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Cottage Garden Design 100 Hours Certificate Course


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Cottage Garden Design 100 Hours Certificate Course

Price: £325.00Course Code: BHT110
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( Jessica, 21/06/2019 ) Q:

Is this course professionally recognised by RHS

( 24/06/2019 ) A:

Hello Jessica and thank you for your question.

The RHS has its own courses and qualifications and to our knowledge does not recognise qualifications from elsewhere. ADL is an approved distance learning provider for both their level 2 and level 3 theory courses.

The Cottage Garden Design course is an excellent programme and is designed to teach you as much as possible about the subject. Your certificate will be endorsed and issued by TQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation. Any employer in the world will be able to view TQUK's recognised status on the Ofqual Register and know that you have completed a course of real value.

The main thing to bear in mind is that because the course has been continuously developed over many years by professional gardeners, you should acquire a solid grounding in cottage garden design. The course is very comprehensive and covers all the main aspects you will need to develop the right skills in..

I hope this information is useful Jessica.

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Cottage Garden Design 100 Hours Certificate Course

Cottage Garden Design course online. Design beautiful cottage gardens.Learn what a cottage garden is, and how to apply the principles of this concept to garden design and garden renovation.

You can create a beautiful cottage garden for clients or yourself easily by following six important steps which are:
  1. Be aware of your clients' or your own ability to maintain a cottage garden and design it accordingly, by using the most appropriate plants and features to keep to what is manageable
  2. Ensure that only good quality soil is used in order to provide a good foundation for plant growth and health
  3. Carefully plan what plants to use and where to plant them to get the most out of every cottage garden you design. Each one will have it's own natural features to be taken advantage of to create a unique garden, plus individual challenges to be overcome
  4. Use strong hardy plant varieties that will have a better chance of becoming established, so that the beauty and practicality of the finished project is maintained long-term
  5. Maintain moisture levels, keep the garden neat and more organised, plus practice good weed control with "Mulching", using organic materials such as bark, compost and leaf mold.
  6. Plan to water only where required and make the process hands free. An automatic watering system employing a drip drip drip effect, rather than a blanket soaking of everything, will use less water and be better for the environment  
This comprehensive course in cottage garden design is suitable for both amateurs and professional gardeners. Learn established garden planning techniques with a long established programme and enjoy individual mentoring from horticultural experts.


Learning Goals:   Cottage Garden Design BHT110
  1. Describe the concept of a cottage garden (Part A)
  2. Describe the concept of a cottage garden (Part B)
  3. Prepare concept plans for cottage gardens
  4. Prepare planting designs for cottage gardens incorporating primarily flowers
  5. Prepare planting designs for cottage gardens incorporating a wide variety of plants
  6. Plan the incorporation of appropriate non-living landscape features in a cottage garden
  7. Describe contemporary concepts in cottage garden design
  8. Prepare a detailed design for a cottage garden



