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Landscape Construction

Course CodeBHT111
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


Home Studies Course: Hard Landscaping; Landscape Construction

  • Learn to construct or build a garden the "right" way.
  • Explore opportunities to work in landscaping, start a business, get a job or advance along an existing career path
  • 100 hour, self paced study, expert and highly qualified tutors

There are two parts to any landscape:

  • Hard Landscaping -The non living components
  • Soft Landscaping -the living components, or plants

This course provides a good grounding in hard landscaping, for anyone working or wishing to work in the landscape industry.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Tools and Machinery
    • Manual Handling
    • Materials used for Constructing Tools and Equipment; ferrous metals, non ferrous metals
    • Safety with Electricity
    • Engine Troubleshooting
    • Machine Maintenance
    • Types of Machines
    • Chainsaws: safety, buying, using
    • Brushcutters
    • Earthmoving and Cultivating Equipment; rotary hoes, ploughs, cultivators, etc
    • Workshop and Hand Tools; spanners, chisels, hacksaws etc
    • Hand saws, Rakes, Spades, Shovels, Rollers, Wheelbarrows, Sprasyers, etc
  2. Landscape Plans and Setting out a Construction Site
    • Reading Landscape Plans, Scale, etc
    • Understanding and Using Triangulation
    • Slope, Contouring, Grid Systems
  3. Drainage in Landscape Construction
    • Introduction to Drainage
    • Testing Drainage
    • Improving Drainage
    • Improving Soil Water Infiltration
    • Improving Drainage after construction; sand slitting, aerating, sub soiling
    • Sub Surface Drains; types, layout, outlet, gradients, pipe spacing, etc
    • Surface Drainage
    • Soil Testing; testing nutrients, pH, toxins
  4. Earthworks
    • Levelling terminology
    • Levelling Procedure
    • Levelling a Sloping Site
    • Earthmoving
    • Earthmoving Machinery; Bobcat, Backhoe, Dozer
    • Use an Experienced Driver
    • Topsoil Considerations
    • Earth Forming: creating Mounds
    • Building Raised Garden Beds
    • Earth Quantity Calculation
    • Soil Degradation
    • Erosion; water erosion, wind erosion, controlling erosion
    • Soil Acidification Management
    • Managing Soil Compaction
    • Managing Chemical Residues
  5. Surfaces, Paths, Paving and Turf
    • Introduction
    • Surfaces for Play Areas
    • Concrete; concrete, cement, mortar, variations in treatment and use
    • Loose Surfacing Materials: advantages and disadvantages
    • Bark Surfaces, Crushed tiles, pebbles, etc
    • Paths; concrete, asphalt, etc
    • Paving; laing pavers, setting out circular paving, curved paving, edges to paving
    • Lawns and Turf; shape, design, establishment
    • Garden Edges
    • Playing Field Construction
    • Sand Based Technology
    • Constructing Steps
  6. Construction of Garden Structures I
    • Buildings in a Garden; gazebos, verandahs, storage buildings, cubbies, etc
    • Where to build a building
    • Floors and Foundations for Buildings
    • Walls; brick construction, coping, expansion joints, etc
    • Fencing
    • Retaining Walls
    • Wooden Walls
    • Construction with Rock or Masonry; dry walls, wet walls
    • Home Playgrounds
    • Using Timber in the Garden
    • Differences between Softwood and Hardwood
  7. Construction of Garden Structures II
    • Compost Bins
    • Traditional Features: gazebos, statues, gates, arches, sundials, bird baths, urns, tubs, pergolas, pleached alleys, etc
    • Wooden Decks
    • Constructing a Deck
    • Greenhouse and Shadehouse; types, construction, installation
    • Water Features; Waterproofing, keeping water clean
    • Landscaping a pond
    • Tennis Courts
    • Spas
    • Rockery Construction
    • Artificial Rock Formation
    • Mulching Rockeries
    • Garden Furniture
    • Lighting in the Garden
  8. Irrigation Systems
    • Planning an Irrigation System
    • Types of Systems: sprinkler, drip, automatic, etc
    • Using and Maintaining an Irrigation System
  9. Establishing Hedges and Other Plants
    • Factors affecting successful plant establishment
    • Physical Plant Protection Methods
    • Hedges; site preparation, plant selection, spacing, planting, pruning, hedge maintenance
  10. Workplace Safety and Management of Landscape Construction Work
    • Risk Management on a Landscape Construction Site
    • The Risks
    • Keeping a Work Site Safe
    • Duty of CareSignificance of Illness
    • Protective Clothing
    • Safety with Tools and Equipment
    • Safety with electricity and different types of equipment
    • Tool Maintenance

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.

