The Best Education for a Career in Landscaping doesn't have short cuts!
A professional career requires a lot of learning. Some people achieve that informally, perhaps over many decades; while others undertake a long, comprehensive course such as this. You study more things, over a longer period in one of our Advanced Diplomas; but there is always going to be greater benefit if you do more study.
This is a "premium" course. It may well take 3 years to study it full time; and much longer part time; but anyone who starts a career with more education, has a far greater chance of success, and faster success.
Note that each module in the Qualification -Advanced Diploma In Horticulture - Landscaping is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How can I learn the Practical Side of Landscaping?
Answer: The question of practicals is a complex one....There are literally hundreds of different things we do throughout a course such as this.
The diploma in landscaping is an excellent course, and it can be done anywhere -you do not need to attend practicals or workshops in any particular place at any particular time....BUT ....there is a lot of work that goes well beyond just theory; and the way in which that is tackled can be extremely diverse, and different for every student.
Here are just a few examples:
1. There are a lot of tasks that involve vesting gardens or sites to be landscaped; and observing, conducting surveys , photographing or otherwise recording what is observed, undertaking an analysis etc.
-Some of these tasks may involve using improvised survey equipment (if you do not have more sophisticated equipment, ewe can show you how to improvise).
-Some may involve doing an analysis of soil
-Some might involve planting something or growing something.
2. Some tasks involve networking with industry -making contact with and interacting with people who work in landscaping or associated support industries
3. Some tasks involve pbl projects (a system that has been tried and proven not only by ourselves but by many highly reputable international universities (see http://www.acs.edu.au/enrolment/problem-based-learning/default.aspx) For instance.....this has been shown to work just as well in providing practical learning, in medical degrees in the USA, as running actual laboratory classes.
4. Research projects -You need to visit, observe, interpret things in places like landscape material supply yards, soil supply companies, machinery & tool suppliers, etc.
5. Plant Collections -This is a tried and proven way of learning plant knowledge....we have adapted it for distance ed. and used it for 30 years....feedback from graduates and employers has been overwhelmingly positive. It works!
I find that the question of "practical" learning is always one that people feel cannot be achieved through correspondence; and I understand that apprehension; but we have been grappling with that problem and contriving solutions for 30 years. Over those 30 years, we have been given more and more tools (eg. video, internet, fax) that make our job easier. Over the same period, funding for practicals in government colleges has become tighter and tighter; and today, with huge funding pressures, much of the hands on instruction that used to be part of face to face courses, is not as practical as what you get from our correspondence courses.
Question: Do I need to Travel much to do practicals?
The answer really varies greatly from one student to the next. It can depend very much upon what you choose to do, where you live and what is going on in your locality at the time you come to do an assignment.
If a student has difficulty doing something, they can liaise with a tutor and always find an achievable solution.... sometimes for instance, if you need to visit a garden and you are living in the north of Sweden, trying to do the assignment in the middle of winter -the tutor might direct you to do a "virtual visit" on the internet. If you cannot visit an ideal site to conduct a physical survey, we may need to explore and find a site closer to home that achieves the purpose, but is more achievable for you.
When issues arise that are a problem, our approach to finding solutions is very much on a case by case basis. This approach has worked for 30 plus years, and our students do learn well because we charge a level of fees, and have an infrastructure that allows us to take time to do this if necessary.
For the majority of students though, the assignments and set tasks are written in a way that gives them sufficient flexibility that our intervention is not needed.
You need to understand that every student is doing a different mix of assignments -We may have 50 people doing this course, but it's rare for more than 2 or 3 to be living within several hundred miles of each other.... as a consequence, the assignments are presented in a way that gives the student a framework....and beyond that they are making choices themselves about where they travel to.
Gardens are Living, Changing Things
When a painter or sculptor finishes creating their art; the creation will remain largely unchanged for hundreds of years; and perhaps much longer. When a landscaper creates a garden though, thir creation does not remain the same; and that fact is both a challenge and an opportunity.
The skilled garden designer needs to be able to visualize not only what their creation will look like upon completion; but also how it will evfolve, and what it will look like at various points in time across the decades, and perhaps centuries, that follow.
Gardens may need not only maintenance; but renovation or restoration at various points in time. Some landscapers may even specialise in garden restoration.
What is Garden Restoration?
When you are faced with the task of restoring an old garden, it may be a significant challenge to discover and recreate plantings as close to the original design as possible.
First, you must as far as possible, determine what was previously planted, and how it was arranged.
Look for any old records, such as plant lists or plans.
For some gardens, these may be relatively easy to find. If the design was created by a designer of merit, the materials may be archived in a private collection or library. If the company that created the garden is still in existence, records may be available through that company. Sometimes photographs can be found in private or public records. If people who used the property along time ago are still alive, they may remember details.
Trees are dominant features in any garden. To maintain the original design intent, usually requires retention of any existing trees.
Trees not only affect the appearance of a garden, but also impact on other plants and features. They protect other plants by providing shade and reducing wind; and they can help reduce the impact of sun, rain and other natural forces on hard landscape features.
Trees however can also have a negative impact upon a garden:
- Roots can damage paths and walls
- Excessive shading can make lawns unhealthy
- Competition for water and nutrients can make shrubs and other smaller plants difficult to grow
Not only do plants degrade and periodically need attention; but non living components of a landscape can also change over time; some faster than others.
- Different landscaping materials degrade at different rates and in different ways.
- Different structures and constructions will also degrade in different ways and in different rates.
If you are going to assess hard landscape features, you need to understand the way in which things degrade; so you know what to look out for.
Some features, such as masonry, can survive even thousands of years, with relatively little deterioration. Others, such as untreated metal or timber furniture are subject to the forces of nature (rust and rot) and can degrade within a few years.
To be the Best Landscaper
To be the best landscaper that you can be, will always require a great deal of learning, and far more than what a few years study can ever teach you. The most successful landscapers will usually tell you that they started with some excellent training from knowledgeable and experienced professionals (whether in a formal course, or on the job); and built on that solid foundation with decades of further learning through seminars, conferences, courses, and from industry colleagues.
Landscaping is an immense area of study; but an absolutely enjoyable industry to become involved with if you have the passion for it.
This course is an outstanding starting point, and it provides a wonderful opportunity to interact wityh some leading industry professionals as tutors and mentors as you lay the foundation for a life full of challenges, learning and achievements in the field of landscaping.