Lesson Structure:  Cottage Garden Design BHT110

There are 8 comprehensive lessons

1  Introduction to Cottage Gardens
  • What is a cottage garden?
  • Guidelines for using plants in cottage gardens
  • Understanding plant names
  • The Binomial System
  • Writing botanical names
  • Cultivars
  • Monocotyledons Vs Dicotyledons
  • Plant Families
  • Pronunciation of plant names
  • Principles and elements of Landscape Design
  • Plant review worksheets
  • Naming the Plant
  • Describing the Plant
  • Illustrating the Plant
  • Example of a plant identification worksheet
2 History of Cottage Gardens
  • Introduction
  • The Miner's Cottage Garden
  • Botany and medicine
  • Plants in Medicine in Ancient Times
  • Greek and Roman Medicine
  • The Revival of Medicine in the Renaissance
  • The Rise of Modern Medicine and Botany
  • Alchemy Comes of Age
  • Man Makes His Own Cures
  • Plants Make Better Doctors
  • The Accidental Miracles
  • Medicines from Other Lands
  • Protecting Our Priceless Heritage
3 Design Techniques and Drawing Plans
  • Understanding Garden Rooms
  • Tips for positioning garden features
  • Frame Views
  • The Design Procedure
  • Landscape Graphics
  • Scale
  • What Paper and Pens to Use
  • Lettering
  • Plans and symbols
  • Optional reading
  • Pre-planning survey - Appraising the Site and Collecting Data
  • Developing a Preliminary Concept Plan
  • Developing a Final Plan
4  Plants for Cottage Gardens
  • Mix Them Up!
  • The Bones of the Garden
  • Selecting woody plants
  • Designing a flower bed
  • Correct choice of colours
  • Correct timing 
  • Choosing compatible plants
  • Perennnials
  • What is a flowering perennial?
  • Types of Perennial Gardens
  • Secrets of success
  • Maintenance hints
  • Designing a perennial display
  • Getting the most out of your flower bed
  • Colour themes
  • Soil pH explained
  • Cottage garden plants
  • Blue flowering cottage plants
  • Silver or grey foliage plants
  • Shade tolerant perennials
  • More cottage garden plants
  • Large flowering plants
  • Using bulbs in a cottage garden
  • Garden borders
  • Meadows (planting in lawns)
  • Rockery gardens
  • Woodland gardens
  • Container growing
  • Some suggested bulbs, corms and tubers
  • Bulbs which grow in shade
  • Scented plants
  • Night scented plants
  • Plants with fragrant flowers
  • Fragrant foliage
  • Climbers, creepers and twiners
  • Shrubs for cottage gardens
  • Herbs in the perennial border
  • Perennials in wild flower meadows
  • Maintaining herbaceous borders
  • Some evergreen perennials and other perennials and suggested uses
  • Supporting herbaceous plants
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Scented pelagoniums and geraniums
  • Colourful year-round foliage
  • Selecting annuals
  • Why Use annuals?
  • Types of annual plants
  • Selecting annuals for different heights: Low growing (less than 30cm), Medium (30-60cm), Tall growing (greater than 60 cm)
  • Scented annuals 
  • Scented foliage
  • Colourful foliage
  • Establishing annuals
  • Annuals from seed, seedlings, containers
  • Bedding plants
5 Planting Design in Cottage Gardens
  • Shade Trees
  • Benefits of shade trees
  • Where to plant the shade tree
  • Design elements
  • Colour and garden design
  • Using colour in the garden
  • Landscape plans: site plan, concept plan, final plan, planting plan, other plans
  • The design procedure
  • Plant application
  • Copying nature
  • Creating landscape effects
  • Companion planning
  • Repellent plants
  • Soil improving plants
6 Landscape features and components
  • Garden features
  • Walls and fencing for cottage gardens
  • Garden art
  • The history of sundials
  • Furnishing the garden
  • Paths
  • General guidelines for path design
  • Gravel and bark paths
  • Barriers and walls
  • Methods of training on a trellis
  • Outdoor living areas
  • A general comparison between materials used in outdoor furniture
  • Garden structures
  • Pergolas, pleached alleys and arbours
  • Hedges
  • Pools and ponds - Water garden design
  • Water effects
  • Water garden practicalities
  • Plants for water gardens
7  Cottage Gardens Today
  • Changes to cottage garden style
  • How to make a courtyard more exciting
  • Colourful year-round foliage
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Planning for perfection
8 Special Assignment - Design of a Complete Garden
This final lesson will draw together all that you have learnt during the course. It will demonstrate your
ability to design a complete cottage garden using all the resources and information you have gathered
  • Coherence or Contrast
  • Making garden beds - the variables
  • Using ferns in shaded areas
  • The landscape industry: costing work
  • The cost of employing labour 


