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Garden Design for Beginners


Course Information

ARES Introduction to Garden Design

3 day course, weekdays

Indicative maximum class size: 18

Standard price per learner: £359

This beginners level course is aimed at both amateur gardeners and those with a general interest in garden design. It is also ideal for those considering a career change and wanting to see if garden design is the right pathway, or simply someone looking to improve their own garden space whilst learning some new skills and acquiring knowledge along the way.

Course Code


Course Leader

Yvette Smith
Course Description

It will introduce the foundation principles of garden design, allowing you to develop a range of technical skills that can be applied to a garden space. There will be a focus on developing technical skills that allow garden design plans to be drawn accurately by hand. During the course you will also be introduced to the processes of choosing hard landscaping materials.  

How will I be taught?

This course will be taught in person at our Brackenhurst campus, near Southwell in Nottinghamshire.

By the end of the course you will have learned:

- An Understanding of Design Principles

- Basic Site Surveying Techniques

- 2D Plan Drafting and Graphics

- Development of Garden Concepts

- Introduction to Hard Landscaping Materials

What will you gain?

You will undertake a series of practical exercises as homework, including surveying and technical drawing and by the end of the course you will have prepared your own garden design scheme.

If you attend more than 80% of the course you will be given a certificate of attendance

What’s provided?

  • 18 hours of in person teaching time with our expert academic

Do I need to purchase any equipment or materials to complete the course?

Whilst not essential the following items are recommended to allow you to carry out your site survey on your chosen garden space and to work on your designs outside of the class:

Surveying Equipment (required to undertake a site survey in your own time):

  • 2 x 30m or 50m flexible tape measures
  • Clipboard
  • Pencil
  • A4 Paper

Drawing Equipment (Please note that this is not needed to complete the course, but you may be interested in these items if you want to set yourself up with professional equipment):

  • A1 Drawing Board
  • Mechanical Pencil
  • Fineliner Pens
  • Eraser
  • Scale Rule
  • Adjustable Set Square
  • Compass Set
  • Circle Template
  • A2 Tracing Paper
  • A2 Layout Paper


Tutor Profile

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 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.

Yvette has also worked with TV gardener David Domoney as Head of Planting for his show gardens and exhibits, including working at the RHS Chelsea, RHS Hampton Court, 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 Brackenhurst. She is also a Course Tutor with The British Academy of Garden Design.


Any questions?

Contact the Brackenhurst short course team:

Email: [email protected] 

Tel:     +44 (0)115 848 4591

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