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RHS Level 2 Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance (Theory) and Level 3 Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (Theory) Both Certificates Package


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RHS Level 2 Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance (Theory) and Level 3 Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (Theory) Both Certificates Package

Price: £735.00Course Code: RHSL211/L311 Package
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( keaton, 27/12/2017 ) Q:

Hi, how would i go about gaining practical experience in garden design from these level 2 and 3 courses? is this up to me, or is it provided in someway with the course? these theory courses look awesome but i would think it is very important to have practical experience with constructing patios and designing gardens etc.. to apply this theoretical knowledge in a real life way would be wouldn't it? thank you

( 28/12/2017 ) A:

Hello Keaton,

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

The RHS courses we offer, deal with the theory side. The RHS has an extra practical course for each of the two levels and these are available through approved RHS centres around the UK. 

Another option to get practical experience, especially if you live outside the UK, is to find work experience where you can put some of hat you are learning into practice. It's not necessary, but it certainly wouldn't be something we would discourage.

Many people complete the courses without including practical work. They are specifically designed and are RHS approved, to provide the knowledge required to become a Garden Designer. Many students complete the course part-time in order to change careers and others do not have access to a suitable garden. Even after you have completed the course, you will have access to the information should you need to remind yourself of something, when working.

I hope that this is helpful.

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RHS Level 2 Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance (Theory) and Level 3 Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (Theory) Both Certificates Package

RHS LogoGet both RHS garden design courses to save 10%, when compared to enroling for the courses separately, with this online distance learning based  package offer of both the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance (Theory) and Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Garden Planning, Construction & Planting (Theory). Gain specialisation in the garden planning principles taught in both courses and get accredited RHS qualifications. Become one of the many graduates from the Academy of Distance Learning, who have become established garden designers in their own right, around the world. Distance learning is the most cost and time efficient method of preparing for RHS examinations. Learn from the comfort of your own home and learn at your own pace, not at one set by a lecturer at a college.

These globally recognised courses will help you to develop essential garden planning and landscaping skills, to help you get noticed by employers. Stand out from the crowd after successfully completing these programs, with practical skills that are in big demand. RHS qualifications are seen as highly desirable by a large number of employers in the horticultural industry.

To obtain the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance, you will need to pass four unit exams. These are:

  1. Garden Features, Plant Selection and Planning
  2. Choice, Establishment and Maintenance of Garden Plants and Lawns
  3. Understanding the Production of Outdoor Vegetables and Fruit
  4. Protected Environments and their use in Plant Cultivation

To obtain the RHS Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Garden Planning, Construction & Planting , you will also need to pass four unit exams, which are:

  1. Garden Survey Techniques and Design Principles
  2. Selection and Use of Landscaping Elements in the Garden
  3. Setting out and Construction of Landscaping Elements in the Garden
  4. Specialist Elements in the Establishment of Garden and Urban Plantings

Exams are held by the RHS in February and June of each year and you should be aware that there are deadline dates by which you need to apply to take them and that the fees are paid separately when booking. Students should register as an external candidate with an RHS Approved Centres, or contact qualifications@rhs.org.uk for details. To help fully prepare you for the exams, there are past test papers readily available

Course Duration:

The Total Qualification Time (TQT) given for the level 2 course is 156.

The Total Qualification Time (TQT) given for the level 3 course is 202.

Learning Materials:

You can be assured that all of the course work and resource materials (revision workbook, PowerPoint presentations etc.), have been written by experienced professionals who have prepared everything in line with up-to-date RHS guidelines, for learning providers.The syllabus for each course is broken into the four units and because many people choose to spread their exams over the two examination months available, it means you can target your learning to those you want to take first. Please contact us if you just want to take one unit at a time.

Everyone gets online access to ADL's learning platform and the learning materials, which can be downloaded in a pdf. format to study offline and to print off for making notes and highlighting particular sections of interest. You can also choose to have the course posted to you on a USB memory stick.


garden pathway

At ADL we pride ourselves on the quality of the unlimited admin and tutor support we provide to our students. Our support team are there to help you with anything they can, whilst our tutors are seasoned industry related professionals, suitably qualified in horticulture and very happy to share their wealth of experience.

