What you’ll learn

  • Master all the essential skills and techniques of designing gardens used by professional garden designers and landscape architects
  • Follow step by step design demonstrations from empty bare garden plots to finished illustrated designs filmed from above a drawing board
  • Undertake in your own time 13 design exercises supported by download resources
  • Create your own designs for six different gardens of varying size, shape and complexity in different design styles, using supplied base plans
  • Learn how to critically assess your own design work to achieve the best results
  • Learn all the important design considerations needed to create original and attractive gardens and how to find inspiration for your designs


The primary aim of this course is to give you a thorough grounding in the techniques of how to approach the design of a garden, progressing through all the stages from the outline of an empty garden plot right up to a fully illustrated garden design.

I strongly believe that the most effective way of teaching garden design skills is to involve students in designing for themselves right from the start. So, with this in mind, I have designed 13 exercises where you can pause the presentation of the course and work through each exercise in your own time supported by download resources

In six of these exercises, gardens of varying size, shape, style and complexity are introduced. This is followed by demonstrations, filmed from above a drawing board, of all the stages in the design of each garden. You will then be able to create your own designs for these gardens using the supplied base plans.

The presentation of this course includes more than 70 slides to accompany a commentary on how to design, and these slides combine examples of garden design projects, images, sketches, photos, plans and diagrams. Each slide will also include bullet points summarising the main points of my commentary, and these bullet points can be a useful reminder if you need to look back over the main features of the course.

The final sections of the course summarise the important design considerations needed to create original and attractive gardens, and demonstrate how to find and record inspiration for your designs.

This course has been written for anyone who wants to learn the skills and techniques of how to design original and beautiful gardens. You may be someone who wants to know how to design your own garden, or someone who is interested in starting a career in garden design, or a student studying garden design. Or you may be working as a gardener, a garden contractor, a garden designer or a landscape architect.

For all these people and anyone simply interested in garden design, this course progresses from the essential baseline skills, to more advanced techniques which will be demonstrated in the design of gardens of increasing complexity

This course is the third in this series of four courses under the heading of ‘The Complete Garden Design Course’. Taken together these four courses will give you a thorough grounding in the art of garden design so that by the end you will have learnt all the skills you will need to undertake your own garden design projects. However, while this course on How to Design often refers back the earlier two courses, it can also be studied as a stand-alone course. A list of drawing equipment introduced in the earlier Drawing Techniques course and which will be needed to complete the design exercises is provided at start of Section 2 of the course.

Link description