Dr Noel Kingsbury

Planting Design with Perennials

  • Recommended

    $299

    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $99

    Learn in an online classroom with no more than 20 classmates. More

Course Description

Suitable for all abilities

Dr Noel Kingsbury is an internationally acclaimed writer, and a long-time collaborator with the renowned designer Piet Oudolf. On this course, he shares that wealth of experience. By the end of the course you will have learnt how to make the right plant selections and gain a solid understanding of the Oudolf approach.

Perennials have become the most popular garden plants, not just because of their beauty and the ease with which they can be grown, but because they are at the heart of a planting style which is more naturalistic, more sustainable, and often lower maintenance than many traditional garden styles. This course aims at helping you understand the connections between perennials as wild plants in their natural environment, and as garden plants, helping you select the right plants for your situation. We look at their long-term performance, and how they can be used alongside other garden plants.

Noel takes a broad look at a variety of contemporary approaches  to using perennials, with a particular focus on naturalistic approaches.  You will explore how to create planting schemes that suit the particular conditions of your garden, covering a wide range of temperate zone climates; for example if your soil is poor and fast draining, Noel will guide you through the basic principles of choosing plants which not only survive but flourish in these conditions.  Noel will show you how it's done from first principles and outline how to make successful planting designs which combine structure, a long season of interest and support for bio-diversity and sustainability by reducing or eliminating irrigation and minimizing maintenance.

The course provides a particularly strong theoretical basis, but with plenty of plant variety tables provided for helping you choose plants. 

You'll be suited to this course whether you are an enthusiastic amateur, or a landscaper or designer looking to hone your skills in the particular planting area of perennials.  A one off opportunity to get personal tuition from a world expert in perennial planting.  Remember, if you're a self-employed professional you can set these courses off against tax as 'Continued Professional Development'.

Course outline

  • Understanding Perennials

    In the first lesson you will learn to take the 'rabbit's eye view', getting down to observe plants at ground level, and even below ground. Noel takes you through the fundamentals of life: perennial lifecycles, longevity and reproduction. You will also take part in a thought experiment, which enables you to get a deep understanding of how perennials survive and colonise. Throughout the first week Noel peppers the lecture with examples including many from the work he’s done with acclaimed planting designer and horticultural writer Piet Oudolf.
  • Perennials in Planting Design

    In this lesson Noel looks at various types of perennial planting, and some of the basic issues in selecting and combining plants – the basics of how to make an amazing garden! Topics include the traditional perennial border, ratios of structural planting, cottage garden perennials and foliage plants. Again many examples are given in lecture two – and students are encouraged to ask any questions in the classroom for plant recommendations to suit their own environment.
  • Perennials in Their Habitat

    During this lecture you will look at three situations where careful matching of plant and place is needed: dry environments, wet ones, and shade. Some gardens are dominated by these problems, and many have a small area where careful plant selection is needed. A more positive approach is to suggest that these special environments create opportunities for plants with particular needs or tolerances.
  • Perennials Through The Year

    Lastly you will learn about some examples of perennials which make an especially strong impact during particular seasons as a way of exploring some basic principles of what looks good when and why. We also look at some of the less obvious ways in which perennials can contribute to seasonal beauty. The final lecture and assignment empowers the student to see the world differently, and you should come away being able to put into practice most of the theory you have learnt throughout the course.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option

    Recommended

    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Dr Noel Kingsbury

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 4 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 4 assignments marked by Dr Noel Kingsbury
    • Certificate of completion from Dr Noel Kingsbury
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
    $299
  • The Peer option

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 4 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
    $99

Learn better together

  • Online classroom

    Start anytime and join a class of no more than 20 students

    Start anytime and join a class of no more than 20 students
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with assignments after each lesson

    Practice what you learn with assignments after each lesson
  • Personal tuition

    Exclusive assignment feedback from Expert Tutors

    Exclusive assignment feedback from Expert Tutors
  • Share

    Share ideas with classmates from around the world

    Share ideas with classmates from around the world

Meet Dr Noel Kingsbury

Kingsbury's garden writing is among the best you will find in the English language.

From the blog View from Federal Twist, James R. Golden
Dr Noel Kingsbury is an acclaimed garden designer, best-selling author of numerous books and long-time collaborator of the renowned designer Piet Oudolf. With a doctorate from the University of Sheffield he is a leading figure in naturalistic planting design and the New Perennial Movement.

Noel Kingsbury is an international garden designer and writer on gardening, plant sciences and related topics. He is best known for his promotion of naturalistic planting design in gardens and designed landscapes (e.g. the 1996 publication of 'The New Perennial Garden', pub. Frances Lincoln, London), and his 25 year collaboration with Dutch garden and landscape designer Piet Oudolf on books on planting design. He writes sometimes for The Daily Telegraph, Gardens Illustrated magazine and The Garden - the membership magazine of the Royal Horticultural Society. He has worked with Prof. Nigel Dunnett, of the University of Sheffield on the first book in English on green roof and related 'green architecture' technologies. In collaboration with Tim Richardson Kingsbury has edited Vista, the Culture and Politics of Gardens and co-chairs events at the Garden Museum in London under the title 'Vista'. He has worked with several notable garden photographers, such as Marianne Majerus and Andrea Jones.

Kingsbury earned a doctorate from the University of Sheffield in 2009, for a thesis on the Long term performance of ornamental herbaceous vegetation. He continues to research in this area.

Kingsbury has also written a history of plant breeding, Hybrid, The History and Science of Plant Breeding (2009).

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    Master the complete range of garden design skills from the biggest names in gardening, including landscape architects Tom Stuart-Smith and Chris Beardshaw, influential Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf and his co-writer Dr Noel Kingsbury, along with acclaimed design lecturer Annie Guilfoyle.

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    The opportunity to have the likes of Tom Stuart Smith casting his eye over your own design plans is not something that you will find anywhere else – and will give you a huge advantage as a newly qualified garden designer. The experts who are on hand to guide you through this process are at the absolute top of their game, and they are keen to help you develop your skills further by giving detailed feedback on any work you submit to the classroom.

    As you progress through these courses, you will explore the principles that underpin good design and how you can apply these to your own ideas. You will tap into your creative side and be encouraged to create your own unique designs under their guidance. All aspects of the profession will be covered, including technical knowledge, artistic tendencies, planting in specific situations and skills in drafting and rendering, allowing you to create professional-quality plans with confidence.

    The course is taught in our friendly and private online classroom, where you will get to know your tutor and classmates. You will have the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other, compare designs and planting plans, discuss difficulties you face and ask your tutor any questions.

    You will receive 2 Continued Education Units (CEUs) for each course in this collection, which are recognised by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). This certification is a huge advantage in the marketplace, promoting the recognition of landscape designers as qualified and dedicated professionals.

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