Studying from Abroad:

If you are intending to study from abroad (other than Ireland), you will need to email qualifications@rhs.org.uk to request an exceptional supervision form before applying to take the exams. This means that you can complete the course from abroad and get an internationally recognised qualification from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Tuition Fee Includes:

  • Learning materials for both the level 2 and level 3 courses
  • RHS student membership for the first 12 months

Key Facts:

  • Ideal qualifications for entry into horticultural employment, improving practical skills or further study
  • Course covers a range of wide range of horticultural topics and up-to-date working practices
  • Appropriate for career change or to gain a better knowledge
  • Suitable for part-time study
  • Each unit is assessed by examination 
  • Examinations take place in February and June
  • No entry requirements
  • Qualification consists of four mandatory units 

Important Links:

For RHS Website please click here
For RHS Examination dates for 2019 please click here
For RHS Examination fees please click here
For RHS approved UK Examination Centers please click here
For RHS Qualification Specification for Level 2 Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance, updated January 2018 please click here
For RHS Level 2 Statement of Qualification Purpose click here
For RHS Qualification Specification for Level 3 Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planning, updated January 2018 please click here
For  RHS Level 3 Statement of Qualification Purpose please click here

Previous Student Comments:

"I am delighted to report that I passed the exam and received a "Pass with Commendation." I appreciate very much the detail that you went into, in the the correction of my assignments and I found your advice and extra subject information invaluable in advancing my interest and knowledge in horticulture".  Go raibh mile maith agat! (a thousand thanks!)  Colin, RHS Certificate II , Ireland. 


RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance (Theory)

UNIT 1 - Garden Features, Plant Selection and Planning:

Outcome 1. Know How to Carry out and Record a Garden Survey

  • 1.1 Describe how to identify potential hazards and risks on a site
  • 1.2 Describe potential restrictions which may limit work on the siteenglish house in tradtional garden
  • 1.3 State what existing garden features need to be identified
  • 1.4 State why it is necessary to identify the existence of overhead and underground services
  • 1.5 Describe how to carry out basic linear surveying techniques, including the use of tapes, offsets and triangulation

Outcome 2. Know How to Carry out a Site Appraisal and Record Essential Data

  • 2.1 State what needs to be recorded when carrying out a site appraisal

Outcome 3. Understand Basic Garden Planning Principles and the Elements that Contribute to a Good Design

  • 3.1 Describe the relevance of garden planning principles to the production of a garden design that 'works' - one that follows accepted 'rules' or 'conventions', and which is   pleasing to the eye
  • 3.2 State the meaning of the following terms: symmetry; asymmetry; colour; focal point

Outcome 4. Understand the Characteristics of Accepted Garden Design Styles

  • 4.1 Describe the difference between formality and informality in garden design
  • 4.2 Describe the main characteristics of a knot garden, a landscape garden and a cottage garden  

Outcome 5. Understand the Effective and Appropriate use of Hard Landscaping Materials

  • 5.1 Describe a range of horizontal elements: paths, steps, patios and decking. Compare the benefits and limitations of a range of materials for each of the above, including concrete, paving and wood
  • 5.2 Describe a range of vertical elements: wall, fences, screens, pergolas, furniture, statuary. For each of the above, compare TWO examples of natural and man-made materials used in their manufacture
  • 5.3 Describe rock gardens and water features. State TWO examples of manufactured and TWO of natural materials for EACH element

Outcome 6. Understand the Effective use of Soft Landscaping Elements

  • 6.1 Name appropriate grass species for a lawn
  • 6.2 Name FIVE evergreen and FIVE deciduous trees
  • 6.3 Name FIVE evergreen and FIVE deciduous plant species
  • 6.4 Name TEN deciduous and TEN evergreen shrubs
  • 6.5 Name TEN herbaceous perennials
  • 6.6 Name TEN Alpine or Rock garden plants
  • 6.7 Name FIVE plants grown as biennials
  • 6.8 Name TEN hardy plants
  • 6.9 Name TEN half-hardy plants
  • 6.10 Name TEN patio or basket plants
  • 6.11 Name FIVE bulbs, corms or tuberous plants used for winter or spring interest, and FIVE for summer or autumn interest

Outcome 7. Understand how to Incorporate Key Elements into a Cohesive Design

  • 7.1 Describe how elements of hard landscaping should be selected and used to ensure that a design is cohesive
  • 7.2 Describe how elements of soft landscaping should be selected and used to ensure that a design is cohesive
  • 7.3 Describe how other materials and items (e.g. garden furniture) should be selected and used to ensure that a design is cohesive

