The freedom to study. Anywhere, Anytime…

The Irene School of Garden Design has a tailor made correspondence course that allows you to study almost anywhere in the world, anytime it suits you! You can enhance your knowledge of garden design and horticulture and pursue the perfect paying hobby you have always dreamt of. To be a landscape designer, being able to design gardens for others, work outside with living materials and orchestrate worlds for others to live in, is truly one of the most satisfying and fulfilling careers there is. When we start out in life, choices we make are vital, often we miss out on opportunities to be who we are meant to be. If you have always yearned to design, work with nature and people, love drawing decorating or putting things together, and aspired to a hobby or career that allows you freedom, creativity, more time and purpose, then you are in the right hands now. Irene School of Garden Design offers the most essential full-time course elements to those who cannot attend classes due to locality or for those in different countries. Now you can pursue garden design as a paying hobby or second income, and do it in your own time at a place comfortable for you. It is the career you will never retire from, and our distance learning.


Distance Learning course. For those who want to pursue gardening design, and the more serious gardeners…

Our Distance learning course might not be able to offer exactly what our Comprehensive courses can due to the nature of design but they come pretty close. Our course are the culmination of over 10 years of experience, 3 years of research, together with constant comparison to other courses and programs both nationally and internationally, as well as intensive industry analysis and continual assessment from the industry and leading academics. The Irene school of Garden Designs’ Full-time and Part-time residential and light commercial garden design courses are the superior choice in landscape design education. While the Comprehensive courses are a multi-faceted, comprehensive combination of skill sets and theoretical knowledge required to work in this industry, the Correspondence courses aim to do the same but with smaller projects and a greater emphasis on theory, designed around distance learning. Our courses are endorsed and accredited by the I.G.F.S.A. (the Independent Gardeners’ Forum for South Africa and Africa)(due to launch 2017), a revolutionary new forum for all industries involved with outdoor design, installation and maintenance.

The course is presented in an enjoyable, informal and dynamic manner that suits everyone, regardless of your language preference, age or level of experience. You can join at any time of the year, and will be assigned to a tutor who will tend to your questions and projects personally within a 7 working day period during school terms. We offer the only 1 year conceptual landscape design course that develops creative thinking. The Irene School of Garden Design was also the first to include and develop spatial and architectural philosophy and theory into their courses. Tutors are dedicated to smaller groups of students; this ensures students get the attention they deserve. Course material was compiled by the most unsurpassed industry individuals, together with by Lee Burger, holding BSc Larch (UP), BL Hons (UP) and ML Prof (UP) degrees in Landscape Architecture. We are also one of only a few institutions to continue adopting a bilingual approach to education.

It is not necessary to complete the Introduction courses in order to proceed with our distance learning courses, but, students enrolled for the distance learning courses are more than welcome to attend any of the 3 day workshops free of charge, in order to revise, boost or refine their understanding of the course material. Ample tests, exams and design assessments, moderated by professionals, assure that we only put our best in the market place, and also give you an indication of how you are doing and what is expected from a well-rounded prospective landscaper.

Distance Learning course. Synopsis of material topics…

  • Process of design
  • Process of project
  • Process of installation
  • Client interview and brief
  • Site analysis (condensed)
  • Triangulation, off set and running measurements
  • Freehand drawing skills development
  • Setting up and drafting
  • Layout of design plans and construction plans
  • Plans and line-weight
  • Design symbols and standards
  • Elevations
  • Rendering and graphic standards (condensed)
  • Garden design theory (self-study: Making Sense of Garden Design handbook)
  • Garden design principles (self-study: Making Sense of Garden Design handbook)
  • Form, space, order, and circulation (condensed)
  • History of botany (informative television documentary)
  • History of most influential gardens in time (informative television documentary)
  • Planting design
  • Planting plans, details and methods
  • Contemporary landscape designers (assignment)
  • Soils preparation, improvement and maintenance
  • Key questions for construction problem solving
  • Sustainable landscape construction practices
  • Construction drawing, sectioning & specifications
  • Water feature design and construction

Distance Learning course. Assessments and projects…

  • Design project 1:
    Complete design drawing set for a small-medium residential garden estate based
  • Design project 2:
    Complete design drawing set for a medium to large residential garden
  • Research assignment 1:
    Essay based submission on influential current and past garden designers and styles
  • Research assignment 2:
    Garden visit with visual essay based exploration into planting, design and context
  • Exercise submission 1:
    Scale, drawing drafting and rendering
  • Exercise submission 2:
    Garden styles and appropriate planting design schemes

Distance learning course schedule. Class days and times…

Duration: minimum 6 months to maximum of 24 months
Contact times: Monday to Thursday, January to December during South African private school terms
(Your assigned mentor will confirm contact days and times with you)

Inclusions and additional information. What you need to know…

We do our absolute best to keep additional costs to a minimum. The Irene School of Garden Design provides access to notes digitally but there are some additional costs for stationary, your phone and internet charges, and printing that is not included in the course fee. We care about the environment therefore course notes are provided digitally. Students receive a digital starter pack of additional book/s depending on the course. Attendance for any set of our advised 3 day workshop is free but travel and accommodation should be arranged and paid for by the student. Students will receive the next course material upon completing the previous set of material and/or assignments, and all material will not be available at once unless payment option 1 was selected. The distance learning course is due to the nature of design not required to have examinations and is not fully comparable to the full time and part time comprehensive courses qualification, but does carry a certificate upon completion. We strongly encourage a professional relationship with your assigned mentor and together student and mentor will work out contact times convenient for both. Students must have access to a phone, internet, an e-mail address and sufficient data as our notes are predominantly visual in nature. International students should preferably obtain an internet based phone number as Irene School of Garden Design cannot make international phone calls.

Prices and payment plan distance learning course. Choose an option to suit your needs…

Our Distance Learning course has an easy 3 payment option to accommodate most circumstances. Our Distance Learning course is one of the most cost effective ways to study; this is because we provide more information, without any unnecessary appurtenances, in the shortest time and easiest way possible. Each Irene School of Garden Design mentor only accommodates smaller groups, in order to ensure the quality we are renowned for, and to give students the attention they deserve. Students can start at any time of the year, but needs to allow a calendar month after registration in order to get their course tailored for them. It is essential to book early in order not to miss out on this opportunity.

Payment option 1: An outright payment, providing students with the most discount

Payment option 2: A deposit and progress payments paid manually by bank deposit or EFT.

2017 enrolment:Distance Learning Course:
Total cost: R 15 000.00
2017 enrolment:Distance Learning Course:
Deposit: R 5 250.00
2x Payments & R250 admin fee R 5 250.00 (x2)