Beginner’s garden design, with Hilary Thomas

Beginner’s garden design, with Hilary Thomas

We're delighted to announce that today we've launched our first garden design course for beginners. For only £480 (a fraction the price of most garden design courses), we're opening up the idea that anyone can design their own garden, wherever you are in the world. The garden design course is bookable from now and students can start their courses from mid October onwards (an optimum time of year to plan your design).


Hilary Thomas is an acclaimed garden designer, author and lecturer, and has already been teaching planting design with us, so knows the ropes well. Hilary commented: “I love this way of teaching as it means I can teach students all over the world. We’ve known for a long time that there are many many people out there globally who have exciting and creative garden ideas, who love their homes and gardens, but don’t know where to start when it comes to designing their own garden. They’re not in the market for hiring top garden designers, but would like to have a go themselves. We are here to provide inspiration and help share well tried and tested garden ideas, used by professional garden designers that most people wouldn’t normally get access to. I find it inspiring and satisfying marking the students work and discussing their ideas with them in the online classrooms; helping them make their garden ideas become a reality.”

This new eight week beginner’s garden design course takes you through the various stages of planning a garden. It begins with Hilary getting you to look at the patterns that are all around you both in nature and in architecture. You then learn how to design by creating patterns on a grid that evolves from the dimensions of the house.

You journey through the various stages in the design process and finally refine your garden design theme, drawing it to scale, and creating a preliminary garden layout plan. You will learn how to assess a site, the soil and the surroundings and how to measure a site and draw up a site survey plan through her videos.

You will also learn about the range of hard landscape materials and how to select ones that are appropriate for the particular site. Hilary will help you consider the addition of features such as a pergola or water and where to site a garden shed. Hedges, trees and areas of planting are also indicated on the plan. At the end of the course you should have the skills that will enable you to have a go at designing your own or someone else’s garden.

The videos from Hilary are accompanied by 8 assignments which help you reach the stage you want to with your design and Hilary herself will be on hand throughout your course to answer your questions and help you develop your ideas.


This course comes hot on the heels of our planting course for enthusiasts with Piet Oudolf and Dr Noel Kingsbury, which went viral and had record sales in mid August within a 12 hour period. We’re clearly seeing pent up demand for online courses from experts in garden design and horticulture who many people can’t usually access like Hilary Thomas, Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury.

Not only does MyGardenSchool connect experts with beginners through to enthusiasts globally, but we make learning online enjoyable. 80% of students drop out of traditional online learning courses. We’ve developed a unique community based classroom where it’s fun and motivating to learn with experts you trust. We also encourage people to visit our gardening community where you can get your gardening questions answered, sometimes by world experts, for free!

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