Centre for Continuing Education

Garden Design Course for Large and Small Spaces

Horticulture & Gardening. Open to everyone.

Learn Horticulture & Gardening the smart way with Horticulture & Gardening courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.

Nowhere to entertain or relax outdoors? Transform your barren balcony or cluttered courtyard into a stylish sanctuary.


Discover how to use space effectively and the concepts of good design. You’ll discover how to choose appropriate plants, containers and materials to achieve a professional result and how to maintain your plants, with the minimum of effort, by controlling common pests and diseases.


Upon successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Analyse site conditions including climate, aspect, topography and soil.
  2. Identify how to modify existing conditions, if necessary.
  3. Draw up a plan to indicate the preferred position for plants.
  4. Select suitable plants and materials for various conditions.
  5. Locate plants to achieve a pleasing aesthetic outcome.
  6. Maintain plants successfully using organic methods of pest and disease control.


This Gardening course covers the following topics:

  • Define the function of the courtyard/balcony area – analyse individual needs/wants
  • Assess the site – climate, topography, aspect and soil of the courtyard
  • Draw up a plan to scale – procedure, equipment, etc.
  • Select plant material for specific conditions – sun/shade, wet/dry, etc.
  • Principles of good design – unity, simplicity, variety, movement, line, etc.
  • The use of colour in small spaces
  • Making a small garden seem larger – concealing, perspective, etc.
  • Establish a theme in the courtyard/balcony – formal, Mediterranean, tropical, native, etc.
  • Container gardening – suitable containers, potting mix, mulch, etc.
  • Maintenance of plant material – watering, fertilising, pruning, etc.
  • Pest and disease control
  • Transforming problem areas
  • Review

Intended Audience

This course is suitable for anyone interested in designing their outdoor living area to achieve a professional result, by implementing the principles of good design using both suitable plants and materials.


Comprehensive course notes are provided in class.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • Totally happy. This course met the program criteria outlined and my expectations when I enrolled. Have gained some very valuable info which I can implement in my job and my lifestyle.

  • The presenter was excellent. The content of the course was packed full of very, very useful information. The teaching style was also excellent – and the amazing level of knowledge was inspiring.

  • The presenter is an expert in the field of garden design who also has a gift for teaching. The class exceeded my expectations. Informative, flexible and relevant.

  • This was an excellent class, well prepared, excellent tutor. Highly recommend.

$166 Limited inc GST
Garden Design Course for Large and Small Spaces

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