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An Introduction to Garden Design Principles

An introduction to garden design principles
  • Level(s) of study: Short course
  • Study mode(s): Short course
  • Starting: 24 September 2020
  • Course duration: Two weeks, online via Microsoft Teams

If you’re an amateur gardener with a general interest in garden design, or you’re looking to learn new skills to use in your own garden, or simply a career change, then this is the course for you.

This can be taken as a standalone short course or as part of our wider series of Garden Design short courses.

This course will outline the fundamental design principles essential for creating successful garden schemes. We will also explore some simple tricks that can be used to resolve visual and practical issues in problem areas.

We'll also touch on the foundations of design psychology and investigate how we can make a space feel more personal and restorative, drowning out distractions such as traffic noise or overlooking neighbours.

Sessions will be delivered using a blend of theoretical study and practical exercises, and students will have the opportunity to ask questions about applying these principles to their own outdoor space.

Register your place now.

What you'll study

On this course you will learn about:

  • garden design principles
  • basic design psychology theories
  • applying design principles to new and existing gardens

How you’re taught

This course will be delivered online via Microsoft Teams, over two weeks starting on Thursday 24 September 2020. Online classes will be held on Thursdays, from 7 pm – 9 pm.

These sessions are designed to be interactive but they can simply be watched live if you are not able to or do not wish to interact via video. There will be opportunities to comment and ask questions via video or the chat function if desired.

Please note that we are not able to circulate recordings of the training after the classes due to filming consents, so you must be able to attend the class times.

Online delivery

This course will be taught online only, using Microsoft Teams.

Please note that you will not need an account with Microsoft in order to access this training. You will be emailed a web link to directly enter the online course from, which can be viewed in a web browser or in the Microsoft Teams app if you already have this installed.

Step-by-step instructions on how to access the training will be provided but if you have any questions before booking, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What you'll gain

By the end of the course, you will have an awareness about basic garden design principles, including elements of design psychology that are rarely covered elsewhere. It will empower you to implement changes to your own spaces.

If you attend more than 80% of the course, we will email you a Certificate of Attendance in a PDF format.

Tutor profile – Yvette Smith

Yvette is an experienced garden designer and lecturer with particular interests in wildlife gardening and design psychology.

Combining lifelong passions for garden design, horticulture and art, Yvette graduated from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in 2010 with a First Class Honours Degree in Environmental Design and Management.

Prior to this she completed the Foundation Degree programme in Horticulture, Garden Design, to Distinction level. Yvette received awards for outstanding achievement in each year of study.

In 2011, trade stands designed by Yvette for Hillarys Blinds were awarded the prestigious RHS Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Presentation at both the RHS Hampton Court and Tatton Park Flower Shows.

During the flower show season, Yvette currently works with TV gardener David Domoney as Head of Planting for his gardens and exhibits. Recently this has included the RHS Chelsea, RHS Hampton Court Palace, and Southport Flower Shows.

Alongside running her own garden design business, Yvette lectures as Module Leader in Garden Design, Applied Design and International Landscape Strategies at NTU. She is also a Course Tutor with The British Academy of Garden Design.

Entry requirements

No experience necessary.

How to apply

To book your place on this course, visit our online store.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding


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