Aims

  • Manage equipment for landscape construction projects, including tools and machinery.
  • Determine earthworks for a landscape development.
  • Plan the construction of different landscape structures including buildings, fences, and walls.
  • Manage the installation of a simple irrigation system in gardens.
  • Determine construction techniques for different building or installing different garden features; including paving, water gardens, rockeries and furnishings.
  • Determine techniques for creating soft landscaping.
  • Manage work being undertaken on a landscape construction site.

What You Will Do

  • Compare the quality and cost of a range of different tools and machinery used in landscape construction.
  • Identify tools and machinery used in everyday work by landscape constractors.
  • Explain appropriate uses for different tools and machinery on a landscape construction site.
  • Prepare landscape plans for a number of landscape sites
  • Research and report on marking out boundaries in construction sites
  • Describe how to locate contours
  • Determine the fall of existing drains, and identify appropriate falls, spacing and depths of drains
  • Observe and report on earth moving equipment in operation
  • Survey a site and recommend earthworks necessary
  • Examine surfacing materials for paths, gardens, etc and determine the appropriate landscaping function of each.
  • Assess the construction of a range of different existing landscape features
  • Describe preparation of foundations for a specified garden structure, on a specific site.
  • Design a rockery at least 30 square metres in area
  • Contact a range of suppliers of landscape materials and compare the products available in your locality.
  • Identify materials needed to install an irrigation system on a site selected by you.
  • Prepare plans of irrigation systems
  • Research which species of plants are suitable for hedging in your locality
  • Outline how to effectively transplant an existing tree
  • Prepare a detailed risk assessment for a landscape construction site
  • Identify safe working practices for a landscape construction site
  • Determine a list of work tasks to be undertaken on a landscape construction site. Give a time frame for completion of the entire project

Landscaping Tips: Don't Make Mistakes

Every aspect of the hard landscape needs to be done properly if a garden is to last!

Unless you have a good understanding of what can go wrong and how to avoid it, you can very easily waste time and money, for example:

Paving is ideal for outdoor entertainment areas – in most cases, adjoining the living areas of the house. It’s also useful for areas that support heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic (eg. the route between the house and the shed, or the place where children ride their bikes).

 

However, too much paving can create problems – the trick is not to get too carried away!

 

Water from rain and irrigation does not soak into solid paving. It runs to the edges and that can result in the ground surrounding paving receiving many times more water than any other part of the garden.  If you pave 80% of your garden, you will still get the same amount of rain – but it will be soaking into only 20% of the area.  This means the unpaved area is going to be exposed to 5 times the rain that it otherwise would.  The soil is likely to become soggy and your plants waterlogged.  You will have to ensure that you include adequate drainage. 

 

This course will teach you about many different aspects of the hard landscape, how to make appropriate choices about the materials you use, the way you use them; and how to avoid the common mistakes that untrained landscapers often encounter.

 
 

FREQUENT QUESTIONS

Why Choose This Course

  • Unique course materials (developed by our staff) and more current than some colleges (many reviewed annually); as a result, ACS graduates can be more up to date.
  • We work hard to help you understand and remember it, develop an ability to apply it in the real world, and build networks with others who work in this field (It’s more than just serving up a collection of information –if all you want is information, buy a book; but if you want an education, that takes learning to a whole new level).
  • Start whenever you want, study at your own pace, study anywhere
  • Don’t waste time and money traveling classes
  • We provide more choices–courses are written to allow you more options to focus on parts of the subject that are of more interest to you; a huge range of elective subjects are offered that don’t exist elsewhere.
  • Tutors are accessible (more than elsewhere) – academics work in both the UK and Australia, 5 days a week, 16 hours a day. Answering emails and phone calls from students are top priority.
  • We treat students as individuals –don’t get lost in a crowd. Our tutors communicate with you one to one.
  • Extra help at no extra cost if needed. When you find something you cannot do, we help you through it or will provide another option.
  • Support after you finish a course –We can advise about getting work, starting  business, writing a CV, etc. We can promote students and their businesses through our extensive profile on the internet. Graduates who ask will be helped.
  • Support from a team of a dozen professional horticulturists, living in different parts of the UK, and in both temperate and tropical climate zones of Australia.

