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Landscaping and Garden Design 600 Hours Diploma


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Landscaping and Garden Design 600 Hours Diploma

Price: £1,950.00Course Code: VHT002
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( jason, 19/09/2014 ) Q:

i am just wondering if there is a time scale. I see it is 600 hours but can it be done over a couple of years? many thanks Jason

( 22/09/2014 ) A:

Hello Jason,

The 600 hours is a guide as to how much time the course needs in order for it to be completed. The avarge distance learning students does take roughly 2 years to complete the Diploma, but as it is self paced entirely, you make take longer if needed.


( Scott, 28/11/2013 ) Q: I am currently a member of the British Army. I have just put in my one years notice to leave and in doing so the Army help fund courses to set you up on civilian street. However, the Army only help fund level 3 Diplomas. i could not see anywhere where it states which level this Diploma in Horticulture (Landscaping & Garden Design) is. Could you please let me know. Many Thanks Scott
( 29/11/2013 ) A: Hello Scott, This Diploma is at a level 3 standard which means the work will be at a similar depth. We offer a 10% discount for Army or Ex-army personnel on all our courses too.

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Landscaping and Garden Design 600 Hours Diploma

Online Diploma in Horticulture (Landscaping & Garden Design) 

Professional Garden Design Landscapers have put all their years of experience and considerable expertise into bringing you this diploma, which will enable you to begin your own business and help you stand out from other applicants when applying for gardening jobs in the UK and abroad.


There's nothing like designing and creating a garden of note and this diploma will give you the skills to create beautiful gardens for your clients. There two sections to be completed:

  1. Section 1: 15 General Horticulture Lessons in plants, propagation, soils, pests, diseases and weeds
  2. Section 2: 15 Specialised Lessons in the most popular areas of Garden Design and LandscapingTQUK Recognises Centre logo

The Diploma in Horticulture (Landscaping and Garden Design) is endorsed by TQUK -  an Ofqual approved awarding organisation and your gardening qualification in Design and Landscaping will be endorsed and issued by them on successful completion.

Another advantage with this qualification is that you can work in most fields of horticulture with what the broad horticultural knowledge you will learn in the first half of the diploma. This keeps your options open for the future as well as giving you an 'edge' in the landscaping field where most employees or contractors do not possess basic horticultural skills.

The course will help you gain essential skills in general horticulture, plant identification and use, landscape design, costing and construction, features and landscape business management. It will take you approximately 700 hour hours to complete and is designed to train landscape contractors and/or designers.

The diploma is ideal for those starting out in horticulture with a particular passion for the landscaping and design side of the industry, and also for theory training backed up with the practical set tasks built in to all our courses, for employers requiring staff to gain the right level of understanding and a credible qualification, which will allow them to be successful and profitable employees. 


Lesson Structure:  Diploma In Horticulture (Landscaping & Garden Design) VHT002

There are 30 lessons:

Section 1: General Horticulture

  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 disease
    • Plant pathology
    • Fungi, viruses, non pathogenic problems
    • Interactions with the host and the environment.
  15. Weeds
    • Identifying weeds
    • Controlling weeds
    • chemical terminology.

Section 2: Garden Design and Landscaping

  1. History of Landscaping
    • Garden Styles
    • Types of Gardens
    • History of Gardens
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Irrigation
    • Sprinkler Systems
    • Micro Irrigation
    • Planning an Irrigation System
    • How to Use a Watering System
    • Automatic Watering Systems
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Materials
    • Using, Choosing & Preserving Timber
    • Recycled Timber
    • Rock Work
    • Concrete
    • Coloured Pebbles and Gravel
  8. 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
  9. Equipment
    • Manual Tools and Equipment
    • Power tools for landscaping
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Landscaping for Sports and Games
    • Fun and Fitness Trails
    • Outdoor Multi Purpose Courts
    • Skateboarding
    • Types of Playgrounds
    • Park Design Criteria
  13. Landscape Management
    • Role of a Manager
    • Management Processes
    • Law and Business
    • Communication Skill
    • Marketing
    • Industry Awareness
    • Landscape Management
  14. Industrial Relations: Unions and Workers
    • Work Scheduling
    • Unions
    • Workplace Health and Safety
  15. Maintenance of a New Landscape
    • Protecting Young Plants
    • Replanting
    • Pruning
    • Weed Control
    • Maintaining Turf

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

More About Section 2: Garden Design and Landscaping

The aim of the stream studies is to develop skills and knowledge in landscape design, construction, features and landscape business management. You will engage in the following activities as part of the stream studies:

  • 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.
  • Analyse 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.
  • Analyse and report on a cottage garden design.
  • Analyse 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 and soil preparation techniques used in landscaping.
  • Describe alternative techniques for establishing and growing plants.
  • Explain a range of 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 health and safety requirements on a landscape site.


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: 

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.
Steven Whitaker 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: 60 - U.S. Credit Hours: 18 - 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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"Fantastic Teacher. Well organised modules. Assignments force me to learn and research more so I can prepare well for exams. I really enjoyed studying via ADL.  I can now continue study at Ulster University which accept my certificate from ADL".    Level 4,  Advanced Certificate in Applied Science,  VSC001,  Stanislawa,  Poland.

Its with great pleasure I am announcing you my new job as 'Park Manager' for a 5 star hotel in Reunion Island.  Its definitely my courses with ADL (Botany, Agronomy and Trees for Rehabilitation) which were decisive for my nomination. Accordingly, my sincere thanks goes to all the ADL team.

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Disclaimer: Every attempt is made to ensure all information from the academy is accurate and that the student has attained the competencies taught in a course, at the point of their assessment. Beyond this point, the graduate is responsible to maintain their acquired competencies, and apply acquired knowledge and skills in a way which is appropriate to the unique characteristics of each application. This will release the academy from any liability, action and claims of whatsoever nature in connection with, or arising from any such information, instruction or advice, given by any student or ex-student, whether directions given during the course are followed or not.