Outcome 8. Understand the Importance of Safe, Healthy, Environmentally-Sensitive and Sustainable Development of Garden Sites

  • 8.1 Describe TWO hazards associated with EACH of the following: access; slope; location of features; water; electricity; materials; plants
  • 8.2 State how the risks related to the hazards identified in 8.1 can be minimised by careful planning during the planning and design stage
  • 8.3 Describe how the environmental sustainability of landscaping materials may affect choices made during the planning and design stage
  • 8.4 State how sustainable practices in the maintenance of a garden can be integrated successfully during the planning and design stage
  • 8.5 State how sustainable practices can be undertaken during the construction stage

UNIT 2 - Garden Features, Plant Selection and Planning:

Outcome 1. Understand the choice of plants for seasonal display and their establishment and maintenance

  • 1.1 Describe: bedding, hardy, half hardy, tropical, edging, groundwork (infill) and dot plants
  • 1.2 Explain the importance of F1 hybrid plants and the term ‘hybrid vigour’
  • 1.3 Name TEN plants suitable for growing in an annual border
  • 1.4 Name TEN plants suitable for summer bedding displays
  • 1.5 Name FIVE plants suitable for spring bedding displays, including TWO bulbs (corms or tubers)
  • 1.6 Name TEN plants suitable for summer display in containers or hanging baskets
  • 1.7 Name FIVE plants suitable for winter display in containers or hanging baskets
  • 1.8 Describe the soil or growing media preparation, sowing or planting out of plants for seasonal display for the situations listed in 1.3 – 1.7
  • 1.9 Describe the routine maintenance of seasonal bedding, including control of weeds and common pests and diseases (aphids, slugs and snails, vine weevil, grey mould, powdery mildew) for situations listed in 1.3 - 1.7

Outcome 2. Understand the Choice of Herbaceous Perennial Plants and ‘bulbs’ for Display, and how to grow them

  • 2.1 Name TEN herbaceous perennial plants suitable for growing in an herbaceous border
  • 2.2 Name FIVE herbaceous perennials suitable for growing in shade and FIVE suitable for use as ground cover
  • 2.3 Name TEN bulbs or corms or tubers, of which FOUR should be suitable for growing in the border, FOUR for containers and FOUR for naturalizing
  • 2.4 Describe the soil preparation, planting, routine maintenance and control of weeds, pests and diseases (aphids, slugs and snails, vine weevil, grey mould, powdery mildew ,stem or bulb eelworm) required for growing herbaceous perennials and bulbs, corms or tubers

Outcome 3. Understand the choice of Woody Plants for Display and their Establishment and Maintenanceclimbing pink roses

  • 3.1 Name TEN trees suitable for growing in a domestic garden
  • 3.2 Name TEN shrubs suitable for growing in a domestic garden.
  • 3.3 Name FIVE trees grown for winter interest and FIVE grown for autumn display
  • 3.4 Name FIVE shrubs grown for winter interest and FIVE grown for autumn display
  • 3.5 Name FIVE lime-hating trees or shrubs
  • 3.6 Name FIVE bush roses suitable for growing in a rose bed, including cluster-flowered (floribunda) and large-flowered (hybrid tea) examples
  • 3.7 Name FIVE climbers and FIVE wall shrubs suitable for a variety of garden situations including shaded and north-facing
  • 3.8 Describe the soil preparation and planting for trees and woody shrubs
  • 3.9 Describe the routine maintenance for trees and woody shrubs, to include pruning andthe control of weeds and common pests and diseases (aphids, powdery mildew, black spot of roses, canker, coral spot, honey fungus)

Outcome 4. Understand the Choice of Alpine and Rock Garden Plants and how to Grow Them

  • 4.1 Name FIVE alpine or rock garden plants for spring display and FIVE for summer display
  • 4.2 Describe soil characteristics, soil preparation and routine maintenance for the display of alpine or rock garden plants in open soil
  • 4.3 Describe choice of container, the characteristics and preparation of the growing medium, and the routine maintenance required for an alpine or rock garden display in containers

Outcome 5. Understand the Planting and Maintenance of a Garden Pool

  • 5.1 Name TWO AQUATIC plants from each of the following groups: floating, deep water, marginal and bog plants
  • 5.2 Describe the planting and establishment of aquatic plants in a garden pool.
  • 5.3 Describe the annual maintenance of a garden pool, including possible controls for algae including blanket weed

