Fundamentals of Garden Design
4.4 (1,553 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
6,051 students enrolled

Fundamentals of Garden Design

An Introduction to Landscape Design
4.4 (1,551 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
6,051 students enrolled
Created by Rob Littlepage
Last updated 8/2020
English [Auto]
Current price: $86.99 Original price: $124.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 6.5 hours on-demand video
  • 53 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
Training 5 or more people?

Get your team access to 4,000+ top Udemy courses anytime, anywhere.

Try Udemy for Business
What you'll learn
  • Students will learn how to prepare a conceptual landscape plan suitable for themselves or presentation to a client. You will learn to conduct an accurate site survey of the property, plot your survey to scale; ink your plan and prepare and color your conceptual landscape plan for presentation or display.
  • The student should have basic math skills

This is a beginner/intermediate level gardening course in landscape design.

Landscape design is more than selecting plants for a project, it is the integration of all the elements and spaces that affect our outdoor living environment.  In this course you will l be introduced to the objectives and principles that are essential to developing a strong design solution for either yourself or for a paying client, all the while you'll be introduced to new garden and design ideas to help grow your design company.  With lessons covering how to interview the client, design contracts, form composition and selecting a design approach this course is a comprehensive and in-depth journey into the world of truly creative garden design.  

The practical skills of drafting to scale, and site surveys will be explained. Finally, how to take these skills, draw your garden design and create a conceptual garden plan for yourself, family or client will be covered in detail.

This is a course on garden design - not gardening.  It is also NOT  a course using computer aided design (CAD).  The instruction will be in using pen, ink and paper - what I believe is the starting point for all design even if you choose to use a computer program later on.  CAD is simply a tool, but if you do not know the basic principles and objectives of design, CAD won't help you.  You'll simply do poor designs faster!

The conceptual plan is the starting point for any design project, opening discussion and refining the plan before construction drawings are prepared and it is this approach to design that I will be explaining, demonstrating and clarifying for the student.

What you will get out of this course:

74 lectures walking you through the entire process of creating a conceptual garden plan including garden design basics

Approximately 7 hours of instruction

Lifetime access to the instructor for advice, plan critique, contract review and encouragement

Lifetime access to  the course and resources

30-day, money back guarantee

Certificate of Completion when you've finished the Course

Pure and practical advice

Personal guidance and mentoring from someone (me!) who has been designing and creating gardens for over 35 years


Who this course is for:
  • This course is for gardeners, landscape contractors, designers and students interested in improving their design capabilities. This course has been developed for those interested in learning landscape design including site surveys and basic differential elevation surveys.
  • [object Object]
Course content
Expand all 75 lectures 06:38:16
+ The Client Brief
5 lectures 15:56
Interpret what They're Saying
Your Design Portfolio
The Design Bid Worksheet
Design Contracts
+ Surveying the Site
5 lectures 30:38

An overview of the basic equipment used in surveying a property

Introduction to Site Surveying
Steps in Mapping the Property
Measuring the House
Finding North
+ Landscape Drafting
11 lectures 45:49

This is a list of the drafting tools and equipment I use in my office.  There are other manufacturer's than the ones I have mentioned that you may prefer.

Preview 01:04

There is hardly any limit to the uses of the drafting compass, and for triangulation it is essential.  

Using the Drafting Compass

Using a drafting triangle will insure properly drawn lines at any angle.

Using the Drafting Triangle

Mostly used on planting plans, the circle template will enable you to depict plants at the proper diameter.  Combined with the right graphics and your plan really takes shape!

Using Circle Templates

Often you'll find existing pool decking, patios and driveways won't have a radius point that enables you to use you drafting compass.  In these cases the flex curve can save the day.

Using the Flexible Curve

Understanding how to use the scale rule - whether it be architect, engineering or metric - will get your field measurements proportioned so that your survey will fit on your paper.  In this lecture I'll discuss the architect and engineering scales.  If you are working in metric and need to get a refresher on using the metric scale please see Lecture 75 at the end of the course.  In that Lecture I discuss using metric scales and there are some resources and exercises available to download.

Using the Scale Rule

Good light is essential and a drafting lamp will help you to see what you're looking at.

Using the Drafting Lamp

For fine tuning a drawing and removing only the lines you need to the eraser shield is well worth having in your tool box.

Using The Eraser Shield

Not interested in CAD or not ready to select the software for your needs?  Knowing and using the technical pen - or Rapidograph - will give your plans and presentations the professional look you're after.  And, by hand drafting you make the plans your own rather than that of a computer programer!

Using Technical Drawing Pens
Cleaning Technical Pens
The Portable Drafting board
+ Drawing to Scale
6 lectures 38:35
Squaring the Paper
Select the Scale Value
Plotting Your Survey
Inking Your Plan
+ Design Objectives
6 lectures 25:48
Design Objectives and the 3 Planes of Enclosure
Space Defined
Designing on the Base Plane
The Vertical and Overhead Planes
Materials Affect Perception
+ Form Composition
4 lectures 20:11
The Circle and Square in Landscape Design
Examples of Form Composition in Design
+ Design Approach
7 lectures 36:12
Introduction to Design Approach

Available for download are two examples of radial designs - one by me while studying in England and another by a former student.  Both show the versatility of this approach and how it can be used effectively in both rural and urban settings.

Radial Design

Available for download is an example of an Arc and Tangent design.  This was my first design I did while studying in England in 1994.  A long, narrow backyard.  This design actually encompasses 3 different approach styles - rectangular-45; rectangular and finally into the arc & tangent approach.  notice how the component parts of all shapes relate throughout the design. 

Arc and Tangent Design

Available for download are 5 examples of rectangular designs showing how they can work on properties of various shapes and sizes.  The two designs labeled Conceptual Rectangular are of the same property - one being a plan view and the second being a 3-D perspective.  These last two have been drawn in the software SketchUp which makes doing 3-D very easy.    

Rectangular Design

Available for download is an example of a rectangular-45 design approach by one of my former students.  Hand drawn and colored it shows how effective this approach can be in a small backyard giving the garden lots of interest.

Rectangular-45 Design

Two examples of curvilinear design by British designer David Stevens.  This approach is best suited for larger properties where the flowing curves can be large enough to have an elegance to them.  In curvilinear design I feel that the Rule of Thirds really takes hold.  Start with rectangular or rectangular-45 near the house and evolve to the more naturalistic curvilinear (natural) design as you get further from the home.  This will apply to paving materials as well - more formal near the house and more casual and natural as you further into the landscape.

Curvilinear Design
+ Allocating Space
4 lectures 28:53
Introduction to the Front Garden
The Front Garden - A Case Study
Introduction to the Back Garden
+ Design Principles
7 lectures 51:27
Dominance in Garden Design
Repetition in Garden Design
Interconnection and the Unity of 3 in Garden Design