  • Here are just some of the things you will be doing:
  • Explain the concept of a cottage garden, both in historical and modern contexts.
  • Explain the influence of one famous landscaper on cottage gardens.
  • Explain the relevance of garden design concepts to cottage gardens, including:
    • Unity
    • Balance
    • Proportion
    • Harmony
    • Contrast
    • Rhythm
    • Line
    • Form
    • Mass
    • Space
    • Texture
    • Colour
    • Tone.
  • Analyse the designs of three cottage gardens inspected by you.
  • Describe the steps involved, accompanied by a sequence of illustrations, in the planning process for a cottage garden.
  • Develop a checklist of pre-planning information required for a proposed cottage garden on a specific site.
  • Compile pre-planning information for a specific site, for a proposed cottage garden, through an interview with a potential client, and surveying the site.
  • Prepare drawings to represent landscape features on a cottage garden plan, including trees, shrubs, herbs, walls, rocks, buildings and other landscape features.
  • Analyse the designs of three different cottage gardens, inspected by you.
  • Prepare three different cottage garden concept plans for the same site, to satisfy given design specifications and pre-planning information.
  • Prepare a plant collection of fifty-cottage garden plants, which includes:
    • A photo, drawing or pressed specimen of each plant
    • Plant names (scientific and common)
    • Cultural details
    • Uses/applications in garden design.
  • Prepare a planting plan for a garden bed of 20 to 30 square metres in a cottage garden style, including:
    • A sketch plan
    • A plant list.
  • Design a perennial border of 30 metres in length, in an appropriate cottage garden style.
  • Design a 50 to 100 square metre garden bed, which incorporates companion planting principles.
  • Evaluate the companion planting design in a cottage garden visited by you.
  • Design a colour themed garden, such as a white garden, for an area of 200 square metres or less, to suit a proposed garden redevelopment, on a site visited by you.
  • Describe briefly, different non-living features that may be included in a cottage garden, including:
    • Seating alternatives
    • Bird baths
    • Sun dials
    • Fountains
    • Statues
    • Pergolas
    • Gazebos
    • Fencing
    • Ponds
    • Weather vanes.
  • Determine criteria for inclusion of different landscape features in a cottage garden, including:
    • Gazebos
    • Ornaments
    • Arbors
    • Tub plants
    • Water features
    • Paths.
  • Compare the characteristics, including:
    • Suitability for a cottage garden
    • Cost
    • Availability
    • Longevity
    • Appearance
    • Maintenance, of different landscape materials.
  • Explain the use of plant sculpting, including topiary and hedging, in cottage garden designs; including references to:
    • Ways of creating it
    • Ways of using it
    • Maintenance.
  • Analyse, in a report including photographs, the use of different structures as features, in the designs of two different cottage gardens, visited by you.
  • Prepare three cottage garden concept plans, one each for different specified sites, which incorporate different types of features sympathetic to cottage or heritage gardens.
  • Develop a brief for a cottage garden design, for the redevelopment of an established garden around an old building in your locality.
  • Analyse the designs of two different well established cottage gardens visited by you.
  • Compile pre-planning information for a specified cottage garden development.
  • Prepare detailed plans for a cottage garden (following industry standards), including:
    • Detailed plans

Materials lists

  • Costings.
  • Explain the reasoning behind a cottage garden designed by you.


The quality of this course is second to none, from the in-depth learning you will get to the expert individual mentoring you will receive throughout your studies. The mentors for this course are: 

Bunch of yellow rosesSusan Stephenson
BSc in Applied Plant Biology (Botany) Univ. London 1983.
City and guilds: Garden Centre Management, Management and Interior Decor (1984)
Management qualifications in training with retail store. Diploma in Hort level 2 (RHS General) Distinction. 

Susan Stephenson is a passionate and experienced horticulturist and garden designer. She has authored three books, lectures at 2 Further and Higher Education Colleges, teaching people of all ages and backgrounds about the wonders of plants and garden design, and tutors many students by correspondence from all over the world.

Susan studied botany at Royal Holloway College (Univ of London) and worked in the trading industry before returning to her first love plants and garden design. She is therefore, well placed to combine business knowledge with horticulture and design skills. Her experience is wide and varied and she has designed gardens for families and individuals. Susan is a mentor for garden designers who are just starting out, offering her support and advice and she also writes, delivers and assesses courses for colleges, introducing and encouraging people into horticulture and garden design.
In 2010, Susan authored a complete module for a Foundation degree (FDSC) in Arboriculture.
Susan holds the RHS General with Distinction. She continues to actively learn about horticulture and plants and (as her students will tell you) remains passionate and interested in design and horticulture.
Susan Stevenson course tutorSteven Whitaker
Diploma in Garden Design (Distinction) – The Blackford Centre, Gold Certificate of Achievement in Horticulture, Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture, Level 1 NOCN Introduction to Gardening, – Joseph Priestly College, BTEC Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Operations (Merit), Trainer Skills 1, & 2, Group trainer, Interview and Selection Skills – Kirby College of Further Education
Steven has a wealth of Horticultural knowledge, having ran his own Design and Build service, Landscaping company, and been a Head Gardener. His awards include five Gold awards at Leeds in Bloom, two Gold awards at Yorkshire in Bloom and The Yorkshire Rose Award for Permanent Landscaping. Steven has worked with TV’s Phil Spencer as his garden advisor on the Channel 4 TV Programme, “Secret Agent”. 
He is qualified to Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture and has a Diploma in Garden Design which he passed with Distinction. Steven’s Tutor and Mentor was the Chelsea Flower Show Gold Award-winning Garden Designer, Tracy Foster. He also works for a major Horticultural Commercial Grower in the field of Propagation and Craft Gardening. Steven lives in Leeds where he is a Freelance Garden Designer and Garden Advice Consultant. 