Outcome 6. Understand the Establishment and Maintenance of Lawns

  • 6.1 State appropriate grass mixtures for the establishment of a high quality ornamental lawn and for a hard-wearing utility lawn
  • 6.2 State the benefits and limitations of establishing lawns from seed
  • 6.3 Describe the procedure for establishing a lawn from seed
  • 6.4 State the benefits and limitations of establishing a lawn from turf
  • 6.5 Describe the procedure for establishing a lawn from turf
  • 6.6 Describe the annual maintenance programme for quality ornamental and for hardwearing utility lawns
  • 6.7 Describe the range of equipment used for mowing, feeding, scarifying and aerating lawns
  • 6.8 Describe the symptoms of a range of common lawn pests and diseases, including red thread, Fusarium patch, fairy rings, leatherjackets and moles; state an appropriate control measure for EACH

 UNIT 3 - Understanding the Production of Outdoor Vegetables and Fruit:

Outcome 1. Importance of site selection for Outdoor Food Production in a Garden or Allotment

  • 1.1 State the factors to be considered when selecting a site: including soil depth, texture and structure, drainage, pH, aspect, slope, susceptibility to frost and wind, area of land available and availability of water
  • 1.2 Describe the reasons for providing shelter for an outdoor food production area, including the effects of wind reduction, frost potential and influences upon pollination
  • 1.3 State the benefits and limitations of living and nonliving windbreaks
  • 1.4 Name FOUR plant species suitable for a living windbreak
  • 1.5 Name FOUR types of non-living permeable windbreak

Outcome 2. Cultural operations used to produce outdoor food crops in a garden or allotment

  • 2.1 Describe a range of soil cultivationtechniques suitable for the vegetable garden: including digging rotary cultivation, consolidation and tilth production
  • 2.2 Describe how the timing of soil cultivations will be influenced by soil texture, structure, weather and climate
  • 2.3 Describe what is meant by the bed system for growing vegetables. Compare this with open ground production
  • 2.4 Describe what is meant by a raised bed, giving a specification for a typical raised bed and paths
  • 2.5 Explain the no-dig system of managing raised beds
  • 2.6 State the methods used to advance and extend the productive season of outdoor food crops, including the use of polythene, mulches, fleece, ‘enviromesh’, low tunnels, cloches and cold frames
  • 2.7 Describe propagation methods used in the production of vegetable crops, including direct sowing and raising plants in seed beds, blocks and modules

Outcome 3. The principles of vegetable crop production

  • 3.1 Describe the individual production of vegetable crops. This outcome looks at the production of specific crops: from these you will need to select and concentrate on: Runner beans, Winter   cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Carrots, Courgettes, Onions, Leeks,   Beetroot, Potatoes and Salad Crops to include lettuce and radish
  • 3.2 Describe how quality and yield may be determined by the following: base and top dressings, thinning, weed control, crop support, irrigation and pest and disease control
  • 3.5 State the benefits and limitations of crop rotation
  • 3.6 Describe a four-bed system of crop rotation
  • 3.7 Explain how successional cropping can be achieved for a NAMED crop by using sowing and planting dates, choice of cultivars and environmental protection
  • 3.8 Explain how intercropping can be used to maximise production
  • 3.9 Describe the effect of plant spacing on a named crop
  • 3.10 Describe what is meant by ‘cut and come again’ vegetables

Outcome 4. The Production of top and soft fruit for a garden or allotment

  • 4.1 Distinguish between top and soft fruit
  • 4.2 List the types of top fruit (including apples, pears, plums and cherries) and factors for their selection, to include dessert and culinary cultivars; harvesting season; and storage capability
  • 4.3 List the major types of soft fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries, blueberries and grapes) and factors to be considered when choosing suitable cultivars, to include the fruit type; choice of early, mid and late season cultivars; flavour; and freezing capability
  • 4.4 Describe the production of top fruit (apples and plums) and state the factors to be considered when choosing plants, including fruit type; plant quality; rootstock choice; size of tree; training style; pollination compatibility; and cultural requirements
  • 4.5 Describe the production of soft fruit, including raspberries, blackcurrants and strawberries
  • 4.6 State the advantages of purchasing certified stock
  • 4.7 Describe how quality and yield can be determined by the following: planting; base and top dressings; mulching; weed control; irrigation; training systems; appropriate pruning; and pest and disease control
  • 4.8 Describe the importance of formative and maintenance pruning for tree shape and yield
  • 4.9 Explain the importance of cross pollination and fertilisation in top fruit, including flowering periods, compatibility, diploid and triploid cultivars
  • 4.10 State four methods of ensuring effective pollination in fruit production
  • 4.11 Describe the harvesting and storage of the fruit crops named in 4.4 and 4.5
  • 4.12 State ONE common pest and ONE common disease of the fruits named in 4.4 and 4.5,describing symptoms and control measures

