The Planting Design Diploma

Our Planting Design Diploma has been developed to support garden designers, landscape architects and professional gardeners who want to expand their skills and expertise in planting design. It is a unique course not found anywhere else in Europe and is delivered across six months starting in January. It includes classroom-based lectures, workshops and studio work as well as garden, park and nursery visits that will support your planting design development.

We are expecting our Planting Design Diploma will be taught in person at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew from January 2022. We will continue with real time online screening of lectures and tutorials for students that are unable to attend classes in person and we also have an online stream for those wanting to study with us from further afield.
The course is usually fully enrolled but we currently have places available for the course starting in January 2022. As soon as we become fully enrolled we operate a waitlist but please note that interviews are already taking place for the 2023 course as well if you are considering enrolling on the course at a later date. If you do want to study with us we suggest you download a prospectus and get in touch to arrange an interview so that all your questions can be answered.

The course is led by Director Andrew Fisher Tomlin and includes some of the UK’s leading designers and nurserymen. At the London College of Garden Design we have many students enrol from across Europe not just the UK and this course has been designed to make it easy for students to fit study into their working lives and to commute from their homes to London to take part. Further details are available by requesting a prospectus at the bottom of this page.

The Planting Design Diploma is programmed across five key elements:

  • Fundamental planting design skills where you will learn a wide range of new skills and different approaches to planting design from experts in their fields.
  • Specialist skills covering detailing in areas such as contemporary planting styles, rain gardens and matrix planting.
  • Inspirational lectures from some of the UK’s leading designers exploring their own distinct approaches to planting design.
  • Workshops and studio days where you will develop hands on planting design skills.
  • Visits to nurseries and gardens often linked to earlier lectures.

As well as the College’s Directors our tutors on the Planting Design Diploma include specialists such as Neil Lucas the UK’s leading ornamental grass specialist and Tony Kirkham, curator at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Garden designers that teach on this course have included RHS Gold Medal Winners Jo Thompson, Kate Gould, James and Helen Basson Carolyn Willetts, Amanda Patton and RBG Kew Garden Design Manager Richard Wilford.

Kew Gardens – our teaching facilities

The Planting Design Diploma classes take place in the Orangery conference facilities at the world famous Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. In keeping with our vision to offer the best garden design training available, our teaching facilities are world class and provide a quiet haven for study in the middle of one of the world’s leading botanic gardens. Kew is conveniently located within easy access of transport links and live projects being constructed in the capital. Visits outside of the classroom will be coordinated within the schedule with the majority of them being in the second half of the course.

We welcome students on our Planting Design Diploma course from both the UK and overseas. This is a 5 month part time course  and so it is possible to take part whilst on a standard tourist visa if you are eligible.


The Planting Design Diploma starts in January of each academic year. Please contact us if you are interested in enrolling for this coming January or if you’d like to meet with Andrew Fisher Tomlin for an informal chat about the course. If you are applying from overseas you will need to be eligible to study in the UK.

At the London College of Garden Design we offer the best professional garden design course on the market where students can learn from the very best in the profession every day. We look forward to hearing from you.

“Don’t just think about it: DO IT. A brilliant course with some amazing guest lecturers. Take what you thought you knew about planting design and dump it in the compost bin, then learn an inspirational new way. So much to enjoy.” AG


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