What is the course about?
This course is for busy people who want to rejuvenate their urban garden. Discover the secrets of imaginative and
inspirational design for patio gardens. Learn how to streamline your garden to reduce maintenance and freshen-up existing planting with exciting new combinations, seasonal planting for colour and planting ideas for winter interest.
What previous students liked most about their course: .
“Confidence in lecturer – clearly highly professional and very knowledgeable.”
“Tutor v knowledgeable and gave us plenty of time individually.”
“That it was really practical – I came out of the course with a design for the garden.”
What will we cover?
- Taking a design brief
- Analysing the site
- Surveying your garden
- Creating a mood board and source inspiration
- Recognising and choosing different gardening and planting styles
- Using design techniques to improve the structure and layout of the garden
- Selecting and combine plants; the importance of 'right plant, right place', plant colour, shape, texture and form.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Draw a simple site plan to scale with site analysis annotations
- Apply at least one design technique to enhance your garden
- Use a mood board as a style guide for your choice of planting and paving
- Create at least one planting combination suitable for your site and brief
- Use skills learned on this course for subsequent projects.
What students have achieved on their Patio design and planting course run in 2014/15: .
“Feel confident in researching and choosing appropriate planting.” ML
“Ideas for planning, planting and colours involved in garden design.” JA
“A new garden landscape approach in terms of shape, textures, colours…” CTL
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for anyone interested in garden design, either as an introduction to further study, or to learn skills needed to produce a simple but pleasing design for his or her own small town garden. The course will be more accessible if you have had previous experience growing plants and have access to a small garden. Please note: all site measurements taken by you, and accuracy of the resulting design is your own responsibility.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, handouts and for health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussions. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.
Please look at the rest of the course outline carefully to decide if you may benefit from support in your English and Maths skills to help you to take part fully in this class.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught using a range of techniques including group and individual work, lectures, hand outs, practical exercises, group discussion, weekly homework - including conducting your own site measurements and analysis of your garden after the first session (which may take a couple of hours), individual research from books and online resources, and individual presentation of ideas in class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Metric graph paper and tracing paper will be provided. In addition, students should bring an A4 pad for taking notes, a scale ruler showing 1:50 (needed for homework), a Helix metric circles template (for planting plans), and pencils, eraser and pens for drawing and sketching. As the course progresses, Lap-tops, iPads etc. for internet research during the lesson might be useful. Students will need a long tape measure and compass to survey their own garden as part of their homework.
If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, Build students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at www.cassart.co.uk. *Terms and conditions apply, visit www.cassart.co.uk/students.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
The Build interior and garden design area offers a programme of non accredited and short courses that will allow you to learn a range of skills including interior design, interior decoration, mosaic, garden design, garden walks, model making, formal drawing techniques, botanical and natural history illustration, computer aided design, design for 3D printing and laser cutting and courses which cross over between fine art, architecture and design.
You can find a full listing of all our interior and garden design courses here:
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details