Certificate In Horticulture (Landscaping & Garden Design)

Course CodeVHT002
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)700 hours

Learn Landscaping and Garden Design

  • Start a landscape business, or get a job
  • Work in Landscape Construction, Design or Supply
  • Learn to identify plants, draw plans, create gardens

This certificate entails the following:

  • Core studies - half of the course, involving approximately 300hrs over the first 15 lessons.
  • Elective studies - the seconf half of the course, involves stream studies specific to landscaping.


Lesson Structure

There are 30 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Plants
    • Nomenclature and taxonomy
    • The plant kingdom
    • Genus, species, hybrids.
  2. Parts of the Plant
    • How plants grow
    • Plant structure
    • Parts of the flower and leaf
    • Modification of stems and roots.
  3. Plant Culture - Planting
    • How to plant and protect newly planted specimens, terms like: annuals, biennials, perennials, deciduous, evergreen and herbaceous plants.
  4. Plant Culture - Pruning
    • Purpose for pruning
    • Rules for pruning
    • How to prune.
  5. Plant Culture - Irrigation and Machinery
    • Different irrigation systems
    • Components of an irrigation system
    • Designing an irrigation system
    • Maintenance in the garden and for tools.
  6. Soils & Media
    • Soil classifications
    • Soil testing
    • Potting mixes
    • The U.C. System
    • Ingredients of potting mixes.
  7. Soils & Nutrition
    • Fertilizers
    • Deficiencies and toxicities
    • N:P:K ratios
    • Salting
    • Fertilizer programming
    • Compost.
  8. Propagation - Seeds & Cuttings
    • How to propagate plants with the two easiest techniques: Seed and Cuttings
    • Propagating mixes
    • Cold frame construction
    • After care for young plants.
  9. Propagation - Other Techniques
    • Other methods to increase plant numbers
    • Budding and Grafting
    • Layering, division and tissue culture.
  10. Identification and Use of Plants
    • How are plants used in the landscape
    • How to choose and purchase plants
    • Selecting plants suitable for the climate and site.
  11. Identification and Use of Plants
    • Problems with plants
    • Choosing plants for problem sites.
  12. Identification and Use of Plants
    • Indoor and Tropical Plants, flowers, herbs, bulbs, ferns.
  13. Pests
    • Identifying and controlling pests
    • Chemical and natural methods for pest control
    • Chemical safety precautions.
  14. Diseases
    • Identifying and controlling diseases
    • Plant pathology
    • Fungi, viruses, non pathogenic problems
    • Interactions with the host and the environment.
  15. Weeds
    • Identifying weeds
    • Controlling weeds
    • chemical terminology.
  16. History of Landscaping
    • Garden Styles
    • Types of Gardens
    • History of Gardens
  17. Principles of Design and Planning Information
    • Principles of Design
    • Pre Planning Information
    • Using Colour
    • Natural Garden Design
    • Eclectic Gardens
    • Minimalist Gardens
    • Plant Application
    • Aesthetic Criteria for Design
    • Procedure for Planting Design
    • Entries
    • Birds in the Garden
  18. Drawing and Costs
    • Cost Effective Design
    • Garden Style versus costs
    • Construction Decisions
    • Planting Decisions
    • Maintenance Decisions
    • Garden Investment
    • Determining Costs
    • Drawing Techniques
    • Computer Aided Design
  19. Irrigation
    • Sprinkler Systems
    • Micro Irrigation
    • Planning an Irrigation System
    • How to Use a Watering System
    • Automatic Watering Systems
  20. Garden Designs
    • Park Design
    • Home Garden Design
    • Cottage Garden Design
    • Trail Design
    • Types of Trails (Fitness, Sensory, Cryptic, Environmental)
    • Recreational Landsacaping
    • Playground Design
    • Barriers and Walls
    • Gradients and Dimensions
  21. Earthmoving and Drainage
    • Levelling & Basic Surveying
    • Earthmoving Equipment
    • Earth Forming
    • Creating Mounds
    • Raised Beds
    • Importing or Improving Soil
    • Soil Shaping
    • Soil Degradation
    • Soil Rehabilitation
    • Earthworks calculations
  22. Materials
    • Using, Choosing & Preserving Timber
    • Recycled Timber
    • Rock Work
    • Concrete
    • Coloured Pebbles and Gravel
  23. Paths, Walls and Fences
    • Paths: Guidelines, Gradients, Surfaces
    • Walls & Sleeper Walls
    • Types of Fences
    • Building a Wood Fence
    • Garden Structures
    • Play Structures
    • Skate Facilities, Motor Vehicle Parks
    • Pavers, Stone and Gravels
    • Contracts and Specifications
  24. Equipment
    • Manual Tools and Equipment
    • Power tools for landscaping
  25. Water Features
    • Planning a Water Garden
    • Types of Water Gardens
    • Water Quality, depth, area, safety etc.
    • Water Effects
    • Finishing Touches to a Water Garden
    • Fountains
  26. Garden Art: Statues, Sundials and Figurines
    • Garden Rooms: How to Design a Garden Room, What to put in a Garden Room
    • Positioning Garden Art
    • Painting in the Garden
    • Pots
    • Sculpture and Statues
    • Outdoor Furniture
  27. Landscaping for Sports and Games
    • Fun and Fitness Trails
    • Outdoor Multi Purpose Courts
    • Skateboarding
    • Types of Playgrounds
    • Park Design Criteria
  28. Landscape Management
    • Role of a Manager
    • Management Processes
    • Law and Business
    • Communication Skill
    • Marketing
    • Industry Awareness
    • Landscape Management
  29. Industrial Relations: Unions and Workers
    • Work Scheduling
    • Unions
    • Workplace Health and Safety
  30. Maintenance of a New Landscape
    • Protecting Young Plants
    • Replanting
    • Pruning
    • Weed Control
    • Maintaining Turf

