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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn the concepts and influences on amenity horticulture

  • Develop your management skills through a deeper appreciation of the nature and scope of amenity horticulture.
  • Develop your knowledge of provision, establishment and management of amenity horticulture sites.
  • A useful qualification for anyone working within amenity horticulture or wanting to.

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Learn about the nature and scope of amenity horticulture.

Learn the principles, provision, management and establishment of amenity horticulture over the course of seven lessons.

Amenity horticulture has a vital role to play in the future management of the environment. As custodians of both natural and developed landscapes, amenity horticulturists will be increasingly responsible for ensuring the Earth’s resources are used in a responsible and sustainable manner. From amenity horticulturists who work in backyard gardens to those who contribute to the management of national parks covering thousands of hectares, the trend will be to promote and implement strategies that conserve soil, water, air and biodiversity for the benefit of future generations.

  • This course has been developed by professionals in both Australia and the UK, with the aim of being relevant throughout the world.
  • This was initially developed by us as a module in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Master of Horticulture

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

1. Nature and Scope of the Amenity Horticulture Industry

  • What is amenity horticulture
  • Arboriculture
  • Landscape industries
  • Parks and gardens
  • Nurseries
  • Turf management
  • Interior plantscaping
  • Floriculture

2. Global Variations: Nature and Scope of the Amenity Horticulture Industry in

  • Different Countries
  • The changing nature of amenity horticulture
  • PBL project to create and present a plan that identifies and compares global variations in the amenity horticulture industry.

3. Benefits of Amenity Horticulture

  • Amenity horticulture and society
  • Aesthetic value
  • Health benefits
  • Benefits of gardening
  • Horticultural therapy
  • Kitchen garden programs
  • Community gardens
  • Recreational benefits of public open space
  • Economic benefits
  • Nature based tourism
  • Private land use for recreation
  • Environmental benefits

4. Amenity Horticulture Management Options

  • Management of amenity sites
  • Management processes: planning, organising controlling, leading, etc
  • The organisational structure
  • Managing natural environments
  • Good and bad management decisions 

5. Influences

  • Legal concerns for amenity horticulture
  • Legal and illegal plants
  • Law and money
  • Land ownership
  • Land planning and planning processes
  • Central place theory
  • Psycho social considerations
  • Environmental concerns

6. Determining Best Practice

  • Best practice management
  • How is best practice determined
  • Quality systems
  • Managing finance
  • User pays pricing
  • Budgets
  • Managing physical resources
  • Staff management
  • Teams based management
  • Managing workplace safety
  • Risk control

7. Preparing for the Future

  • Future of Amenity horticulture
  • Ecologically sustainable development
  • PBL project to identify the current impacts on the environment of amenity horticulture operations in your area and suggest ways that ESD will impact on those operations and on the community in the short and long term.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.



  • Describe the complexity of the amenity horticulture industry
  • Compare the changing complexity of the amenity industry in the UK, your own country (if different to the UK), and at least one other country.
  • Discuss the diverse benefits that amenity horticulture offers to society.
  • Explain processes underlying the natural and manmade environments used to manipulate and control amenity sites effectively within economic and environmental parameters.
  • Identify legal, social, economic and environmental conditions that impact on amenity industry.
  • Demonstrate prudent use of financial and physical resources to manage amenity landscapes.
  • Identify and review the changing complexity of the amenity industry.
The horticulture industry can be divided into two broad sectors: the production sector, which is largely involved with producing food crops, and the amenity sector, which is involved with growing plants for recreational or ornamental purposes. However, these should not be seen as clear-cut divisions. The boundaries defining the two sectors tend to vary from country to country and between horticultural institutions and employers. For example, some horticulturists might view floriculture enterprises or wholesale nurseries as being in the production sector, while others would classify them as amenity industries.


Why You Should Study This Course

This course will be of value for anyone working in horticulture who wishes to broaden their knowledge of the industry. Those completing the course will have a thorough insight into the state of the industry from historical developments to present and likely future trends. It's the type of knowledge that anyone who represents the industry really ought to have. Take this course as a stand-alone module or as part of a higher level qualification. It is suited to people in a range of employment positions, including: 

General horticulture

Garden history


Garden maintenance

Botanic gardens

Parks & gardens







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Meet some of our academics

John Mason (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Nurseryman, Landscaper, Garden Writer, Parks Manager and Consultant. Over 45 years experience; working in Australia and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 100 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Yvonne Sharpe (Horticulturist)Started gardening in 1966, studied a series of horticulture qualifications throughout the 1980's and 90's, culminating in an RHS Master of Horticulture. Between 89 and 1994, she worked teaching in horticultural therapy. Founded the West Herts Garden Association in 1990 and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show in 1991. In 1994, Yvonne joined the staff at Oaklands College, and between 1996 and 2000 was coordinator for all Amenity Horticulture courses at that college. Since leaving Oakland she has been active as a horticultural consultant, retail garden centre proprietor and sessional lecturer (across many colleges in southern England). In 2000, she also completed a Diploma in Management.

Check out our eBooks

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Garden Design Part 1The Garden Design ebook part 1 is an essential handbook for students and landscape professionals. A foundation guide to garden design, this book provides stunning full illustrations to demonstrate tips and examples on garden design, functional uses and aesthetics. Some topics that are covered in this ebook include 1/ Introduction to Garden Design, 2/ Appropriateness of garden design, 3/ Creating an impact, 4/ Designing to a budget, 5/ Choosing plants, 6/ Using the garden, 7/ Where the garden meets the house, 8/ Making the winter garden more comfortable, 9/ Gardens for children, 10/The secure home and garden, 11/ Lighting a garden, 12/ Dealing with shade, 13/ Garden Art, 14/ Pots and planters, 15/ Colour in the garden, 16/ Applications for colour and 17/ Garden furniture.
The Environment of PlayFull of inspiring colour images of playgrounds around the world, this book is ideal for designers, park managers, schools and parents! First published in the USA in 1982. Used in the past as a university text (in landscaping and education degrees). Completely revised in 2012. Full of inspiring colour images of playgrounds around the world, this book is ideal for designers, park managers, schools and parents! Play is the most important and effective method of learning for adults as well as children. It can be active or passive, planned or spontaneous. If you want to learn about the relationship between PLAY and the ENVIRONMENT, this is the ebook for you.