Skip to main content

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 two terms starting in January. The course includes classroom-based lectures, workshops and studio work that support the development of different approaches to planting design encouraging you to engage planting in much more diverse, exciting and sustainable ways.

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 of designing with plants.

AG 2019 Graduate

planting design diploma



From 2020 we have also offered an online option where students take part in exactly the same classes and studio sessions in real-time alongside classroom-based students. This can be particularly useful for students that are unable to travel into London on a regular basis as well as those students who are overseas and may not be eligible to study in the UK. To find out more request a prospectus below.

The course is led by Nina Baxter and includes some of the UK’s leading designers and nurserymen including Neil Lucas the UK’s leading ornamental grass specialist, Nigel Dunnett from the University of Sheffield and Tony Kirkham, from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Design tutors include Andrew Fisher Tomlin, Jo Thompson, Carolyn Willetts, Amanda Patton, Graham Bodle and Richard Wilford.

The most positive aspect of the lectures/lessons is the constant involvement of the students. It seems more like an informal conversation than a lesson. Studio days are great and give you the possibility to observe other students’ approaches and development. I’ve particularly liked the fact that groups changed every time.

LB 2021 Graduate

Our home in Kew Gardens

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.

I just wanted to say THANK YOU! The Planting Design Diploma was the best course I’ve ever done and I loved every minute! I feel like I’ve jumped off a spring board!

JP 2021 Graduate


The Planting Design Diploma is delivered on Thursdays and Fridays between  January and June of each academic year with assessments and homework pitched at a level that is attainable for anyone wishing to continue working whilst on the course. Further details are available by requesting a prospectus below.

The course is almost always fully-enrolled and so please contact us if you are interested in enrolling for this coming January or if you’d like to meet with Nina Baxter for an informal chat about the course. If you are applying from overseas you will need to be eligible to study in the UK or you can choose to take our online real-time study option.