What You Will Do

  • Review the historical evolution of gardens.
  • Obtain pre-planning information and use of that information to draw plans.
  • Identify different principles and styles of landscape designs.
  • Analyze garden designs.
  • Develop graphic skills, and a knowledge of drawing materials and techniques.
  • Prepare cost estimates for a landscape job.
  • Describe surfacing materials and their effects.
  • Explain the quality and cost of different landscape materials.
  • Develop a knowledge of plants, both native and exotic, suitable for local conditions.
  • Select plants for difficult sites and conditions.
  • Describe advantages and disadvantages of various pipes, sprinklers and pumping equipment.
  • Recommend irrigation systems for different landscape situations.
  • Design a simple irrigation system.
  • Design a bush garden and the value and relevance of using native plants.
  • Analyze and report on a cottage garden design.
  • Analyze and report on a playground design.
  • Prepare a playground design for a school or public park.
  • Draw layout plans for a range of gardens.
  • Conduct a detailed survey of a site, prepare a detailed plan based on that survey, estimate costs and develop contract documentation for that project.
  • Explain earthworks, including soil preparation techniques, for landscape developments.
  • Describe the different techniques used to establish plants.
  • Explain different landscape construction techniques including building fences, walls, rockeries, paths, water gardens, paving and drainage.
  • Compare different landscape materials with respect to their quality, cost, availability and application in garden construction.
  • Describe the correct procedures for the proper and safe removal of a limb from a tree, and for the felling of trees.
  • Develop a detailed maintenance program for a garden.
  • Demonstrate the ability to prepare for, and plant a new lawn.
  • Explain how to establish turf on a steep slope.
  • Write and advertisement for a landscaping business.
  • Explain basic management procedures.
  • Show a reasonable level of communication skill.
  • Explain the health and safety requirements that are relevant at a landscape construction site

What is the Nature and Scope of the Landscaping Industry?

The landscaping industry is involved with designing, constructing and maintaining private gardens and commercial landscapes. It utilises many diverse skills, ranging from designing and drafting to construction and installation, and landscape maintenance.  

There are two major divisions in this sector:

  • Hard landscaping or hardscaping – treatment of hard surfaces such as drives, walls, paths. Contractors and employees in this area must be skilled in construction work such as paving, bricklaying and building.

  • Soft landscaping or softscaping – treatment of plants. Those who select, advice and work with plants must have thorough plant knowledge and a sound understanding of horticultural processes. Some also have landscape design skills and construction skills.

Most landscapers work as private contractors. Small firms tend to work in the residential sector, while projects undertaken by larger contractors are generally in the commercial and government sectors. Landscape projects include design and installation of landscapes associated with new housing developments, shopping and office developments, sports and recreation facilities, large-scale engineering projects such as highways and other transport corridors, and hotel and resort constructions.

Some people commence a career in landscaping as a general landscape gardener or labourer, with little on no prior training or knowledge. They may be employed on a minimal rate of pay; and much of their work may be monotanous and physically challenging. For many who start out this way; they never progress; but for others, this can be all they need to begin a long and fruitful career. The difference is often in attitude and application. You do not need to start at the top to make it big in landscaping but you do need to have the right attitude, a thirst to learn and persistance.
Others will commence their career by taking a certificate, diploma or degree course in landscaping.
This is not a career that can be guaranteed though by simply completing a qualification. Some of the world's leading landscapers may have only ever completed a certificate (like this one), while others who have completed diplomas or degrees may often find it difficult to make their mark in the industry and may well drift out of landscaping into something different. For those who succeed - landscaping is a career that usually blends horticulture, creativity and management skills. If you find all three areas enticing, you may have the potential to be very successful in this course and in a career that follows.
With concern for sustainability, green living and environmental management at an all time high across the world; the profession of landscaping is set to only grow into the future.  The quality of our environment impacts directly on our very existance and the landscape profession in its broadest sense is all about creating and managing our environment.


Who Will Benefit From This Course

  • Those looking to enter the design and landscaping field
  • Those already in the field but needing more horticultural knowledge


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