Course Info
How Do Our Tuition Fees Compare?Full time classroom based Further Education Courses - Approx. £5,000 per year - Part-time classroom based Adult Education Courses - Approx. £7.00 per hour - N.B. classroom tuition means you learn at the pace of the class. One-to-one private tuition - from £15.00 per hour - ADL one-to-one tution fees - From £340 per 100 Hour Course = Average of £3.40 per hour - N.B. one-to-one tuition is tailored to your own individual learning availability and pace.
Course StartBegin your learning at any time.
Course Prerequisite None - Our course levels are an indication of the depth of learning you should receive. They do not describe the level of difficulty.
Course Qualification (Study Option A)Endorsed Qualification from TQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation - Completed written assignments and final evaluation per course/module to be taken.
Course Qualification (Study Option B)Certificate of Attainment from ADL - Completed written assignments only - no final evaluation.
Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 10 - U.S. Credit Hours: 3 - when compared to regulated courses.
Course Duration and DeadlinesCourse hours given are a guide only. You will be encouraged to work at your own pace to learn as much as you can, with no assignment deadlines or end date by which you must complete your course by. You are in control!
Study SupportPersonal tutor/mentor support from industry relevant professionals throughout your whole course. Mentors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through the Moodle online classroom. They provide assistance with your course material, plus discuss, explain and give advice when needed. They will also mark and grade your assignments, plus provide constructive and helpful feedback vital to your success.
Suitability for Self Employment and Small BusinessesOur courses are ideal for sole traders and small business owners and their staff. Customer confidence in what you can do will determine how successful you are in getting clients. Doing the job right using the correct knowledge and skills, leads to repeat business and referrals to friends, family and work colleagues. Completing one or more of our courses for the service you have to offer, will give you the tools to achieve this and grow your business.
Recognition of Your Course By EmployersWe aim to achieve the correct balance between your qualification being recognised and providing you with the in-depth learning, to empower you to succeed. If you can demonstrate that you have the level of knowledge and transferable skills necessary to an employer, you should stand out from someone who has only received a superficial understanding of what's required - Select study option A when enrolling, so an employer can check the status of the awarding organisation for your qualification on the Ofqual Register.
Recognition of Your Course By UniversitiesAs you will see on our Testimonials page, previous students have used their qualification from us to get into university. However each one will have its own entrance criteria and acceptance may also depend on your other qualifications and experience. We can approach up to three universities on your behalf with details of our course before you enrol, so you will know whether it will be accepted as part of their application process. Please complete our contact form and we will begin the process.
Designing Your Own QualificationBundle up your choice of related courses to form your own qualification. Our Advanced Certificates (4 courses), Diplomas (6 courses), Advanced Diplomas (8 courses) and Higher Advanced Diplomas (12 courses), are used to differentiate between the in-depth knowledge and skills you will acquire in your chosen area of study. e.g. Advanced Certificate in Turf Care Management, which includes individual courses: Turf Care, Sports Turf Care, Turf Repair and Renovation and Turf Grasses.
How Can I Enrol?Online by selecting your study option, learning materials, plus payment option and then clicking the Enrol Now button - By contacting us for an application form - By telephoning us on 01227 789 649 (International: 0044 1227 789 649). Lines open 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year.
How Can I Get a Pro-forma Invoice for my Employer?Contact us with details and we will email your employer an invoice. We will need: employer's name, address, telephone number, email address and contact name. We will also require your name, telephone number, email address, date of birth and the course and code you wish to enrol for.

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