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LANDSCAPING III - BHT235 (Themed Gardens)

Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Investigate Different Styles of Gardens

Learn to apply the principles, design features and elements that make up many types and styles of gardens.

This is an outstanding course for even experienced landscape designers, developing skills in developing everything from a formal to an eclectic garden, and a Mediterranean to an oriental landscape.



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Find Out How to Create Different Garden Styles

Over the centuries a broad range of garden styles have evolved in different countries which represent different cultures and their values. People often wish to create a particular style in their garden because it has some meaning to them or because they are attracted to it. In landscape design, it is important to have an understanding of different styles so you can help clients to create them or you can offer them to clients where they would make a good choice.

Be creative in your approach to design 

In this immensely informative course you will learn about all sorts of garden styles from traditional styles like cottage gardens and formal styles to more modern styles and eclectic gardens which borrow from different themes. Learn how to alter the theme of a garden through use of colour, water and different textures and how to decide what to include to match a style to a location. 


There are 10 lessons in this module as follows:

1. Creating the Mood

2.  Historic Gardens

3.  Formal Gardens

4.  Oriental Gardens

5.  Middle Eastern and Spanish Style

6.  Mediterranean Gardens

7.  Coastal Gardens

8.  Modern Gardens

9.  Eclectic Gardens

10.Other Styles

Duration:  100 hours 

On completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Explain the use of colour, light, shade, temperature, water, foliage and other elements in establishing the mood of a garden. 
  • Describe gardens from different places and periods in history; and in doing so explain how to renovate and/or recreate gardens that reflect the style of different historic periods.
  • Apply the principles, design features and elements that make up a formal garden. 
  • Discuss cultural and historical traditions that contributed to the development and style of the oriental garden. 
  • Discuss cultural and historical traditions that have contributed to the development and style of the Middle Eastern and Spanish garden. 
  • Discuss the historic, climatic and cultural influences which have contributed to the style of Mediterranean gardens. 
  • Discuss design styles of coastal gardens
  • Explain the limitations and potential of coastal sites when preparing a landscape design.
  • Discuss contemporary garden design styles and possible future trends in garden design.
  • Identify the range of diversity possible in garden design.
  • Identify characteristics of different garden styles including eclectic, dry land, permaculture, rain forest and tropical garden styles.
  • Design different styles of gardens.

These are just some examples of the things you may find yourself doing:

  • Visit three (3) different gardens to assess the mood of each garden.  Take time to observe each garden and try to identify the different elements that contribute to the garden mood.
  • Observe how colour has been used in the three different gardens.  Observe the colours of both plants and hard surfaces, and the way the colours have been combined.
  • Visit an historic garden in your area.  Identify all the different features that make this an historic garden.
  • Visit a formal garden in your area.  Identify all the different features that make this a formal garden.
  • Visit an oriental garden either in person or by research. Search for more information on gardens that reflect the styles.
  • Make notes of anything you find which is interesting and could be used in development of a Mediterranean style of garden in the locality in which you live.
  • Visit a coastal region near where you live and observe the type of plants that are growing near the seashore.  Also observe the plants and design elements of nearby gardens.   (If you are unable to visit a coastal region, use descriptions of coastal sites and gardens from books, magazines and the internet.) 
  • Visit a modern courtyard garden (if there is no suitable garden in your area, use a garden described in a book, magazine or on the internet).  Identify and describe the elements that make this a ‘modern’ garden.  How has the designer overcome the restrictions of the site to create a feeling of spaciousness? 
  • Search through telephone books, magazines and the internet to find suppliers of materials suitable for eclectic gardens such as pots, sundials, pebbles, statues, wrought iron, tiles, gazebos, seats, wind chimes, etc.  Visit as many suppliers as possible and inspect these materials.  Find out about their cost, availability and longevity.
  • Depending upon where you live, visit a dry land, permaculture, tropical, or rain forest garden in your area (if there is no suitable garden in your area, use a garden described in a book, magazine or on the internet).  Identify and describe the elements that determine the style of this garden.


What This Course Could Do For You

This course is ideal for people wishing to expand on their garden design knowledge by developing a firm understanding of how to create different garden styles and themes.

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 Maintenace
  • Garden Restoration or Conservation
  • Parks & Gardens

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


Register to Study - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and you can enrol now.


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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.
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.

Check out our eBooks

Trees and ShrubsUseful for students, tradespeople already working in the field, or the home gardener who needs a quick reference when choosing plants for a garden.
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.
Garden Design Part 2Part 2 of the Garden Design Series is an inspiring accompaniment to the first book, but works equally well in its own right. The Garden Design Part 2 ebook is ideal for students and landscaping professionals. Brimming with ideas and practical advice for designing a wide variety of different gardens. You will learn about different styles of gardens and how to create a style to suit a site or client. Topics covered in this ebook include 18/ (Continuing on from Garden Design 1) Surfacing ideas, 19/ Garden arches, pergolas & pavilions, 20/ Dealing with confined spaces, 21/ Water gardens, 22/ Using plants in the garden, 23/ Formal gardens, 24/ Natural gardens, 25/ Rainforest gardens, 26/ Coastal gardens, 27/ Cottage gardens, 28/ Late Victorian/Edwardian gardens, 29/ Oriental gardens, 30/ Mediterranean gardens, 31/ Mexican style, 32/ Minimalist landscape design and 33/ Eclectic gardens.
Tropical LandscapingTropical Landscaping is a style that may be used more in tropical places, but can still be created in cooler climates. This book provides practical advice and inspiration over 8 chapters: “Garden Design”, “Components of a Tropical Garden”, “Building the Garden”, “Outdoor Living Areas”, “Pools, Ponds and Water Features”, “Lawns”. “Plants (to use), and “Caring for Plants”. 103 pages 69 colour photos