Introduction to Garden Design Online Course

Garden Design Course Online
Full Fee $595.00 incl GST - Best Value!
Payment Plan $800.00 incl GST
Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email
Qualification Certificate

Learn garden design online!  Be guided by expert horticultural tutors. Learn the principles that underpin all design. See how garden styles have evolved over the centuries, and broaden your understanding of how to use different garden components to create varying affects. This garden design course online will get you designing beautiful, purposeful gardens appropriate for particular styles and locations.

Why study this Garden Design course?

Design your own dream garden with the help of Careerline’s online Introduction to Garden Design course. As a beginner-level garden design course, it is designed as a broad and well-rounded introduction to planning and creating visually appealing and functional gardens and parks. Whether you hope to design your own garden to enjoy or make garden design your career, this course will set you on the path to success.

Whether you hope to upskill, become a more skilled hobbyist, or get a head start on future studies, studying with Careerline will have a positive impact on your future. You will be able to use your new skills to advance in your professional life, or to design more practical and well-presented gardens for your own use. Your new skills will help you to feel prepared as you design your next dream garden.

What will you learn?

Careerline’s online Introduction to Garden Design course will teach you about basic garden design and landscaping. You will learn how to identify and select appropriate plants for the environment you are designing. In addition, you will study the history of gardening, and how different styles of garden have been used by people all over the world. This course will help you to understand hand and computer-aided draughting and design, including drawing concept plans and scale drawings.

During your studies, you will learn how to construct basic landscapes, such as paths, walls, gradients, and steps, as well as how to select appropriate surface coverings. You will develop an understanding of planning, planting, and furnishing both parks and home gardens for functionality and aesthetic. Students learn about designing features such as garden beds, trails, pathways, fountains, skate facilities, and sports courts.

Who is this online Garden Design course for?

Careerline’s online Introduction to Garden Design course is ideal for anyone with an interest in designing practical and attractive outdoor gardens. Though the course is designed for beginners, it is also suitable for intermediate landscapers who hope to broaden their skillset.

Aspiring professional gardeners, landscapers, and arborists, as well as hobby gardeners, will be able to use the skills they learn during their studies to create better gardens in the future.

This course is also ideal for anyone interested in pursuing further study in landscaping, arboriculture, garden maintenance, town planning, or horticulture.

You will learn to:

  • Create visual effects through the use of different landscape design concepts.
  • Determine pre-planning information required to prepare a landscape design.
  • Determine an appropriate garden style for a landscape, to satisfy specifications for a design project.
  • Illustrate a landscape design through a plan, using legible graphic skills.
  • Determine different hard landscape features, including earthworks, surface treatments and furniture, to incorporate in a landscape.
  • Prepare planting designs for different landscapes.
  • Design different types of landscapes, including domestic gardens and public parks


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    Detailed Course Outline

    This course is made up of a number of lessons or units.  Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

    There are 10 Lessons in this course:

    Basic Design Procedure A

    • Scope of Landscaping
    • Dynamic Nature of Gardens
    • Plant Naming
    • Plant Identification and Selection
    • Botanical Families; a basis for identification
    • Principles of Landscaping
    • Design Elements
    • Design Effects
    • Climate, Micro climate and Aspect
    • Collecting pre-planning information

    History of Gardening

    • Formal Gardens
    • Informal Gardens
    • Natural Gardens
    • Cottage Gardens
    • Other garden styles and themes, oriental, Mediterranean, etc
    • Potted History of Gardens: Roman, Chinese, Dark Ages, Le Notre, Brown, Jeckyll, etc

    Draughting and Contracting

    • Concept Plans
    • Scale Drawing
    • Presentation Plan
    • Computer Aided Design
    • Drawing techniques (Graphics)
    • Design Procedure
    • Specifications and Contracts

    Basic Landscape Construction

    • Drainage and Erosion
    • Gradients
    • Walling
    • Rockeries
    • Steps
    • Creating Mounds
    • Earth Shaping
    • Play structures
    • Gravel and Paths


    • Gradients
    • Surfacings
    • Gravel
    • Soft Surfacing
    • Grass
    • Concrete
    • Asphalt
    • Timber
    • Paving
    • Rubbers and Textiles
    • Substrates
    • Performance Considerations

    Furnishings and Features

    • Criteria for selecting Structural Components
    • Garden Furniture and Garden Rooms
    • Using Furniture in the Garden
    • Outdoor Tables and Chairs
    • Garden Art; types, selection, use
    • Lighting
    • Design considerations for Play Structures
    • Water Displays and Fountains
    • Skate Facilities

    Park Design A

    • Park Components
    • Ornaments
    • Walls, Fences and Windbreaks
    • Enclosed Gardens
    • Gates and Gateways
    • Windbreaks
    • Recreational Landscaping
    • Criteria for Public Outdoor Space Design
    • Why Parks are Under used
    • Types of Playgrounds
    • Making Community Participation Work

    Home Garden Design

    • Components of a Home Garden
    • Where Garden Meets House
    • Bringing the Outside In
    • Buildings in a Home Garden
    • Courtyards

    Design Procedure B

    • The Design Process
    • Design Elements
    • Components of a Recreational Landscape
    • Designing Narrow Gardens
    • Water Garden Design
    • Water Effects: sound, reflection, movement, light, cooling
    • Using Water Plants
    • Formal and Informal Pools

    Park Design B

    • Creating Trails
    • Planning a Trail
    • Types of Trails: Fitness, Nature, Sensory, Cryptic Puzzle, etc
    • Sporting Facilities
    • Outdoor Courts
    • Fun and Fitness Trails
    • Motor Vehicles in Parks
    • Plus A Special Assignment – comprehensive landscape

    When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.

    Course Tutor(s)

    Barbara Tremain BSc. (Hons) Horticulture, RHS Adv. Cert,. RHS General, City & Guilds Garden Design, Permaculture Level 3 (UK)

    Barbara brings to Careerline a wide range of horticultural experience and knowledge Barbara has a keen interest in herbalism, edible wild plants and has lead into studies of many plant based complementary medicinal systems, qualification as a Bach Flower remedy practitioner and studying Ethnobotany. Barbara has practiced and studied horticulture as well as combining it with her love of travel in many countries including the UK, US and Australia and has also studied Permaculture and runs her own horticulture business. Within the past two years she have also worked for Groundwork SW with 18-24 year old unemployed people, this work and the mentoring scheme has allowed me to teach informally. It has been a delight to nurture the interests of keen learners in horticulture and garden design. Meanwhile the business has covered a variety of Garden Design projects, from wildflower gardens to seaside situations, and has included some work with Chelsea Gold multi-winner John Moreland.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I pay in installments?

    Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

    Can I study from anywhere in the world?

    We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

    Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

    Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


    Do I have to sit an Exam?

    No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

    Do you have set start dates?

    There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.