Gain the skills to run a thriving garden centre
This course is ideal if you wish to work in or are already employed in a garden centre – particularly if you plan to progress to a supervisory or management role. It will give you the full range of retail, business and management skills needed to run a successful garden centre (whether small and specialist or a ‘superstore’). Topics include the nature of the stock – from plants to associated goods like pots, tools and fertilisers and ‘lifestyle’ goods like garden furniture – and how to maintain it (few people will want to buy below-standard, diseased or pest-ridden plants). You will also learn retail essentials such as layout, selling and service, checkout design and consumer law, as well as management skills covering areas like staffing and stock control.
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, 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 garden retailing 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.
There is no formal examination. On successful completion you will be awarded an HCC Certificate. You have 2 years to complete the course.
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 the course – 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.
Lesson 1 – The nature of the garden centre business
Lesson 2 – The nature of the stock, plant material and sundries
Lesson 3 – Garden centre layout
Lesson 4 – Law – civil and criminal law, Sale of Goods Act 1979, Consumer Protection Act 1987, Consumer Credit Act 1974 and Consumer Credit Act 2006. The rights of customers and the duties of the garden centre
Lesson 5 – Selling – how to identify the market
Lesson 6 – The checkout – its layout and design
Lesson 7 – Product knowledge
Lesson 8 – Staffing – job functions and staff roles, management skills
Lesson 9 – Problem areas within the garden centre operations
Lesson 10 – Traditional garden centres and superstores. How their philosophy differs, layouts, service, goods handling, stock control and product lines
If needed you have 2 years to complete the course. Many students are able to complete this course in approximately 6-12 months*.
*Timescales are approximate and depend upon application and motivation.
There are no exams. On successful completion of this course you will receive an HCC Certificate*, graded to show the standard you have reached. The HCC’s reputation means this can be highly regarded on a CV and, combined with your portfolio of coursework, is evidence of your achievements (whether you are applying for a job or a more advanced study course).
* The HCC Certificate will be issued once you have successfully completed your course and finished your course payments.
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance
Start Gardening – the Basics and Beyond
You do not need previous gardening or garden retailing knowledge or experience to enrol on this course.