Level 3 Diploma

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If you want to apply your knowledge of horticulture...

Or, continue to train as a garden designer, this is the course for you.

This programme will provide you with the core practical skills and knowledge that you will need to succeed in perfecting your portfolio, understanding how to set yourself up in business and preparing to work in the industry.

Course content:

 You will learn:

  • GARDEN DESIGN DETAILING - Carrying out site surveys, working with site characteristics to influence your design decisions and understanding hard landscape detailing
  • GARDEN DESIGN PRINCIPLES - Looking at standard graphics, and the importance of mass and void
  • HARD LANDSCAPING MATERIALS - Looking at materials, quantities and how to select appropriate features
  • GARDEN DESIGN PROCESS AND DEVELOPMENT - Presentation plans, image capture and section elevations
  • SETTING UP IN GARDEN DESIGN - Legal requirements, marketing, business start-up study
  • GARDEN DESIGN CUSTOMER SERVICE - Verbal and non -verbal communication strategies, confidentiality and respect.
  • GARDEN DESIGN SOLUTIONS - Making sure ideas are site specific and focused to work within a specified timescale
  • PLANT STUDIES - Investigation into the design qualities of plants, plant associations and adaptations

Focus Units:

  • PLANNING FOR A GARDEN DESIGN PROJECT - Look at resource requirements, and work to a set budget. Develop action plans that stage implementation.
  • GARDEN DESIGN IN CONTEXT - Design thoughts into how architecture relates to the design. Evaluation into the links between outdoor space and the broader environment.
  • GARDEN DESIGN STYLES - Focus into garden design styles and depth into a chosen designer. Document the development of a design.
  • GARDEN DESIGN DOCUMENTATION AND LEGISLATION - Building a plant schedule, costing summary and maintenance schedule. Understand legislation around plant passporting.
  • PLANT OBSERVATION AND ANALYSIS - Develop an illustrated sketchbook to document associations, observation and critique.
  • PLANTING DESIGN APPRAISAL - Review of written proposals. Analysis of existing design and rationale for additions and change.
  • PLANT AND GARDEN HISTORY - Analysis of the socio-political and economic factors that have influenced the design and development of gardens.
  • PLANTS AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT - Evaluate how the site and climatic factors influence decisions.
Entry Requirements:
  • 16-19 years old (key Stage 5)
  • 19+


  • You'll need to have achieved 4 or more GCSEs between grade 9-4 (previous grade structure A-C) including English, Maths and a Science
  • Successful completion of a related Level 2 qualification at Merit or above and GCSE maths or English at grade c/4 or above
  • Mature students without the above requirements will be considered.

This course is assessed through a portfolio. This will be vital for seeking employment, pitching to clients and also with two days at college will provide the learning and support network for those starting their own design business.

Dates & Location:

September 2021

9:15 - 16:00

Lewes Campus - Plumpton College

The course is timetabled for 1 day at college but you will need to spend one day of self-study in addition to the taught lessons.


1 Day a Week 



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