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Essential Steps to Gardening

In-House Courses


The School of Garden Design Studio, Hillcrest


Random Harvest Nursery, Muldersdrift


Half Day: 08h30 – 13h00 (weekend)


Course Dates for 2024

Essential Steps To Designing & Planting

KZN -   10 Feb; 13 or 20 April; 7 Aug

GP -      16 March; 14 September

Essential Steps To Maintaining your Garden

KZN -   24 Feb; 25 May; 27 July; 5 Oct

GP -      8 June; 2 November

Essential Steps To Growing your own Produce

KZN -   9 April; 3 August

GP - 13 July 

Essential Steps To Growing and Using Herbs

KZN -   22 June; 16 November


We are delighted to offer you our comprehensive and visually stimulating short correspondence courses in our Essential Steps to Gardening range that will become the building blocks for your journey into successful gardening.

Who Benefits From This Course

These short courses are ideal for anyone who may not want to learn the entire design process but would still like to care for their garden using sustainable methods and grow at least some, if not all, of their food. 

And then our ‘Clever Plant Choices’ course is ideal for anyone who has some design knowledge but feels uninspired or frustrated with the plants currently in their garden. Not only will you discover how each category of plant benefits your outdoor space, we make it so much easier for you to put together gorgeous plant combinations with confidence!

All students receive ongoing mentoring via a range of digital platforms at no extra cost.


The structure of these workshops is designed to impart as much relevant information as possible in a short space of time for the participants to feel comfortable and confident enough to start having some serious fun in their garden. The workshops provide the perfect base on which to build.


Each module has an assignment or two to complete. The basic horticulture course has a Q & A at the end of the course to complete.

Planting your Garden

In this workshop we revisit some of the concepts covered in our design workshop, and explain how different categories of plants will benefit your outdoor space. You will be introduced to the wonderful world of colour and texture!

The course will assist you tremendously with plant choice and combinations as well as how to create that WOW factor in your garden by instilling atmosphere, creating habitats to attract wildlife and much more. As a stand-alone course it will be of tremendous help to experienced gardeners who are looking for some new inspiration.

(Note from Principal : Fortunately I cut my teeth on northern hemisphere plants so I know them as well as I know South African plants. Irrespective of the hemisphere in which you live, plants fit into the same categories, most have common family ties and they all create the identical effects in a garden!)

Caring for your Garden (Basic Horticulture)

In this course we expand on the five essential elements of caring for your garden and, at the same time, creating a sustainable environment. 

We chat about compost – different methods of making it – and how to use it, how to understand the wide range of organic and inorganic fertilisers on the market, how to establish and care for your lawn, pruning techniques and natural methods of pest control, where necessary. 

Most importantly, the purpose of this course is to get you to understand the essence of healthy soil, organic practice and to understand and respect the role wildlife (birds, bees and other bugs and reptiles) plays in this process.

Growing your own Produce 

Much has already been written on this subject, but on this course you will brainstorm the size, design and content of your vegetable garden with loads of tips on using natural and eco-friendly principles.

Also learn which crops grow well in the different climatic zones, which are heavy, medium and light feeders and whether crop rotation is as crucial as we were once taught. You will also learn how to grow seedlings and some sage (pardon the pun) advice for growing herbs.


Time and/or financial constraints -

These short courses are designed to assist you to design and care for your garden or any outside space. They allow the student to choose the topic that is important to them. The courses are also affordable for younger students and those in other countries.

Easier payment methods -

Students from around the world will find it easy to enroll by using PayPal, a trusted payment method, or a direct electronic transfer. As the material is delivered by PDF to your email, there is no further postage cost or worries associated with the parcel not arriving!

Virtual Coaching – 

We will provide you with virtual coaching on a digital platform that suits you – Zoom, Google Meet, WhatsApp, etc. - so there is no reason why you should not feel quite comfortable studying in your home environment.

Do I Need Previous Experience?

No prior experience is required


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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