Online or Distance Education -Learn to Choose Your Plants Well
- Get the Right Plant for the Right Place, and gardening is so much easier
- Plant Selection is the single most important skill that any gardener, landscaper or horticulturist should have
The success of a garden is largely determined by three interconnected factors:
Suitability of plants to conditions they are expected to grow in.
Use of optimum plant establishment techniques.
The maintenance provided (quality and quantity)
A well-selected plant is always more likely to survive establishment, be more easily maintained; and look better.
There are 8 lessons in this course:
Introduction: Scope & Nature of water features, water quality, plants & animals in water, etc.
Equipment: Pumps, Lights, Filters etc.
Ponds, watercourses, bog gardens, dams
Spas and Swimming Pools
Indoor & Outdoor
Fish tanks, ponds etc
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.
Understand the nature and scope of water gardens.
Identify and describe generic construction materials and techniques suitable for water gardens and pools.
Select appropriate equipment for use with water features.
Specify the design and construction of a pond or watercourse.
Specify the design, construction and maintenance of a spa or swimming pool.
Specify the design & construction of a Water Feature other than a pond or water course.
Identity the water plants commonly used in water gardens.
Identify a variety of aquatic animals suitable for water gardens, and their requirements
Tips for Choosing Plants at the Nursery
Plants that are healthier and not pot bound are more likely to grow faster and overcome the effects of disease or insect attack. Plants left in the same pot for too long will become overcrowded and soon show symptoms of dying roots, leaves and overall poor vigour.
Larger plants often take more effort to get established, but if you are prepared to put the effort in, will give a more immediate effect. If you don’t put the effort in, they are more likely to die.
Plants with a good uniform shape, ie. straight stem, uniform branches and a good coverage of leaves, will get off to a good start as soon as they’re planted out.
Watch out plants with lots of soft, lush new growth – these aren’t necessarily the healthiest or best plants to buy. Unless you can give the plant ideal conditions (moist, fertile soil in a sheltered position), that lush growth is likely to wilt and die back once the plant is put in the ground. The plant will most likely recover but it may take several weeks for new shoots to grow.
A plant covered with flowers is appealing, but isn’t necessarily in good health. Even very sick plants can flower well. Instead, look for sturdy well-formed plants with healthy green leaves. If you really want a plant that will give you flowers quickly, choose one with lots of buds rather than fully opened flowers.
Get the right species for the right position. To do this you must know your plants well. Until you can identify and describe at least 1,000 different plants, you are still in the early stages of developing plant selection skills; but a course like this is a good step in the right direction.
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.
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
- 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 for ebooks (available in pounds stirling). We also sell books through our Australian bookshop (selling in Australian dollars) at www.acsbookshop.com