Landscape construction, gardening and design occupations are in high demand and are forecast to grow over the coming years. This landscape construction online course is ideal for garden maintenance staff, landscape retailers and salespeople, landscape construction supervisors, gardeners, contractors and business owners or anyone looking to boost their skills in horticulture and construction.
The Certificate of Landscape Construction will teach you how to how to manage equipment for landscape construction projects, determine earthworks for landscape development and plan structures such as buildings, fences and walls.
You will also learn how to manage simple irrigation systems and install garden features including paving, water gardens, rockeries and furnishings. You will learn to determine techniques to create soft landscaping and manage work on a landscape construction site.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a landscape construction online course include:
- Learning about tools and machinery, manual handling, materialsused for constructing tools and machinery and ferrous and non-ferrous metals
- Exploring safety with electricity, engine troubleshooting and machine maintenance
- Gaining an understanding of the types of machines, buying a chainsaw, workshop tools, hand saws, garden tools and tool maintenance
- Studying snap lock tools, spades and shovels and forks and rollers
- Examining wheelbarrow and sprayers
- Understanding landscape plans, setting out a construction site, surveying techniques and concept, topographic, final and planting plans
- Attaining knowledge of steps in the design procedure, landscape graphics (scale, lettering drawings line types etc) and design keys
- Gaining insights into slope and direct contouring, levelling terms, setting out the site for landscape construction and levelling procedures
- Learning about levelling a sloping site, using base lines to set out a site, simple ways to mark out circles, understanding and using triangulation and slope, contouring and grid systems
- Exploring drainage in landscape construction, what causes wet areas, problems with wet areas and symptoms of poor drainage systems
- Gaining an understanding of what drainage is needed, typical permeability rates, solving draining problems and cultivation
- Studying mixing in soil additives, methods of reducing erosion to maintain a slope, hard and soft drainage methods and improving surface drainage after construction
- Examining drainage designs, draining lawns, springs and under-ground water courses and what a landscaper should know about drainage
- Understanding subsurface drainage, the layout of drains and creating a soak away drain pit
- Attaining knowledge of earthworks, levelling terminology, slope stability, the angle of repose of a stockpile and soil types and foundations
- Studying surfaces, paths, paving and turf
- Examining concrete and asphalt surfaces
- Understanding how to lay pebbles, gravel and crushed roof tiles
- Attaining knowledge of the surfaces for children’s play areas, designing steps, materials for treads and risers and railings and garden edges
- Gaining insights into lawns, turf, soil preparation, seeding and the construction procedure for a playing field
- Learning about garden structures, gazebos, verandahs, storage buildings and cubbies
- Exploring how to stabilise the ground expansion joints, how to build a brick wall and using timber in the garden
- Gaining an understanding of timber retaining walls, dry stone walls and recycled rubber walls
- Studying wet walls, concrete, fencing and children’s play areas
- Examining how to build a timber deck, decking materials and handrails and balustrades
- Understanding steps, rockeries and how to build artificial rocks
- Attaining knowledge of rockeries, pond design, pond edges and how to construct a water garden
- Gaining insights into how to make a water garden using a preformed unit, rock edging, pebble or cobble edging, timber edging, paved edging and pumps
- Learning about submersible pumps, pond filtration systems, filtration of water features and spas
- Exploring irrigation systems, spas, sprinkler systems and trickle systems
- Gaining an understanding of automatic irrigation systems, do-it-yourself micro-irrigation systems and water saving techniques
- Studying how to use irrigation systems, when to water and the rate and length of watering
What Does a Garden Cost?
Gardens can be relatively cheap or very expensive. But regardless, they can add to the value of a property and money spent wisely on improving your garden adds to your quality of life and is a sensible financial investment.
But if you are on a budget, with planning and the right choices, you can vastly increase the value for money of your purchases. Unlike most other things we buy, most of us tend not to think about the full cost of the planning, set-up costs and maintenance of a garden.
Some questions to ask yourself are: Do you know what you spend on your garden every year? How much do you want to spend on your garden next year? Do you go to your local garden supplier just to see what you can find? Do you have to go to your local hardware store for a new tool every time you have a job to do? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it might be time to think about working on a gardening budget!
As you’ll learn in our landscape construction online course, gardening should really be part of your household budgeting. It requires realistic estimates of how much you can afford to spend, what you’d like to buy and what you need to buy. It will also help you control those impulse purchases you might later regret.
Many people simply let their gardens “happen”. But if you have a garden plan, you can work out what tasks need to be done and in what order to do them. This can make budgeting much easier. Plans can be a list of priorities for the garden, a drawing of how you would like your garden to look or a combination of both. Once you have this, you can work out how much each item is going to cost and whether you can afford it.
Costs for establishing a new garden or rejuvenating parts of an old garden are much greater than ongoing maintenance expenses. Set-up costs include things like:
- Retaining walls
- Furniture and garden ornaments
- Water features
- Soils, mulch and fertilisers
For each category, you will need to work out a realistic budget. If your budget is limited, you may need to choose between using cheaper materials (for example, recycled, seconds, second-hand or home-made) or using better materials but less of them (for example, having a smaller paved area, smaller pond or fewer plants).
Another important element you’ll learn about in a landscape construction online course is that all gardens require maintenance. But the cost of maintenance can be greatly reduced by making the right design choices. They include:
- Gardens with less lawn will usually require less maintenance.
- Certain varieties of lawn grass need mowing more often than others.
- Gardens that are designed to have very sharp straight or smooth edges (for example, between a garden and paving) require edges to be trimmed regularly. If the design allows for uneven edges then the frequency of trimming is less.
- When foliage textures and colours are mixed, weed growth tends to be less noticed — but when they are uniform, a weed will be far more obvious.
- Some plants (for example, conifers, leptospermum and eucalyptus) will deter weed growth under their canopy.
- Paths that are shaded, sloping and near to plants which drop leaves will require more frequent cleaning to reduce them becoming a safety hazard.
- Plants that attract or harbour pests or diseases are going to cost more to maintain.
- Plants that are shorter-lived (for example, annuals and biennials) will need to be replaced more often.
- Hedges can cost more to maintain if you use faster growing plants. Slower growing plants take time to establish, but require trimming less regularly.
- Despite needing routine trimming, a hedge can be used neaten up a garden even when a garden bed behind it is poorly maintained (for example, a trimmed hedge can take one’s attention away from weeds and shabby plants behind it).
Here are just some of the ongoing costs you may need to spend money on to keep a garden looking good:
- Power tools
- Replacement tools
- Tool servicing
- New plants
- Annual plants
- Mulches and fertilisers
- Soil to top-dress the lawn
- Water for irrigation
- Ties and stakes
- Pest control chemicals and equipment
Keep these costs in mind when you design the garden, and you will be able to minimise the long term cost of your garden maintenance.
For a small garden, the cost of plants might not be a major issue but as people with larger gardens know, re-stocking plants for a large area can be very expensive. One solution is to buy mostly smaller plants, and wait for them to grow. Another is to propagate them yourself. You might also try talking to your local nursery person about discounts for bulk purchases. If you work out what you need and buy all of your plants at once, most staff will offer some sort of discount.
Also, instead of buying vegetable and flower seedlings, buy seeds and grow your own. It may be more time-consuming and a slower process, but new trees and shrubs can be grown from seeds or cuttings if you know how to do it. Do some research on propagation and before you know it, you’ll be a green thumb!
Gain foundational knowledge in landscape construction to pursue work on landscape projects or boost your landscape or gardening business with a landscape construction online course such as our Certificate of Landscape Construction.