Landscaping II

Course CodeBHT214
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


Learn What it Takes to Become a Competent Landscape Designer

Basic landscape design is concerned with how to do things like how hard landscape features are made and selecting plants to suit the location. When you have mastered that it is logical to want to expand on that knowledge and learn more about different groups of plants and how to use them, how to overcome problem areas and greater detail of hard landscape construction options.

Expand your garden design abilities

Distance Education Course - Choosing and Using the Components of a Garden

  • Learn about the plants, timber, stone, soil and other materials that can be used to make a garden
  • Learn how to choose the best materials to achieve the purpose at hand
  • Broaden your awareness and understanding of what can be used to create a garden; and how to use it.

This is a course for anyone working in landscaping or gardening. It will extend your knowledge, improve your ability to find solutions to problems you confront, and improve your opportunities for advancing your career (or growing your business).

Lesson Structure

There are 12 lessons in this course:

  1. The Garden Environment
    • The ecosystem
    • Microclimates
    • What do you want in a garden
    • Components of a garden
    • Landscaping with water
    • Choosing a construction method for a water garden
    • Making a pool with a liner
    • Other types of water gardens
    • Water garden effects
    • Creating a waterfall
    • Cascades
    • Fencing and safety
    • Plants for water gardens
  2. Landscape Materials
    • Tools
    • Tool maintenance
    • Garden clothes
    • Construction materials
    • Concrete and cement
    • How to mix concrete and mortar
    • Reinforcing, rodding, expansion joints
    • Gravel and mulched paths
    • Outdoor furniture
    • Timber: types, stains, paints, preservatives
    • Plastics, Metal, Upholstery
    • Furniture design
  3. Using Bulbs, Annuals and other Low Growing Plants
    • Annuals
    • Scented annuals
    • Coloured foliage
    • Flower bed layout
    • Bedding schemes
    • Selecting annuals according to height
    • Annuals in containers
    • Bulbs
    • Scented bulbs
    • Amaryllis
    • Gladioli
    • Narcissus
    • Dahlia
    • Hyacinth
    • Iris
    • Ranunculus
    • Using Herbs
    • Types of herb gardens
  4. Landscaping with Trees
    • Introduction
    • Successions
    • Fast growing trees
    • Choosing plants
    • Trees in the landscape
    • Problems with trees
    • Plant applications for trees, shrubs, ground covers
    • Trees with damaging roots
    • Trees with narrow canopies
    • Aesthetic criteria for planting design
    • Procedure for planting design
  5. Ground Cover Plants
    • Introduction
    • Ground Covers: conifers, climbers, creepers, ornamental grasses
    • Low grasses to grow
    • How to build raised beds
    • Grevilleas
    • Thryptomene
    • Brachysema
    • Chorizema
    • Hardenbergia
    • Kennedia
    • Herbs: Thyme, chamomile, mint, alpine strawberry, etc
    • Landscaping with ferns
  6. Walls and Fences
    • Introduction
    • Getting the style right
    • Different fences
    • Plants to grow on trellis
    • Espaliers
    • Garden arches
    • Choosing the rich arch
    • Timber and metal arches
  7. Paths and Paving
    • Introduction
    • Where to use surfacing
    • Paving: different types of materials
    • Selecting materials
    • Concrete
    • Gravel
    • Asphalt
    • Edging
    • Edging materials
    • Maintaining an edge
    • Aesthetics
  8. Treating Slopes and Other Problem Areas
    • Erosion control
    • Helping plants establish on a slope
    • Drip irrigation, mulches, tree guards
    • Pocket planting, slope serration, wattling, spray seeding, etc
    • Shade
    • Plants suited to shade
    • Ferns and shade
    • Windbreaks, hedges and screens
    • Gardening in coastal areas
    • Design and planting a firebreak
    • Fire resistant plants
  9. Garden Features
    • Colour
    • Complementing colours
    • Outdoor living areas: Patios, seating, garden structures, pool areas, pool surrounds
    • Rockeries
    • Drystone walls
    • Wet walls
    • Garden buildings and structures
    • Siting garden buildings
    • What to build
    • What to do with the floor
    • Planting around a garden building
    • Protective structures
    • Types of greenhouses
    • Decorative planters
    • Choosing and siting a planter
    • Garden lighting
    • Lighting trees, paths, ponds etc
    • Letterboxes
  10. Designing for Low Maintenance
    • Introduction
    • The cost of garden maintenance
    • What costs
    • Expensive to maintain areas or features
    • Less expensive to maintain areas
    • Gardening in dry areas
    • Overcoming dry soils
    • Drought tolerant plants
    • Hardy plants for inner city gardens
  11. Developing a Landscape Plan
    • The site planning process
    • Site analysis
    • Design concept
    • Master plan
    • Keeping it to scale
    • The importance of space
  12. Management of Landscape Projects
    • Introduction
    • Mistakes to avoid
    • Earthmoving
    • Importing soil
    • Workplace safety


