Garden Design (Level 3)



£ 297 VAT inc.

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  • Type


  • Level


  • Methodology

    Distance Learning

  • Class hours


  • Duration

    12 Months

The Garden Designer Course is a positive step in taking control of how you can plan and create your garden. It could also be the first step towards a successful garden design business.

Garden designers need to be trained in the principles of design and in horticulture, and have an excellent knowledge and experience of using plants.

Our Garden Design distance learning course will teach you about the Design Layout, considering elements such as paths, walls, landscape features, water features, sitting areas and decking.

The course also covers information about the plants themselves, with consideration given to their horticultural requirements, their season-to-season appearance, lifespan, size, speed of growth, and combinations with other plants.

Important information

Price for Emagister users: We are offering a 20% discount this month for all enrolments that are paid in full and made online.



Start date

Distance Learning

Start date

Different dates availableEnrolment now closed

About this course

Key Topics

The Level 3 Award in Garden Design course is divided into fourteen comprehensive modules:

Unit 1 – Garden Design & You
Unit 2 – What Good Design Achieves
Unit 3 – Starting to Design
Unit 4 – The Importance of Soils & Sites
Unit 5 – Starting Real Design Work
Unit 6 – Planning
Unit 7 – Designing for Interest
Unit 8 – Water in the Garden
Unit 9 – Children & Pets
Unit 10 – Gardening for Users with Disabilities, the Elderly and Garden Safety
Unit 11 – Upkeep & Maintenance
Unit 12 – Structures in the Garden
Unit 13 – Marketing Your Garden Design Business
Unit 14 – Tricks of the Trade

No Entry Requirements

Level 3 Award in Garden Design

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This centre's achievements


All courses are up to date

The average rating is higher than 3.7

More than 50 reviews in the last 12 months

This centre has featured on Emagister for 16 years


  • IT
  • Design
  • Garden Design
  • Gardening

Teachers and trainers (1)

Support Advisor

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Course programme

Garden Design (Level 3)

How is the course structured?

The Level 3 Award in Garden Design course is divided into fourteen comprehensive modules:

Unit One – Garden Design & You
- Introduction to design
- History and development
- How gardens started
- The beginnings
- The garden today
- Designers
- Types of garden designers today
- Where to find information
- Factors to consider
- The gardens around you
- Unit 1 Summary.

Unit Two – What Good Design Achieves
- Designers, what they do and why they are needed?
- The design process
- The owner’s requirements
- What the designer does
- The benefits of using a garden designer
- Providing guidance
- Types of client
- You as the designer
- Taking instructions
- Drawing skills
- Unit 2 Summary.

Unit Three – Starting to Design
- Getting started – Equipment & Dress
- Design by computer (CAD)
- Impressions of the garden
- The initial visit
- The client checklist
- The design recipe
- Site assessment
- Surveying and measuring
- Slopes
- The rough sketch
- The FLP (Functional Layout Plan)
- Triangulation and chain surveys
- Drawing to scale
- Labelling, heights, number charts and keys
- The design principals of Direction, Rhythm and Harmony, and what they mean
- Unit 3 Summary.

Unit Four – The Importance of Soils & Sites
- Soil and horticultural potential
- soil and sites
- climate (oceanic, etc)
- temperature
- Light, shade and shelter
- Rainfall and humidity
- Soil types and pH
- Topography
- The soil environment and horizons
- Profile pits
- Improving the soil with manures, fertilisers, line and mulches
- Cultivation and drainage
- Soil life – good and bad
- Unit 4 Summary.

Unit Five – Starting Real Design Work
- Getting down to design
- Arranging plants
- Practicalities
- function and form
- Right plant, right place
- Height, borders and beds
- Information sources
- Plants for problem positions
- Plants for alkaline and acid soils
- Shade
- Sunny
- Dry
- Plants for particular uses (focal points, climbers, ground cover)
- Designing for shapes and sizes (formal, informal)
- Linking shapes; Playing with ideas and concepts
- Problem sites
- Downward slope
- Upward slope
- Long and narrow
- Short and square
- L-shaped
- Corner
- Unit 5 Summary.

Unit Six – Planning
- Planning for themes – ideas, styles and how to enhance
- Plants for colour and height
- The colour wheel
- Getting the planting mix right
- Colour patch bedding
- Foliage
- Features needing thought
- Fruit growing in small areas
- Containers, tubs and patios
- Plants to define areas and give direction
- Rockeries and alpines
- Hedges
- Unit 6 Summary.

Unit Seven – Designing for Interest
- The garden in winter
- Attracting wildlife
- Managing wildlife
- Herbs and weeds
- Other services
- Lighting
- Furniture
- Unit 7 Summary.

Unit Eight – Water in the Garden
- Introduction and uses
- Siting a pond
- Materials, depths and size
- Considerations
- Equipment
- Safety
- Filters
- Planting the pond
- Planning for timing and colour
- Maintenance
- Lighting and lighting design for water
- Water features
- construction diagrams
- Unit 8 Summary.

Unit Nine – Children & Pets
- Children
- Play areas
- Children’s gardens
- Equipment and toys
- Plants, poisonous plants and other potential threats
- Safety - water and children
- Pets in the garden
- Clients’ dogs
- Dogs
- Cats
- Unit 9 Summary.

Unit Ten – Gardening for Users with Disabilities, The Elderly and Garden Safety
- Paths
- Safety, features other issues
- Watering
- Tools
- Visually and sensory impaired sensory gardens
- Conclusion
- Safety checklist
- Unit 10 Summary.

Unit Eleven – Upkeep & Maintenance
- Introduction
- Assessing maintenance
- Builders, diggers and landscapers
- Plants
- Ponds
- Structures
- Lawns
- Beds
- Schedules of work
- Maintenance schedules
- Cost issues
- Practicalities
- Plant schedules
- Unit 11 Summary.

Unit 12 - Structures in the Garden
- Walls, fences and trellis
- Timber
- Iron
- Wire
- Paths and patios
- Green houses, sheds and stores
- Other structures
- Summerhouses
- Furtniture
- Unit 12 Summary

Unit 13 - Marketing Your Garden Design Business
- Where are the clients
- How to reach clients, Word of mouth, Advertising
- Portfolio and plant files
- Shows and fairs
- Visiting potential clients
- Clarifying your service
- Charging
- Keeping records
- Tax and accounts
- Help
- Insurance
- Unit 13 Summary and Final Course Project (Full Design)

Unit 14 - Tricks of the Trade
- An additional unit crammed with useful hints and tips for garden designers.


This course is marked through a process of continuous assessment guided by your tutor following ABC Awards guidelines. This means that your qualification will be awarded according to your performance on assessments rather than by taking an exam.

We send the full course out with the units listed above, you then read through the course in your own time and complete the assignments which you send to your tutor for marking. There is no word count for these assignments. However, one sentence answers will be rejected and you will have to re-submit it for marking.

Upon verification of the activities, exercises and assignments, a certificate of achievement will be awarded by ABC Awards, as confirmation that your written work has met all of the learning outcomes and assessment criteria for the programme.


Our aim is to provide you with the best deal available, therefore the registration fee, certification fee and full tutor support is included in the course price for you. The enrolment fee for the Level 3 Garden Design home study course is £371.25, though for a limited time we are offering you the opportunity to pay only £297 which is a 20% discount if you enrol online and pay in full.

You can also opt for our Easy Payment Plan and enrol online today by paying a deposit of £74.25 and then 4 equal payments of £74.25 per month. The first instalment is paid about a month after you receive your course.

Call the centre

Garden Design (Level 3)

£ 297 VAT inc.