Saturday, August 29, 2009 – Inaugural USA Diploma Program, Garden Design School

The Garden Design School is delighted to announce the launch of its US Diploma in Landscape and Garden Design, commencing August 2009. The School aims to bring the very best of UK and US landscape and garden design together in an intensive, exciting, part-time program, the first of its kind in North America. Here is what the School says about the Program:

Several years in planning, our US Diploma has been carefully constructed, from scratch, to meet the specific needs of the American garden design market. We’ve worked with leading academics and many successful US landscape designers to ensure that every aspect of our program is of genuine, practical relevance. We want all of our US students to be competent, confident garden designers, offering a professional landscape and garden design service.

Garden Design School was established in 2002 by two of the UK’s leading garden designers, Robin Templar Williams and Moira Farnham. Both run their own, successful, landscape and garden design companies and they have over 32 years international teaching experience between them.

John DeVore has spent over 35 years in the US garden and landscape design industry and runs a thriving design and build business, DeVore’s Land and Water Gardens Inc.  Jules Bruck is one of the USA’s most respected lecturers in garden design, horticulture and landscape contracting and also a highly accomplished freelance designer. Over 80% of our US Diploma in Landscape and Garden Design is taught by our Program Directors.

Our Diploma is a carefully structured program which teaches all of the key skills you are likely to need to become a professional landscape and garden designer. You’ll receive plenty of individual attention because the class size never exceeds 18 students and in many lecture/studio sessions the tutor:student ratio is as low as 1:6.

Students receive plenty of one-to-one support from our Course Tutors
Students receive plenty of one-to-one
support from our Program Tutors

Our students come from all walks of life and, in previous years, have ranged in age from just 22 to 64. Some have chosen garden design as their first career, others join us having worked in another industry (career-changers) or are perhaps returning to work having raised a family. Whatever your background or previous training, our program will equip you to enter the exciting, expanding world of professional landscape and garden design.

Our US Diploma Program is divided into 8 separate teaching blocks, the first starting in late August 2009 and the last ending in mid-May 2010. Each teaching block (with the exception of the first) lasts for four days: Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday. By incorporating a weekend each time, we hope this structure will help people who have existing work commitments on weekdays.

The dates of our 2009/10 US Diploma are as follows. All classes are taught at our Massachusetts training center (Tower Hill Botanic Garden, details below). Each lecture day runs from 8.30am to 4.30pm, with breaks for lunch and refreshments.

Block 1 (6 days): 08.29.2009 – 09.03.2009
Block 2 (4 days): 10.15.2009 – 10.18.2009
Block 3 (4 days): 12.10.2009 – 12.13.2009
Block 4 (4 days): 01.07.2010 – 01.10.2010
Block 5 (4 days): 02.04.2010 – 02.07.2010
Block 6 (4 days): 02.25.2010 – 02.28.2010
Block 7 (4 days): 03.25.2010 – 03.28.2010
Block 8* (4 days): 05.06.2010 – 05.09.2010

*May be extended to 6 days to compensate for any teaching days lost due to bad weather.

Our US Diploma Program teaches a comprehensive range of skills, in 4 categories. Lecture days at Tower Hill are usually a mixture of lectures and studio work.

Design Principles and Drawing
Principles of design; graphic and drafting skills; printing processes; application of color and rendering; axonometric projection; freehand sketching; plan presentation; single point perspective drawing; fast drawing techniques.

Hard Landscaping

Practical surveying with levels; site analysis; elevations and sections; hard landscape materials; detailing the design of hard landscape; project layout; water in the garden; lighting, irrigation and drainage requirements.

Soft Landscaping
Basic botany; soil science; classification and identification; planting design; horticultural requirements; establishment; site specific planting; planting plans and schedules.

Professional Practice
Running the office; documentation and systems; health and safety; client/designer relationships; contractor/designer relationships; planting specifications and contract management; project costing; business start-up; advertising and promotion.

Independent Study & Assessment
To support and extend learning, beyond the formal lectures and studio sessions attended at Tower Hill, students can expect to spend 24-30 hours per week, between each module block, on independent (home) study. This is necessary to ensure that all subjects are covered, and skills mastered, to a high standard.

Four design projects are undertaken during our program, the final one being a comprehensive scheme, encompassing all of the following elements to produce detailed documentation: survey and site analysis; outline proposals; setting out drawings; visual realization; planting plan and schedule; hard landscape details; planting specification and scope of works. In addition, students compile 2 portfolios throughout the program (hard landscaping and soft landscaping).

Each student’s progress is assessed at regular intervals throughout the program by means of a series of realistic, practical assignments and projects. There are no exams or essays. Our Diploma is taught in the botanic garden’s Stoddard Education & Visitor Center, a modern, purpose-built training facility. Food and drink can be obtained in the on-site Twigs Café, and parking at the botanic garden is free.

Enrollment in the Diploma Program of Garden Design School USA is strictly on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Fees for the 2009/2010 US Diploma Program are $16,995. A deposit of $2000 must accompany your application form to reserve a place on the program. This is non-refundable once The School has written to you confirming acceptance of your application to join the program. Having received this letter of acceptance, your enrollment will not be finalized until you have completed, signed and returned the School’s enrollment contract by the date specified. Once you have received a letter from The School confirming receipt of your enrollment contract, you are obliged to pay the balance of fees to complete your enrollment commitment, whether or not you take up the place accepted.

Please note that the Application Form should be signed and sent, with the deposit payment, by mail, to:

Garden Design School USA
1410 Hogue Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45013, USA.

Checks should be made payable to ‘Garden Design School USA’. We regret that applications sent by fax or e-mail are not acceptable.

For an application form, log on to