  • Determine the resources required for a landscape development, including materials and equipment.
  • Determine appropriate plants for different locations within a landscape.
  • Determine the appropriate design and construction for landscape features, including walls, fences, pavers and buildings.
  • Determine treatments for problem areas in a landscape, including slopes and hostile environments.
  • Analyse maintenance requirements for a landscape.
  • Develop a landscape development plan, in accordance with a client brief, and in liaison with the client.
  • Plan the management of a landscape projects.

What You Will Do

  • Determine landscape materials readily available in the learners locality, including: soils, gravels, mulches and timbers.
  • Differentiate between landscape applications for twenty different types of timber.
  • Compare a range of materials in terms of function and aesthetics, including five types of mulches and five types of gravels.
  • Determine applications for five different specific items of machinery in landscape construction including a chainsaw, an earth moving machine, a rotary hoe and a tractor.
  • List minimum equipment required to construct two different landscapes in accordance with project specifications.
  • Determine criteria for selecting plants to be planted in 3 specified locations.
  • Explain the impact of trees in two specific landscapes, on both the environment and aesthetics of those landscapes.
  • Determine twenty different herbaceous plants, to grow in three different specified locations within the same garden.
  • Prepare a design for an annual flower display bed of 50 sq. metres.
  • List five groundcovers suited to plant in four different situations, including full shade, half shade, full sun and hanging baskets.
  • Prepare a planting design for a 100 sq. metre area of garden, using only groundcovers and trees.
  • List ten trees suited to each of the following cultural situations, in your locality: waterlogged soil; sandy soil; heavy soil; saline soil; fire prone sites and near drainage pipes.
  • Explain local government regulations which are relevant to landscape design and construction.
  • Develop design criteria for different garden structures, in specified situations, including: a pergola, swimming pool, steps and a garden seat.
  • Compare the design and construction of six different types of barriers, including walls and fences.
  • Design a fence for a landscape designed by you, including: construction detail drawing(s), materials specifications and a cost estimate.
  • Compare ten specific surfacing materials, in landscapes visited by you, including paving products, stone and gravel.
  • Design a set of steps, including construction detail drawing(s), materials specifications and a cost estimate.
  • Design a set of retaining walls, including construction, drawings, materials needed and a cost estimate.
  • Compare different types of garden buildings observed by you, including sheds, gazebos, car ports and garages, in terms of cost, durability, aesthetics and maintenance required.
  • Determine two different methods to treat a specified erosion problem.
  • Determine landscape preparations required for different soil types including clay, sand, shale, rocky soil and loam.
  • Describe four interim stabilisation techniques, including hydromulching and jutemaster.
  • List fifteen plant species which will adapt well to problem situations.
  • Determine ten plants suitable for each of a range of different soil types, including: clays, sands, acidic soil and alkaline soil.
  • Develop landscape plans, including illustrations and written instructions, for three difficult sites.
  • Determine landscape features that contribute towards the reduction of maintenance requirement on a landscaped site.
  • Compare the weekly maintenance requirement of a specific low maintenance garden, with that of a specific high maintenance garden.
  • Compile pre-planning information for a an existing landscape, which owners require to be redeveloped in order to reduce the maintenance requirement.
  • Prepare a detailed landscape design to achieve low maintenance.
  • Develop a ten week maintenance program, for a specific landscaped area visited by you.
  • Compare copies of two landscape briefs for projects advertised in the tenders column of a newspaper.
  • Develop a "client" brief, through an interview with a potential landscape client.
  • Survey a landscape site to confirm details in a client brief.
  • Develop three alternative concept plans for a landscape, in accordance with a client brief.
  • Determine the preferred option, from three concept plans presented to a client at a tape recorded meeting.
  • Prepare a detailed landscape design, conforming to decisions made during a discussion of alternative concept plans.
  • Prepare a quotation, based on a specified landscape plan.
  • Analyse the design of a landscape in comparison with the "Brief".
  • Prepare a work schedule according to both specifications and plans.
  • Monitor the progress of landscape work on a project, by keeping a logbook or work diary.
  • Assess standard of work carried out on a completed landscape project, against landscape plans for that project.
  • Select appropriate equipment, including tools and machinery, for a specified project.
  • List occupational health and safety regulations when dealing with machinery and equipment, which is relevant to a specified project.
  • Schedule the supply of materials and equipment for a project, in the logbook.
  • Develop contingency plans for a landscape development which addresses different possible irregularities including bad weather, security problems, weekend watering.
  • Explain how to finalise a specified project prior to handing over.
  • Explain the importance of monitoring a contract, through a specified project.
  • Develop guidelines for supervision of construction for a specified landscape project.

