A science-focused, environmentally-friendly course
This course offers a science-based, ‘green approach’ to gardening and should appeal to both professional and leisure gardeners alike. With an emphasis on the use of organic manures and biological control methods, it asks searching questions on fruit, vegetables and flowers, plus horticultural principles of plant botany, physiology and the effect of the environment.
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.
All learners are eligible for an NUS Extra card.
The Principles of Gardening is a 12-lesson study programme – you will be formally assessed on your choice of 10 of the 12 lessons:
Lesson 1 – Vegetables and their cultivation, including rotation, crop growing
Lesson 2 – Soils for fruit growing, winter pruning. Soil composition and soil types
Lesson 3 – Manures, fertilisers and lime for fruit and vegetables, trace elements
Lesson 4 – Flowering plants, annuals, perennials, herbaceous, bedding plants, cut flowers
Lesson 5 – Planting trees and shrubs, soil preparation, after-care. Notes on trees, shrubs
Lesson 6 – Potting composts, cucumbers, melons, rock wool and nutrient film techniques
Lesson 7 – Plant propagation – seed requirements, genetics, propagation, hormones, mist
Lesson 8 – Pollination and fertilisation, flower/seed structure, nutrition, osmosis
Lesson 9 – Fungus diseases, insect pests, life cycles, control principles
Lesson 10 – Lawns from seed, after-care, manures and top-dressings, weed control
Lesson 11 – Garden Planning
Lesson 12 – Plant Selection & Maintenance
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.
There are 2 ways you can enrol