 Unit 4 - Understanding Protected Environments & their Use in Plant Cultivation:

Outcome 1. A Range of types of Protected Structure, and their use in Growing Plants

  • 1.1 Describe a range of protected structures, to include greenhouses, cold frames, polythene tunnels, cloches and conservatories
  • 1.2 Describe horticultural uses for each of the structures listed in 1.1, including plant propagation, crop production, and decorative display

Outcome 2. The Environment provided by a range of Protected Structures

  • 2.1 Describe the environmental differences between the protected environment and outdoors, including temperature; humidity; light; concentration of atmospheric gases; air movement; and irrigation requirements
  • 2.2 State the benefits and limitations of using protected structures for growing plants, (for example tomato, Solanum esculentum ( now lycopersicum) compared with growing the same plants outdoors
  • 2.3 Describe the effect of the environmental factors listed in 2.1 on plants in a protected environment

Outcome 3. Structural and Cladding Materials used for a range of Protected Structures

  • 3.1 List and describe the characteristics of a range of materials used for framework construction, including steel, aluminium, wood, and plastics. State the benefits and limitations of EACH
  • 3.2 Describe the properties of different cladding materials which can be used for structures, including glass; polyethylene film; polycarbonate; acrylic sheets; shade netting; and horticultural fleece. State the benefits and limitations of EACH

Outcome 4. The Control of the Environment in Protected Structures

  • 4.1 Describe the factors that affect light levels in protected structures, including shape of structure; site factors; orientation; type and condition of cladding materials
  • 4.2 Describe how the temperature can be maintained in structures, including heating by gas, oil or electricity; heat distribution using circulating water and air; cooling by forced or natural ventilation; evaporation; and shading
  • 4.3 Describe methods of changing the relative humidity (RH) in a protected environment, including the effects of ‘damping down’, ventilation and temperature changes
  • 4.4 Describe manual and automated methods of irrigation, including the use of watering cans, hose pipes, capillary systems and ‘drip’ systems
  • 4.5 Describe how light levels can be manipulated, by the use of supplementary lighting and shading, including blinds and shading paints
  • 4.6 Describe the importance of cultural and biological controls to limit the damage caused by plant pests and diseases

Outcome 5. Types of Container and Growing Media Used for Production and Display in Protected Structures

  • 5.1 Compare the properties and characteristics of materials used in the manufacture of plant containers, including terracotta, plastic, polystyrene, peat, paper, natural and reconstituted stone, and recycled materials
  • 5.2 Describe the factors that should be considered when choosing containers for the display of plants in greenhouses and interior displays, including management considerations and visual appeal

Outcome 6. Horticultural uses of the Protected Environment

  • 6.1 Describe the use of protected environments for the overwintering,  production and display of plants
  • 6.2 Describe the production of a range of plants which can be grown in a protected environment in a garden situation under the following headings: propagation and establishment, maintenance, control of pests, diseases and disorders

Outcome 7. Care of Plants in an Interior Situation

  • 7.1 Describe the environmental factors that must be taken into account when displaying plants inside domestic buildings
  • 7.2 Describe the choice of suitable containers and growing media for houseplants
  • 7.3 Describe the management of one fern (Adiantum raddianum), one foliage (Ficus benjamina) and three seasonal flowering plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, and Saintpaulia ionantha) under the following headings: potting, feeding, watering, deadheading, re-potting, pest and disease identification and control


RHS Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Garden Planning, Construction & Planting

UNIT 1 Garden Survey Techniques and Design Principles

Outcome 1. Understand how to develop a client brief

  • 1.1 Identify the information which needs to be gathered from the client.white garden furniture
  • 1.2 Describe how information is gathered to develop the client

Outcome 2. Understand how to carry out a site appraisal

  • 2.1 State what existing features and characteristics need to be recorded.
  • 2.2 State what methods are used to collect and record site information.
  • 2.3 Explain the influence of features and characteristics on choice of design

