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Certificate in Hardy Ornamentals VHT251

Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Certificate

Become an expert with hardy ornamental plants.

Choose six 100 hour modules to make a certificate level qualification in hardy ornamentals.

Choose from azaleas, geraniums, deciduous trees, camellias, iris and more. Start the course at any time to suit you.


Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 6 of the following 12 modules.

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Become a Hardy Ornamentals Expert

As soon as new friends and neighbours find out that you are a gardener (professional or keen amateur) they start asking for advice and one of the most difficult requests is to make instant recommendations for plants to grow in this or that position.  One of the problems is that there are so many plants to choose from and there are so many possible conditions (wet/dry; shade/semi-shade/sun; acid/alkaline; sand/clay; North/South; town/country; etc.).  One thing that helps is to recommend things that you like and that you know grow well together.  However, this course is a perfect starting point in the creation of your own personal recommendations for every situation.  It is very flexible allowing you to choose six groups of plants that best suit your interests and your soil and your type of gardening.  When you have taken this course you will no longer dread those questions about what should be grown where.

Choose six modules of your choice to complete this certificate in hardy ornamentals. If you are not sure which modules are the best for you, our horticultural tutors are more than happy to advise.


How the Certificate is Assessed

The Certificate requires around 600 hours of study. This is made up of six 100 hour modules.


To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the six 100 hour modules. There will be an assignment at the end of each lesson to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback.
  2. Pass six examinations – one on each module. These are usually taken at the end of the module and can be arranged at a time and location to suit you.


Start Date

You can start the course at any time to suit you.

Any Questions?

Our tutors are more than happy to answer any questions, so please click here to ask a question.

Request a copy of our handbook here.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Timothy WalkerB.A.(Botany), RHS.M. Hort., Post.Grad.Dip.Ed. Former Director, Oxford Botanic Gardens.
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.
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

RosesThere are few things as uplifting as being greeted by the sweet fragrance of roses from your own garden. If you have always wanted to grow roses, or perhaps improve an established rose garden, make sure you are armed with the right knowledge! Learn from the masters in horticulture. This wonderfully colourful ebook will teach you everything you need to know about the passion of growing roses.
Rhododendrons and AzaleasGrow & Know Rhhododendrons and Azaleas by John Mason
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.
What to Plant WhereA great guide for choosing the right plant for a particular position in the garden. Thirteen chapters cover: plant selection, establishment, problems, and plants for wet areas. Shade, hedges and screens, dry gardens, coastal areas, small gardens, trees and shrubs, lawns and garden art.