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Fundamentals of Landscaping Design and Business


Fundamentals of Landscaping Design and Business

In this course, we will explore the art and business of landscaping, from an understanding of plants and foliage, to principles of design, to technology, to business and management considerations.



Access Length

12 months





Course Overview

In this course, we will explore the art and business of landscaping, from an understanding of plants and foliage to principles of design, to technology, to business and management considerations. Upon completing the course, one will be fully prepared to create landscaped masterpieces for clients of all shapes, sizes, and levels of complexity.

Students will:
  • Identify and practice the use of tools and materials for drawing and designing for landscaping
  • Describe and apply the landscaping process
  • Demonstrate an understanding of plants, plant selection, and plant care
  • Demonstrate an understanding of lawn crafting and maintenance
  • Identify and practice the use of landscaping technology
  • Demonstrate an understanding of pricing and contracts
  • Identify necessary human resource principles in the landscaping business
  • Demonstrate an understanding of irrigation and maintenance principles 

Course Outline:

Lesson 1: Landscaping Industry Fundamentals

In the first lesson of the course, students will become familiar with the tools, materials, and technology for landscape design drawing. This includes identifying and properly using traditional tools of the landscape designer, the purpose of knowing design fundamentals, and what one needs to know in order to successfully become a professional in the industry.

Lesson 2: Design Tools Used In Landscaping

This lesson of the course focuses on tools that landscaping professionals use in order to meet and exceed the requirements of the clients they serve. Within this lesson, one will become familiar with using various drawing instruments, lettering, graphing materials, and other techniques in order to successfully complete these tasks efficiently and properly.

Lesson 3: Site Considerations

The third lesson of the course will focus on different types of site considerations one will need to learn in order to provide the best outcomes for clients and the materials used for the projects. This includes taking time to interview the client, come up with conceptual drawings, reviewing the site via a site analysis, creating base maps, and other like activities.

Lesson 4: Design Principles

Having a good idea as to what one would like to have in a landscape is the first step of the process towards completing. Picking the right plants, flowers, and other elements to make it happen is the next step of the process. This lesson will give students a comprehensive review of hardscapes, flowers, plants, and enrichment strategies to ensure what is being suggested to fulfill what is presented look as best as possible.

Lesson 5: Landscape Project Proposals

The idea of transforming one’s landscape hinges on providing the best proposal possible to the client so that they are fully aware of what will need to be done to make the vision a reality. Hence, it is important to have a strong understanding of the skills needed to create proposals that are presented to prospective clients. In this lesson, students will review issues relative to pricing a proposed design, such as the difference between cost and price, estimates and bids, and how to prepare a design cost estimate.  In addition, we will discuss the preparation, presentation, and closing of a proposal to a client.

Lesson 6: Contracting

Once the bid has been submitted and accepted, creating a team to do the job in the most efficient manner possible is the next step towards project completion. In this lesson, students will gain knowledge and understanding as to how to properly calculate landscaping jobs. Specifically, students will explore calculations for landscape projects, including those needed for landscape take-offs, organization, and standardization, and typical required calculations; along with contracts, including the components of a contract, selection of contractors, and the documentation of a contract. The final part of this lesson discusses human resources and how that factors into a landscaping project.

Lesson 7: Landscaping Tools & Safety

Knowing what tools are essential to performing landscaping tasks is one of the core fundamental skills landscaping professionals must know in order to complete a job properly. Doing it safely is just as important if not more so. This lesson reviews commonly-used tools that landscaping professionals use day-to-day which they are likely to need to fulfill the needs of their clients. Safety is a top-priority that any landscaping professional must have a strong grasp of due to the high-risk nature of select tasks completed while a project is in progress. Students are recommended to review this lesson carefully so they are fully aware of the risks involved with this profession.

Lesson 8: Client Installations

As students venture into the second half of the course, creativity used to create the client’s vision of the landscape(s) they need to be done now starts to become a reality. In this lesson, one will review the fundamentals of landscape installation. Specifically, in this lesson, one will learn about lawn construction and selecting the right grass for a project, installing landscaping plants, and irrigation fundamentals which can maintain what was constructed for years to come.

Lesson 9: Project Maintenance

Naturally once a project has been completed, part of an agreement one may have with a client is to ensure it is maintained for some period of time. Hence, this lesson focuses on skills and techniques one will need to learn to do just that. Select techniques provided by the authors in this lesson include proper maintenance of plants and lawns, rectifying and identifying plant injuries, and planting trees and shrubs to enhance an existing landscape.

Lesson 10: Seasonal Landscaping Maintenance

Landscapes evolve over time and ensuring they remain healthy through the season. The tenth lesson of the course reviews principles, strategies, and tips that landscaping professionals will need to apply in order to maintain a landscape through changing conditions that happen over the course of a year. This includes lawn care, winterizing a landscape, and properly charing clients for this service as it should be part of the overall agreement when completing a task (especially for commercial clients or ones that wish to change their landscape often).

Lesson 11: Landscaping Technology

As with any industry, technology has revolutionized the way landscapers can complete a job. Whether it is through the use of state-of-the-art equipment or advanced techniques to create landscapes, professionals in the industry must be aware of what’s being used in order to maximize productivity and output. This lesson reviews how landscaping can be done in the age of technology and the concept of xeriscaping – which minimizes water and irrigation use.

Lesson 12: Other Landscaping Applications

The final lesson of the course reviews other types of landscaping installations as all are not outside in the elements. Some clients prefer to have installations done indoors or in a specific manner. Students will review the concept of interior plantscaping and how landscapers can perform the same tasks outside inside a controlled environment. Water gardens are the other topic that is flowing within this lesson as one will understand the concept and how to apply this element to both an internal or external landscape.

All necessary materials are included.

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