About ACS

ACS was started in 1979 by John Mason, who at the time was a gardening author, horticultural consultant and lecturer in horticulture at several colleges across Melbourne (in Australia).  Over the summer that year John discovered that there were thousands of applicants going to be turned away from horticulture courses at Burnley Horticultural College (now Melbourne University). There were simply too few courses being offered for the number of people wanting to study horticulture in Australia. This situation prompted a move to establish a correspondence course at Burnley; but after months of unsuccessful lobbying for support from government; John wrote a course, and with help from a colleague at Council of Adult Education, marketed it.

Standards were originally set in line with what were seen to be the standards of Australia's top horticultural college; and over the years, those standards have never been reduced. This makes our courses longer and more demanding than some other colleges; but it has also led to us building a credibility that stands tall in the horticulture industry across the world. 

In the early 1990's John started visiting the UK and becoming involved with the horticulture industry there. Around the mid 1990's ACS began offering RHS courses, and in 2003, John was formally recognised for his contribution to British Horticulture by being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture. ACS, as a school, established an office and staff in the UK in 2001, and has expanded considerably since then. Today it is formally affiliated with five other colleges in the UK (including Warwickshire College); all of who license and deliver ACS courses. 

A team of leading horticulturists work for the school's horticulture department, including 12 faculty members in both the UK and Australia

 

How You Study

  • As soon as you enroll, we send an email to explain it all.
  • We direct you to a short orientation video (downloadable over the internet) to watch, where our principal introduces you to how the course works, and how you can access all sorts of support services
  • You are either given a code to access your course online, or sent out a CD or course materials through the mail (or by courier).
  • Work through lessons one by one, each lesson typically having four parts:
    • An aim -which tells you what you should be achieving in the lesson
    • Reading -notes written and regularly revised by our academic staff
    • Set Task(s) -These are practicals, research or other experiential learning tasks that strengthen and add to what you have been reading
    • Assignment -By answering questions, submitting them to a tutor, then getting feedback from the tutor, you confirm that you are on the right track, but more than that, you are guided to consider what you have been studying in different ways, broadening your perspective and reinforcing what you are learning about
    • Other - Your work in a course rarely stops at just the above four parts. Different courses and different students will need further learning experiences. Your set task or assignment may lead to other things, interacting with tutors or people in industry, reviewing additional reference materials or something else. We treat every student as an individual and supplement their learning needs as the occasion requires.
  • We provide access to and encourage you to use a range of supplementary services including an online student room, including online library; student bookshop, newsletters, social media etc.
  • We provide a "student manual", that is a quick solution to most problems that might occur

Recognition

  • ACS has a highly respected international profile: by employers and academics alike. People are more aware of us than many other distance education schools –just do a search for “horticulture distance education courses” and see what comes up on the internet; or search for ACS Distance education on Facebook or Linked in, and see how many connections we have compared to other colleges.
  • Recognised by International Accreditation and Recognition Council
  • ACS has been educating people around the world since 1979
  • Over 100,000 have now studied ACS courses, across more than 150 countries
  • Formal affiliations with colleges in five countries
  • A faculty of over 40 internationally renowned academics –books written by our staff used by universities and colleges around the world.

Extra Books or Reference Materials

  • The course provides you with everything that you need to complete it successfully.
  • Assignments may ask you to look for extra information (eg. by contacting nurseries, visiting gardens or searching the internet), but our school's resources and tutors are always available as a back up. If you hit a "roadblock", we can quickly send you additional information or provide expert advice over the phone or email; to keep you moving in your studies.
  • Some students choose to buy additional references, to take their learning beyond what is essential for the course. If a student wants to buy books, we operate an online bookshop offering ebooks written by staff at the school. Student discounts are available if you are studying with us. The range of e books available is being expanded rapidly, with at least one new ebook being written and published by our staff every month. See www.acsebook.com