Established in 1994 by principal Lindsay Gray, The School of Garden Design is the oldest private garden design school in South Africa. The curriculum offers a wide variety of courses for the homeowner, those already involved in the gardening industry and to upskill staff.
Lindsay trained in garden design initially in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, with the late Vernon Rippon and Peter Bretherton, and later with Bruce Stead who now lectures in Johannesburg. She then went on to study further with master garden designer and author, John Brookes, in England and completed several more courses at The English Gardening School in London. Lindsay also studied photography with Clive Nichols and journalism with Eluned Price, both in England. She contributes regularly to The Gardener magazine.
In 2007, Lindsay co-authored the popular book, Making Sense of Garden Design, with past associates Helen Lachenicht and Sharon Walker. The book is also available in Afrikaans as Sinvolle Tuinontwerp and is in its second reprint.
She authored the book A Sense of Space : The Gardens of Jan Blok, a beautiful coffee table edition that illustrates the fine designs of well known landscaper, Jan Blok, and also showcases the talents of photographer, Kim Thunder.
Lindsay and butterfly expert, Steve Woodhall,
co-authored their book Gardening for Butterflies which is now available at all bookstores and from the authors.
Lindsay’s passion lies in teaching and encouraging her students to garden in an eco-friendly manner. Through teaching, she helps her students explore their individual lifestyle needs and their unique creativity.
Lindsay combines her love of teaching with her passion for design and offers a garden design and project management service to local and international clients.
The School of Garden Design studio is situated in the leafy suburb of Hillcrest, just 1,5 km from Hillcrest Central. It offers a fully equipped learning facility with a well-stocked library, enabling students to do their plant and design research at the school.
For out-of-town students, there are many local B & B's available that provide excellent accommodation at reasonable rates, as well as transport to and from the school. Transport to and from the airport can be arranged separately.
The School of Garden Design also offers courses nationally, particularly in Gauteng, on demand in other centres in South Africa and, more recently, in Zambia.
The Distance Learning courses on offer enable gardening and environmental enthusiasts around the world to increase their knowledge on garden design, plant selection and application. The courses are suited to those residing in both the northern and southern hemisphere as design principles are not influenced by hemisphere other, obviously, than current trends.
Over the years, students from The School of Garden Design have excelled at various garden shows.
2007 Gold at Malanseuns Garden Show, Pretoria
2009 Gold with Laurels : Sunday Tribune Garden &
Home Show, Pietermaritzburg
(associate designers : Lindsay Gray & Brad May)
2011 Gold : Sunday Tribune Garden & Home Show,
(associate designers : Lindsay Gray & Anno Torr)
2012 Silver : Sunday Tribune Garden & Home Show,
The School of Garden Design has produced many confident homeowners who have gone on to design excellent gardens that compliment their homes and increase their overall investment.
It has also produced many successful landscapers, both nationally and internationally through the correspondence course, who are now running successful businesses locally and abroad. Several of these students have had their work featured on Top Billing as well as on The Gardener television programme and in national gardening magazines. (See the Links Page). We are also delighted that many of our students have, as a result of the course, been inspired to start a conservancy in their area or become involved in their local conservancy, develop indigenous nurseries and generally adopt a responsible attitude towards caring for the environment.
Our Mission Statement
To equip the student with sufficient knowledge to enable him to understand and work effectively with outside spaces and appropriate plant material, and, where applicable, to establish and maintain a successful business in the green industry.