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If you are looking for a new start in a horticultural career or want to delve further into garden planning for personal interest, this could be the course for you!

This qualification is ideal for those wanting a route to employment in professional horticulture, for those who are already working in horticulture who want to develop their knowledge, further study, or interested in improving practical skills. The course covers a wide range of horticultural topics and up-to-date working practices. It is designed to provide the underpinning knowledge of plants and horticultural practices.

The course is part-time so particularly suitable for those with work or other commitments.

The Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance consists of four units which cover the scientific principles of horticultural practices:

  • Understanding garden features, plant selection and planning
  • Understanding the choice, establishment and maintenance of garden plants and lawns
  • Understanding the production of outdoor vegetables and fruit
  • Understanding protected environments and their use in plant cultivation

There are no entry requirements and all learners are welcome. We are committed to facilitating access to qualifications through reasonable adjustments to assessment arrangements for candidates with an identified specific need. An example of a reasonable adjustment which could be made is a large print examination paper or an application for extra time.

We will provide a selection of books and other learning resources to support students. As an approved Royal Horticultural Society Centre, we’re delighted to be able to hold RHS courses in our stunning grounds.  Students will also have the opportunity to explore the grounds of the Castle and undertake some practical aspects of the course in their historic setting.


I wanted a change of career so decided to sign up. The content of the topics was really interesting. It’s a very nice setting and great to be able to go and look around the gardens here. The café’s nice as well!” –  Joe Loveridge, Student 2018/19

I signed up wanting to do something for my own enjoyment. One of the strongest elements has been the supportive teaching. It’s been really helpful. Fantastic group of people, fantastic teaching and in a beautiful environment.” –  Louise Gardner, Student 2018/19

Dates and times

Starting Tuesday 24th September 2019, 10.30am to 2.30pm

The course includes 30 weeks of teaching and breaks between half terms, over Christmas, and time for final study before the exams.

A break for lunch will be included each day but lunch will not be provided. The Castle has a newly built café, the Bishop’s Table, that serves a delicious selection of paninis, salads, soups, pizzas, and irresistible cakes. Click here to visit the Café page for a full menu.

The Tutor

Judy Knight trained in Garden Design at Pershore College and has spent over 10 years designing and creating approximately 100 gardens across Worcestershire and the surrounding counties.

She was the local coordinator for the Society of Garden Designers for 7 years and delivers talks and courses on all aspects of designing, creating and maintaining gardens.


For costs and booking information, please contact Chantel – activities@hartleburycastle.com