retail Finance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Reference number 720279. Credit is provided to UK residents with a UK bank account, subject to age and status.
Become a Garden Designer
You can do it – here’s how
You want to become
a garden designer
Enrol on our Become a
by calling 0800 083 9191
or clicking here
Start straight away,
learning where and
when suits you
On completion begin
your new career, making
a living from something
that’s your passion
Everything you need for a successful garden design career
Make a career doing something you love! This complete career pathway is suitable for beginners and will equip you with the knowledge, practical skills and industry-recognised qualifications to become a professional garden designer. You will learn a comprehensive range of topics – from the selection and maintenance of garden plants to garden design styles, survey techniques, and hard and soft landscaping. On completion you could work in private gardens or public spaces, employed by a company or running your own business.
- Learn how to plan, design and build beautiful gardens, and gain a rewarding, enjoyable, outdoor lifestyle
- On successful completion of your studies and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) exams you will receive nationally recognised RHS qualifications
- A career that combines creativity with practical skills, and provides fresh challenges each time you take on a ‘new’ garden
- Skilled garden designers are in demand, you could earn up to £50 per hour
- Flexible home-study so you can fit your learning around your work and life
- Quality course material and excellent tutor support – to help you achieve your goals
- No previous experience needed
How the course works
How the courses work
This pathway consists of two parts:
- RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment & Maintenance (RQF 500/8295/4)
- RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (RQF 601/7188/1)
Your first set of course materials will be sent to you when you enrol. You can start as soon as you want and progress through the course at your own pace (you have 2 years to complete it), studying when and where you choose. This flexibility makes it easy to fit learning around work and family commitments.
The extensive course materials have been developed by gardening and garden design experts and are clear and straightforward, so your studying is easy and enjoyable. As you complete each lesson, your tutor will promptly return your marked assignment with constructive feedback and guidance. (You can also contact your tutor or the support team for help at any point during your studies.)
The course includes all the required study materials.
On successful completion of your studies and the RHS exams you will receive the nationally recognised RHS qualifications.
We are proud of our friendly, caring ethos and aim to do all we can to help you succeed.
Our tutors are all experienced, highly qualified and passionate about sharing their love of their subject. You can phone or email your tutor throughout your studies – to ask questions, for advice, encouragement or to draw on their wealth of knowledge.
You can also contact the support team who are here to help you Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
What you will learn
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment & Maintenance – A 4-lesson study programme of preparation for the RHS examination.
Lesson 1 – Garden Features, Plant Selection and Planning
- Basic surveying techniques
- Site appraisal
- Principles and elements of garden design
- Garden design styles
- Using hard landscaping materials in garden planning
- Using soft landscaping in garden planning
- A cohesive design
- Safety, health and environmentally sustainable practices
Lesson 2 – The Choice, Establishment and Maintenance of Garden Plants and Lawns
- Scientific principles and horticultural practices and their relation to the selection of plants
- Selection of plants for seasonal displays
- Selection of herbaceous perennial plants & bulbs
- Selection of plants for woody display
- Selection of alpine and rock garden plants
- Planting and maintenance of garden ponds
- Establishing lawns and turf
- Maintenance of turfed areas
Lesson 3 – Production of Outdoor Vegetables and Fruit
- Site selection
- Cultural operations for outdoor food production
- Production of vegetable crops
- Production of top and soft fruit crops
- Health, safety and environmentally friendly practices
Lesson 4 – Protected Environments and their use in Plant Cultivation
- Health, safety and environmentally friendly practices
- Protective structures
- The environment within protected structures
- Structural and cladding material of protected structures
- Environmental control in protected structures
- Containers used for production and display
- Horticultural uses of the protected environment
- Care of interior plants
RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting – A 4-lesson study programme of preparation for the RHS examination.
Lesson 1 – Understanding garden survey techniques and design principles
- Historical garden design styles
- Conducting a site appraisal
- The client brief
- Basic survey techniques
- Influence of site characteristics on garden design
- Principles and elements of design
Lesson 2 – Understanding the selection and use of landscaping elements in the garden
- The contribution of hard landscaping features to design and function
- Drainage systems in the garden
- The contribution of soft landscaping features to design and function
- The contribution of turf to the design and function of a garden
Lesson 3 – Understanding the setting out and construction of landscaping elements in the garden
- Setting out a site
- Soil movement and storage during construction work
- Construction of drainage systems
- Construction procedures for paths, patios and driveways
- Construction of steps and ramps
- Construction of walls, fences and pergolas
- Pond construction
- Rock garden construction
- Risk assessment
Lesson 4 – Understanding a range of specialist elements in the establishment of garden and urban plantings
- Amenity bedding schemes
- Components of specialist garden areas
- Pruning for effect
- Urban gardening options
- Water sustainability in the garden
If needed you have 2 years to complete your studies. Many students are able to complete their studies in approximately 9-18 months (approx 290 learning hours)*.
*Timescales are approximate and depend upon application and motivation.
Upon successful completion of RHS examinations you will be awarded:
- RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance
- RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting
Your course materials and the valuable tutor feedback you will receive during your studies will help to prepare you for the Royal Horticultural Society qualifications. When you are ready to sit the examinations, you will need to register as a candidate with HCC or as an external candidate using another RHS Approved Centre. We offer advice and assistance for booking examinations when you are ready. Please click here for RHS and assessment centre requirements and fees.
You will also need to obtain the RHS syllabus and an entry form directly from the Royal Horticultural Society. Please click on the links below to download the RHS outline syllabus, and for further information on examination dates and fees. Your exam fees are payable to the RHS Approved Centre.
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance
RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting
- You could work in private gardens, public parks, sports grounds and schools.
- You could work for a company as a garden designer.
- Or you could set up your own business and be self-employed.
- You could do some of these jobs:
- Garden planning
- Garden design
- Garden construction
You do not need previous gardening or garden design knowledge or experience to enrol on this pathway.
There are 3 ways you can enrol
- Pay the total course fee of £545* in one sum and receive a voucher towards the cost of your next course
- Pay a deposit of just £95*, followed by 9 instalments of £50
- Pay a deposit of just £41*, followed by 24 instalments of £21** using Interest Free Credit (exclusively available by calling us on 01409 220 777)