Garden design is all about organising and shaping spaces and it covers many different elements. This eight week course aims to take you logically through the various stages of planning a garden. You will learn how to assess the site site, the soil and the surroundings and how to measure the site and draw up a site survey plan. This will help you to understand the advantages and restraints of the site. The next stage is to create a checklist of requirements and to identify the resources, time and skill that can be devoted to a new garden. This then gives rise to the design brief.
Using a given brief, you will then be taken through the design process, experimenting with different abstract patterns on paper that will inspire a variety of alternative designs for a garden. By shading some areas of the pattern you will create positive and negative spaces, or mass and void which will give the garden its character. The mass will become the planting and the voids may become the patio, lawn or water. Once you have decided on a pattern that you think will work, this can then be combined with a grid that relates to the house so ensuring that the garden will sit comfortably within the site. You can then refine this design theme, drawing it to scale, and creating a preliminary garden layout plan. You will then learn about the range of hard landscape materials and how to select ones that are appropriate for the particular site. We will 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 design your own or someone else’s garden.