A thorough introduction to get you started – and inspire you to progress
This course is ideal for those looking for a comprehensive introduction to key gardening principles and techniques. It has been designed to help you get a good handle on this huge subject and make a success of your labours. You will master the ‘building blocks’ of gardening, such as understanding soil, composting, plant selection, planting techniques, plant maintenance and controlling pests and diseases. You will also learn about essential garden elements: lawns, flowers and growing vegetables and fruit. Combined with an extensive section on garden planning and design, you will be equipped with the knowledge to create a beautiful, productive garden and, if you wish, an excellent foundation for further training.
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.
Lesson 1 – Vegetables
This lesson covers the principles of vegetable cultivation, soils, crop rotation, plant nutrition, growing from seeds, protected cropping and irrigation. It is a comprehensive guide to help you start growing your own vegetables.
Lesson 2 – Soils, Fruits and Fertilisers
This lessons looks at soil, texture, structure, water, organic matter, cultivation and properties. It then moves on to look at fruit growing including top fruit, wall fruit, soft fruit, pruning and training, rootstocks, pests and diseases, harvesting and storage. The lesson finishes with details on fertilisers, growing media and types of compost.
Lesson 3 – Lawns
This lessons looks at lawns, establishing from seed or turf, site preparation, maintenance, equipment, establishing meadows, meadow flowers and meadow grasses.
Lesson 4 – Plant Selection, Establishment and Maintenance
This lesson looks at selecting plants, site preparation and planting techniques, maintenance of plants, flowers for cutting, pruning, pruning equipment, hand tools and pest and diseases.
Lesson 5 – Garden Planning
There is a new focus on garden planning thanks to the television programmes now devoted to this subject. This lesson covers surveying techniques, site appraisals, case studies and example surveys. It then moves on to look at the principles and elements of garden design including line, shape, mass, form, space, texture, colour, rhythm, balance and symmetry, proportion and scale and unity. It looks at garden styles such as formal and informal. It then focuses on hard and soft landscaping, conservation issues, native trees and shrubs. This is a comprehensive lesson and has been adapted from our RHS courses on Garden Design.
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
The Principles of Gardening
You do not need previous gardening knowledge or experience to enrol on this course.