This Course Can Help You Choose and Use Plants in a Landscape

There's more to landscaping than just plants, and this course has more to it than just plants; but plants are both a very big part of this course, and of being successful in landscaping!

Take climbing plants for example.
Climbers wonderful plants because they can perform many tasks, for example: they can waft scent throughout the garden or into the house through an open window; cool the house in summer; provide shade for outdoor living spaces; hide an ugly feature such as a fence or rubbish bin; clothe narrow walkways or do all of these tasks and also provide you with fruit!
How to use climbers in a garden
The most obvious use for climbers is to hide ugly views such as utility areas in the garden, or to create privacy from your neighbours or from the road. Climbers can be used to keep people, children and animals in (or out) of your garden or as windbreaks and noise barriers - although the latter will be minimal. Proving shade is another great use for climbers – you can create wonderful ambience in your outdoor living area with a pergola covered in a fruiting grapevine.
Climbers can also define areas of your garden - separating one space of the garden from another into ‘garden rooms’. Breaking a garden up into a lot of small areas can create both interest, and make a garden seem a lot bigger than it really is. This is because a garden which can’t be seen all at once will always seem bigger than an open area - which you can take in with one glance.
How do I grow them?
Depending on the type of climber you want to grow and your garden, you may need to provide it with some growing support. First though it is useful to understand how the climber you want to grow, actually climbs - some need help! 

Climbers are usually one of three types: some like scrambling over other plants, building on their own stems for support and gradually growing higher and higher. Some like sweet peas or grape-vines are tendril bearers; the little tendrils wind themselves around anything and to encourage upward growth, a wire trellis is a great support for them. The third type is creepers which often form aerial support roots on the stem, sometimes these types also have small suction cups or sticky ends enabling them to stick firmly onto a flat support or wall; many climbers like ivies and climbing figs will cling to a wall, post, or anything else they touch.

What sort of materials do I need?
You can use materials such as trellis, wire mesh, single wires or nylon strings, it is best to avoid jute, as it will rot within a season and then you would need to keep retying the supports.

Supports can be readily attached to a fence or wall or possibly the uprights or roof of a pergola, arbor or archway, or between two posts. Alternatively you may like to buy or build a purpose-made frame.

Another tip for support that could work in your situation is to allow the climber to climb over rocks, tree stumps or logs; pelargoniums or geraniums are great plants for this purpose.  You could also encourage climbers to grow through other plants, thereby extending the flowering season, or to add interest to an otherwise uninteresting plant - for example, clematis through a rose or a rose up a tree. Climbers that work well for this purpose are those that don’t attach themselves readily to a support (i.e. without sticky or twining tendrils).

What are you looking for in a climber?
Do you want a fast grower, a slow grower? Some climbers grow fast, others slow.  Such as Chinese gooseberries and grape vines will live for decades, others such as nasturtiums, sweet peas and beans are annuals and die at the end of each year. Passionfruit have a medium longevity of around 3 years. Fast growers will provide shade or a screen quickly but also usually need more pruning and more often.

Does it need to be evergreen or deciduous? Deciduous climbers such as a wisteria, grapes or roses are often used over a pergola - they will let in the winter sun, but exclude it in summer providing shade. For year round shade, popular plants are some of the Kennedia (native ornamental peas), evergreen jasmines, and evergreen clematis.
Would you like an edible climbing screen of passionfruit or grapes? There are lots of climbing edible plants to choose from including Chinese gooseberry (kiwifruit), climbing beans, peas, choko, nasturtiums (flowers, seeds and leaves are all edible) even climbing tomatoes and climbing spinach (Malabar or Ceylon spinach)!  Most edible plants such as these lower in late spring and summer.
Perhaps you would like flowers of special themed colours, flowers for a particular time of the year, flowers for most of the year, just a foliage screen, maybe a perfumed climber or one for a tiny terrace or unit? There are hundreds of different climbers to choose from to suit any position and landscape need and for a wide range of soil types and climates.


Who Will Benefit From This Course?

This course is best suited to people with some existing knowledge of landscape design. However, people with basic construction skills and plant knowledge may also take it.

It could serve as a platform for further study or be taken in conjunction with other modules to enhance your learning experience. The course is of most value to people working in or wishing to work in:

  • Landscape construction
  • Garden design
  • Garden maintenance
  • Garden restoration or conservation

It could also add to the skillset of people wanting to start a garden design business, or be of value to people wishing to renovate a home garden.



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