From Primula and pools to soil and small gardens – YOU choose
This course has been designed to address requests from past, current and potential HCC learners. Making your choice of 10 out of 32 lessons, it allows you to create a highly customised study programme – reflecting your personal interests and passions or building on your professional areas of expertise. Each lesson is intended to ‘open a door’ to reveal more about a specialist topic, and allows you to study to the level you choose. Pick related topics or go for an eclectic mix, what you study is up to you!
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 gardening 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.
Gardening Studies – Beyond the Basics is a 10-lesson study programme – you choose 10 from the following 32 lessons:
Lesson 1 – Hardy herbaceous perennials – part 1. Plant choice. Propagation, pests and diseases.
Lesson 2 – Alpines. Historical background. Landscaping with alpine plants. Propagation.
Lesson 3 – Shrubs and their uses. Deciduous shrubs. A closer study of two plant families.
Lesson 4 – Greenhouse and conservatory plants and choices of greenhouse/glasshouses.
Lesson 5 – Pools and water plants. Water in landscape, siting and water feature. Pools.
Lesson 6 – The old shrub roses. Naming and classification of roses. Botany of the rose.
Lesson 7 – Soil assessment and improvement. Types of soil, drainage, nutrients.
Lesson 8 – Good housekeeping in the garden. Soils and general care. Vegetables.
Lesson 9 – Garden history – part 1. Styles from 16th-17th to 20th century. Post 1945
Lesson 10 – Garden history – part 2. Greek and Roman gardens to the present day.
Lesson 11 – Front gardens. The nature and historical perspective of the front garden.
Lesson 12 – The genus Primula. Cultivation under glass. Seed and vegetative propagation.
Lesson 13 – Chain saw use, care and maintenance. Health and safety. Trouble shooting.
Lesson 14 – Botanical drawing. Identification. Nomenclature. Plant families.
Lesson 15 – Creating a garden record. Site plan. Environment. Tree records.
Lesson 16 – Advanced tree knowledge. A brief history. Identification and functions of tree.
Lesson 17 – Hardy herbaceous perennials – part 2. Colour schemes. Herbaceous climbers.
Lesson 18 – Succulents and cacti. Growing cacti. Propagation. Pests and diseases of cacti.
Lesson 19 – Growing plants for profit. The marketplace & setting the price. Taxation.
Lesson 20 – Salads. Vegetables for market. Beans, peas, Brassicas, root crops, onions.
Lesson 21 – Creating a garden for the senses. Climate/micro-climate. The acacia.
Lesson 22 – Women in food production in the tropics. Soil. Livestock. Crops.
Lesson 23 – The role of horticulture in training people with acknowledged disabilities.
Lesson 24 – Woodlands, management plan, tree pruning, felling, ropes, health & safety.
Lesson 25 – Soil: type; formation; structure; texture; profile; classification; acidity.
Lesson 26 – Water recycling issues, large scale composting and the use of green manures
Lesson 27 – The root environment, soil components, horticultural implications.
Lesson 28 – The small garden and container garden
Lesson 29 – No longer available
Lesson 30 – The design of ornamental gardens. First part of a series of 3 lessons: 30, 31 and 32
Lesson 31 – Plant selection, establishment and maintenance. Second part of a series of 3 lessons: 30, 31 and 32.
Lesson 32 – Ornamental landscape construction. Third part of a series of 3 lessons: 30, 31 and 32
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.
You do not need previous gardening knowledge or experience to enrol on this course.