Outcome 3. Understand a range of basic surveying techniques

  • 3.1 Describe the linear surveying of a site using appropriate equipment.
  • 3.2 Describe the level surveying of a site using appropriate equipment.
  • 3.3 Interpret survey measurements from standard documentation.
  • 3.4 Describe scale drawings produced from survey data

Outcome 4. Understand the principles of garden design

  • 4.1 Explain the principles of garden design.
  • 4.2 Describe examples of the application of the elements in 4

Outcome 5. Understand the historical development of garden design styles

  • 5.1 Describe representative characteristics of the following garden design styles:
  • Medieval, Moorish, Renaissance (Italian,French and Dutch), English Landscape,
  • Victorian, Modernist, Japanese
  • 5.2 Review the factors that influence the design of domestic

UNIT 2 - Selection and Use of Landscaping Elements in the Garden

Outcome 1. Understand the Contribution made by Hard Landscaping Features to Garden Design

  • 1.1 Identify how hard landscaping features may contribute to garden design.
  • 1.2 Describe a range of materials suitable for these hard landscaping features to meet aesthetic, functional and sustainable design requirements.
  • 1.3 Evaluate the suitability of hard landscaping materials and features to ensure accessibility for all garden users.
  • 1.4 Review how considerations of safety may influence the choice of structures and materials used in the garden

Outcome 2. Understand the Contribution made by Soft Landscaping Features to the Design of a Garden

  • 2.1 Describe soft landscaping features that contribute to garden design
  • 2.2 Select plants suitable for a range of soft landscaping situations
  • 2.4 Describe the design possibilities of grassed areas ( including mowing effects and heights, turf mazes)
  • 2.5 Describe the use of planting plans

UNIT 3 - Setting out and Construction of Landscaping Elements in the Garden

Outcome 1. Understand the Planning Involved in the Realisation of a Garden Design

  • 1.1 Explain the need to plan landscape works

Outcome 2. Understand the Practical Procedures for Setting out a Site

  • 2.1 Describe how to set out the major features of a design on the ground
  • 2.2 Describe how to set out the required levels on site

Outcome 3. Understand the Reasons for Correct Groundwork Procedures

  • 3.1 Describe the correct handling, storage and reinstatement of soil during site construction
  • 3.2 Select the type of drainage system required in various situations
  • 3.3 Describe the foundations for hard landscaping

Outcome 4. Know Materials and Construction Procedures for Garden Surfaces

  • 4.1 Describe a range of appropriate materials for garden surfaces
  • 4.2 Describe the procedures for laying the surface materials mentioned in 4.1

Outcome 5. Know materials and construction procedures for garden walls, fences and pergolas

  • 5.1 Describe materials that are suitable for the construction of garden walls
  • 5.2 Describe materials suitable for garden fences
  • 5.3 Describe materials suitable for pergolas and arches
  • 5.4 Describe the construction of walls, fences and pergolas

UNIT 4 - Specialist Elements in the Establishment of Garden and Urban Plantingsgarden cart with plant pots

Outcome 1. Understand the Practices of Establishing and Maintaining Planting in a Range of Specialist Areas

  • 1.1 Describe the characteristics of a range of specialist areas
  • 1.2 Identify establishment and maintenance issues associated with specialist areas
  • 1.3 Prepare a seasonal schedule for amenity bedding schemes
  • 1.4 Understand how water conservation can be applied in soft landscaping

Outcome 2. Understand Pruning in the Establishment and Maintenance of Specialist Plantings

  • 2.1 Describe the use of specialist pruning techniques
  • 2.2 Describe establishment and maintenance pruning


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 Roses susan Stephenson tutorSusan 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 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)Recognised qualification from the RHS. N.B. Course fee does not include exam fees.
Course Qualification (Study Option B)
Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 29 - Regulated Qualification
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 - Your qualification is recognised in its own right on the Ofqual Register
Recognition of Your Course By Universities
Designing Your Own Qualification
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.

                       Learn, Progress, Change, Achieve                                                     


Previous Customer Experiences with our CoursesWoman leaping to the next level in her career development

"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.

"The course was a valuable learning experience as it provided me with the knowledge and understanding for me as a Careers Advisor. The feedback was very good from my tutor, and allowed me to  build upon my assignments that were marked. The comments were very informative  and very useful. Well written course material."  Andrew W, Careers  Counselling, UK

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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.