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3-day Garden Design Masterclass

In-House Courses


The School of Garden Design Studio, Hillcrest


Full Day :   08h30 – 16h00


Course Dates 2024


23 – 25 April

8 – 11 October


People are often confused by the terms "Garden Design" and "Landscaping". The word landscaping emanates from the early years of gardening in Europe in which people were contracted to literally rework entire landscapes. In my studies with John Brookes in England, he showed us examples of landscapes that had been transformed, either to protect the entrance to a village or to remodel the entire village, the effects of which are still evident around the countryside today.

Garden design, on the other hand, is the first step in landscaping. You cannot landscape a garden until you have designed it and, for that, you need to understand (a) how to organise spaces so that they meet your needs or that of your client, and (b) the environment to which it is attached. This is the skill you will first learn on this course - how to DESIGN a garden in a sustainable manner so that you can then LANDSCAPE it by implementing that design. You will then also learn how to maintain the garden once it has been landscaped in an eco-friendly manner.

Garden design (as with interior design) is a universal principle. How you choose to style your garden and the emphasis you place on supporting urban wildlife is your decision. This course aims to guide and support you as you plan your garden so that you make intelligent and sustainable choices.

Who Benefits From This Course
  • Homeowners who would like to increase the investment in their property by creating a beautiful and sustainable garden;

  • Current garden designers and landscapers as well as owners of garden service companies, and especially any person wishing to enter the gardening industry.


Investing in your future -

This course, with its additional components on Sustainability and Biodiversity, is one of the finest investments you will make. The knowledge you will gain can be put to good use in any situation and in any hemisphere. Expensive mistakes in the garden can be avoided by gaining a sound working knowledge of gardening and the principles of design.

For those already involved in landscaping, this is the opportunity to gain new insight into your craft, glean inspiration each week and fine-tune your drawing and presentation skills.


Motivational -

Meet and work with others who are like-minded. It is highly motivating to plan a garden with fellow students under the guidance of a tutor.


Resource Library -

The School of Garden Design's well- stocked library comprises local and international books on garden design and a plethora of indigenous plant books. Seldom will the student have access to such a fantastic research facility.

Certification - 

A Certificate of Completion is issued to all students.


Design Component -

All aspects of sustainable garden design are taught, including utilisation of space; creating a needs analysis; practical considerations; conceptualisation of the design with appropriate styles, themes and colour; understanding the universal principles of design; choice of plant material and effective plant research and, equally important, creating an environmentally-friendly setting for the wildlife in your area.

Maintenance (Basic Horticulture) Component -

In a world where the weather is constantly changing, we need to protect our gardens from the onslaught of high winds, drought and excessive rain. This is part of the course about which I am passionate and you will learn how to make and utilise compost and leaf litter and to understand the basics of fertilisers, both organic and inorganic, so that you can decide for yourself how to use them intelligently. You will learn techniques to capture water directly into the soil so as not to lose one precious drop.

We discuss lawn care and pruning at length as well as an environmentally friendly way of controlling unwanted pests.

Drawing Component -

You will learn the basics of technical drawing to allow you to enlarge on paper a site plan drawn in 1:500 to a scale of either 1:100 or 1:50, graduating on to your design of choice and plant placement. The final project on which you will be marked is a completed plan.


If you are unable to attend a mid-week course, please take a look at our range of distance-learning courses  or our Essential Steps To Gardening workshops that we hold on a weekends. These short workshops are ideal for busy people!

Do I Need Previous Experience?

Not at all. Obviously some experience would be an advantage but the aim of this masterclass is to give you the full experience of design, drawing and garden maintenance as a package rather than drawing it out over months. We work at a comfortable pace and you will be comfortable with the drawing section of the course.


You can submit your form in two ways:

1) Download the form, complete it upload it to an online hosting service such as Google Docs, then submit the document sharing URL along with your details to the form on this page.

2) Download the application form, complete it and email it to

We will be in contact with you shortly after the forms are submitted, but should you not hear from us within 48 hours please send a follow up email to the address above.

On application, you will be requested to pay a 20% non-refundable deposit.

Enquire About Course

Your course registration has been submitted. We will be in touch shortly with confirmation.

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