Garden Design Courses

The Inchbald School of Design pioneered garden design training in the UK, providing courses that focused on garden design for the domestic environment. This remains our speciality, but we have expanded and refined our garden design courses to accommodate the increased demand for landscaping interests.

The garden design school maintains strong connections with the garden design profession enabling us to place students with established designers. We continue to pride ourselves on the success of our students in the marketplace. The front-runners in the world of garden design include Inchbald garden design graduates across the globe.

The comprehensive one-year course for the Diploma HE in Garden Design prepares students to enter the garden design profession. Through a series of practical design projects, underpinned by an understanding of garden design principles and concepts, students develop skills in garden design, design analysis, planting design, hard landscaping and construction, drawing and presentation.

The more academically focused Postgraduate Diploma and Master’s Degree courses in Garden Design are designed for students who require a greater intellectual depth in their studies.

What is the Role of a Garden Designer?

The role of the garden designer involves the possibility of a multiplicity of spaces, from the small area fronting or surrounding a domestic building to the challenge of urban landscaping or the resolutions of a country estate.

Inchbald was the first school to identify this fact, encompassing in its programmes the wide extent of skills that are required to address such a variety of requirements. The designer facing such challenges must understand the disciplines of those other professions which may be involved by the complexities of design or the implications of the brief. Where he is not specifically skilled, he must understand the requirement and thus be competent to direct other professionals who will be part of the team.

Horticulture and the construction of new gardens are not necessarily subjects in which clients may be well informed. Thus, whilst the designer takes a careful brief, he must be able to analyse that brief in terms of requirements perhaps not clearly expressed. Bearing this in mind he may feel it appropriate to re-write it, calling on the benefits of not only talent but training.

Creativity in the final design must be supported by sound practical knowledge of the construction, the possibilities and the drawbacks. In larger spaces, the designer will be working with a team of specialists, all of whose skills he must understand in order to direct them successfully.

Horticultural choices and layouts come close to the role of the interior decorator – thus the garden requires basic design and then decoration in just the same way as any interior space. The fundamental difference lies in the lack of enclosure so that the Garden designer sets his work against the natural features surrounding the area of his concern. Additionally, he must consider aspect, weather conditions and soil variants when he designs his planting, quite apart from any of the cosmetic considerations of his plant selections.

Designers provide their service in different ways. Some simply design the garden, some extend this to supplying and planting the horticultural choices and some will provide a complete design and build service; there are also those who will add a maintenance business to their specialities.

This is a fascinating profession made challenging by the natural problems that require such careful attention and comprehensive knowledge. Not only that, it can take you all over the world; you never know where your next commission will be!

It is also perhaps one of the most rewarding design professions to those who can master the skills of creative construction and who appreciate the magic of seeing planting programmes develop as they mature into reality.