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Practical Horticulture Skills - Garden Design Award Level 2

This course is part of our short course program looking to develop specific horticulture skills. The course is based at Birmingham Botanic Gardens. On successful achievement of the course this will lead to formal certification with City and Guilds.

Designing with confidence: the ‘what, when and how’ of professional garden design

Learn about the skills, practical techniques and theory of propagation in the beautiful surroundings of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Units will include:
• Identify plants by botanical name
• Carry out site survey in two dimensions
• Draw up a two-dimensional site survey
• Produce a basic garden design
• Produce a planting plan
• Lay out plants for planting

Depending on interests, units will be selected from the following:
• Design a contemporary style garden
• Design a garden in a historical context
• Design a show garden

The course will be practical and hands on, with learners achieving the qualification by demonstrating the appropriate skills and knowledge to take you from sketching to reality.
It will include topics such as:
• Surveying – how to get it right first time
• Right plant, right place – know your plants and how they can be used
• Garden design through history – an insight into some of the styles which still influence us today
• The rules of garden design – and when to break them
• Accurately estimating materials and plants for a design
• Working from drawings and plans – turning a blueprint into reality
• Awd2 Practical Skills Horticulture (Plant Identification/ planting).

Students at our centre not only learn in the environment of the gardens but are also able to contribute to its care, maintenance and development. We frequently work alongside the gardeners to support them in the practical tasks that need carrying out on site, which means that you not only get a great experience, but also learn to carry out practical horticultural tasks to a very high standard.

Course Info

Level 2 - Intermediate
Subject Area
Horticulture & Conservation
Course Type
Adult Part-Time
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Next Start Date
Course Length
6 weeks

Entry Requirements

A keen interest in horticulture and knowledge to learn new skills.

Delivery and Assessment

Tutors at BMet Horticulture Academy all have relevant professional industry experience to ensure students acquire appropriate skills to take into the workplace. Learners will receive handouts, access to online resources and, where appropriate, be able to take home some of the plants they have propagated. You will be assessed by someone observing your practical skills and short answer question for each unit.


You can sign up for further six weeks courses in other areas of interest. Or progress on to our 18 week Level 2 City and Guilds Practical Horticulture Skills.