Landscaping Home Gardens

Course CodeAHT103
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Designing your own home garden


Develop a home garden within your budget, and in a way that suits your families needs now and into the future.

This course is 100% for home gardeners. While our other courses can certainly be relevant to home gardeners; they are generally considered as more oriented toward the "business" of landscaping; or those working in the industry.

Whether you want a garden which you can work in, play in or simply look at and feel proud of then this course is for you.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Designing Gardens - the basics of design concepts through to understanding how to use them.
  2. Styles of Gardens - formal, informal, natural, and other themes.
  3. Drawing Plans ‑Designing Gardens - learn how to draw basic landscape features and garden designs.
  4. Understanding Soils - clays, loams, sands - how to identify them and treat them for better plant growth.
  5. Basic Landscape Construction - what is involved to build basic structures like steps, walls, paths, etc.
  6. Weeds & Pests - how to identify and treat garden weeds and pests.
  7. Planting and Pruning - techniques to plant, prune and care for garden plants.
  8. Lawns, paving and other surfacing - care for various surfaces
  9. Garden Features - how to select and use garden features in a landscape.
  10. Developing "YOUR" Garden - Special Project


  • Understand the design procedure and the principles of landscape design
  • Develop knowledge of garden styles through history and apply this to your own designs
  • Develop skills in graphical techniques for plan drawing
  • Develop knowledge of soil properties and their relevance to home horticulture
  • Understand the principles and practices of basic landscape construction
  • Develop knowledge of pests and weeds, and their management in home horticulture
  • Develop skills in planting and pruning for home gardens
  • Develop knowledge of lawns and surfaces appropriate to home landscaping
  • Develop knowledge of landscape furnishings and other features appropriate for home gardens
  • Utilise skills developed during this course to develop a landscape design for a home garden.

Creating a Home Garden on a Limited Budget

A home garden should be designed to suit your family needs!   If the house is a man's castle, the backyard is his playroom.

There's nothing better than a backyard bbq, game with the kids, swim in the pool or to read a good book in the privacy of your own garden. For some people gardening is a hobby, and the job of creating and maintaining a garden is in itself a very enjoyable and relaxing pastime. For others, gardening can be a chore. Here the garden should be designed for low maintenance. No matter what they might think about "working in the garden", don’t forget to use it as well.

Do It In Stages
Often the garden has to be developed in stages because:

  • The money isn't available to do it all at once.
  • Other work must be done first (i.e.. A sewerage main is to be laid, a shed erected, or a building extended)

Undeveloped, or underdeveloped parts of the garden might be screened with fast growing plants or a temporary fence until they are able to be attended to. Areas designated for paving, garden beds or water gardens might be grassed to provide a reasonable appearance until the time is right to finish the development.

As with anything it is always a good idea to start with a plan. List out everything you want to include in the garden ‑eventually ‑and arrange these things in order from your highest priority to your lowest. (NB: The low priority item might be low because it's expensive, not necessarily because you want it any less).

Your prioritized list might be something like this:

  1. Washing line
  2. BBQ
  3. Lawn or mulch to keep the mud and dust down
  4. Fences on boundaries
  5. Trees for shade
  6. Shrubs to screen the neighbours houses
  7. Plants to provide cut flowers inside
  8. A garden setting for eating outside
  9. Paved pathways for access in wet weather
  10. A paved patio area
  11. A vegetable garden
  12. A garden shed
  13. An ornamental pond
  14. A swimming pool

A well planned garden will eventually accommodate everything on your list, but may very well consider the garden's development as an evolutionary process over many years; and at any stage of that evolutionary process the garden should still be aesthetically pleasing and functional.

The Planning Process
Landscape planning is both an art and a science. It's a process which needs to consider the physical requirements of building a garden, and at the same time strive to create something which is artistic and pleasing to the eye.


Planning your garden can be a lot of fun, and remember it's a lot cheaper to make your mistakes on paper!

Follow this step by step process and you can't go too wrong:

1. Draw a sketch of your property (preferably to scale) as it is now. A builders plan is often good to work off (all you have to do is trace over it).

2. Make up a list of things you want to put in the garden (eg. washing line, shed, bbq, lawn area, vegie garden, children's swing etc).

3. Draw in pencil where you think the best place would be to put each of these things.

4. Now stand back and think for a week or so. If you like, ask friends or relatives what they think about where you plan to put things. Use a bit of common sense and consider whether each of these things is located in the best place (Refer to the list "What Goes Where")

5. Rearrange the location of these different components, and settle on final locations.

6. Fill in the gaps, placing lawn, shrubs, paving, mulch, gravel, etc. between the various components.

What Goes Where?

  • The bbq, outdoor setting and patio should be together, and close to the kitchen, if possible.
  • The rubbish bins, compost heap and burner should be away from the house and any outdoor living areas.
  • The washing line is better hidden from outdoor entertaining areas, but in mild to cold climates it must be in a sunny spot.
  • Areas where children play should be away from things you don't want damaged (eg. prize roses or the vegie garden).
  • Areas which are walked over a lot should be well drained and surfaced with gravel, mulch or paving (grass will become damaged and high use areas may become slippery when wet).


Home Gardeners Can Benefit From This Course

  • Improve your garden
  • Choose the right plants the first time round
  • Have a great garden that works for you and your family





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