John Brookes: How To Design A Garden

How to Design your own garden

Garden Design Plan

  • Course length: 4 weeks

  • Next start dates: 2nd September 2015 & 7th October 2015

  • Course price: £480 (Approx. US$768)

From  town to country garden (From 30 – 3000 square meters/yards in area), this course is a unique opportunity to learn to design your own garden under the watchful eye of one of the world’s most famous landscape and garden designers.  On this course;  you not only learn about design theory, but also get to work on your own garden under the watchful eye of John Brookes’ (MBE). You are essentially working with John, and will be able to claim that you’ve certainly had input on your garden design from one of the world’s most prestigious landscape designers!

This on-line garden design course is suitable for amateurs and professionals alike. In it, John give you his personal insight on how to design your own garden with design rules applying to any country in the world and any size of garden (you’ll get personal tuition from him in the MyGardenSchool virtual classroom). With over 50 years design and teaching experience and over 30 books published in as many different languages, John Brookes draws on his extensive knowledge to combine clever and stylish design options with detailed information and practical advice.

Please join us so he can share with you, his design philosophy, never before explained or revealed in such detail.

Learning outcome: Having completed this course you will have a garden plan of your own large garden which you have designed, with the help and assistance of one  of the most famous designers of the 20 century.

Course Content

Week 1: Garden Style and Surveying your Site.   Understanding the proportions of your garden, making a site assessment, how to do a simple survey

Week 2: Design Secrets only the Pros Know.   There is no way around this; I am going to have to talk ‘design’ for a moment.  And why not? we all crave the designer kitchen, the designer bedroom en suite if I am to believe my tele – so why not the designer garden?  I'll teach you the approach used by the professionals to achieve your designer garden

Week 3: Line Pattern & Shape.  This lecture covers, A bit of design theory, Direction of Flow, The formal layout, An anticlockwise design, A clockwise design, Starting to evolve your own pattern, Using circles, The Garden Plan

Week 4: Turning Dreams into Reality.  Implementing the rule of thirds, the design as you move away from the house, and finally the planting


Online Course Benefits

  • Weekly 1-2-1 tuition and feedback from, and access to, some of the best tutors in the world.
  • Weekly video tutorials, allowing you to revisit lectures again and again.
  • Weekly assignments which are critiqued by your expert tutor - most students find this feedback one of the most valuable aspects of the course
  • Magazine style downloadable transcript (your own four part ebook of the course)
  • All this is done within 'MyClassRoom' - your own virtual, community based global classroom
  • Vibrant social network communities
  • At the end of your course, if you successfully complete your course, you will receive a certificate of completion and an online badge (available to download from your classroom)

To understand more about how it all works, go to the 'How it Works' section!


You will require a scanner or local printer where you can have your drawings digitally scanned

You may require a site survey to be carried out by a professional land survey or qualified landscape contractor/designer if you are unable to survey your own plot

Having a reasonably acurate scale drawing of your house and boundary is necessary in order to complete this course.


For further information on surveying (if you decide to take this on yourself) please see


Materials/Equipment Required:

Thick black marker pen (Water Based), Graphite sticks 4B, Pencils HB 2B, Pencil sharpener, Large compass with extension bar and ink pen attachment Approx. 20cm diameter without extension (don't forget extension bar and ink pen attachment), Large adjustable set square (This is a triangle of clear plastic used for vertical and diagonal line drawing when rested on the edge of the drawing board. Sizes vary enormously - do not buy the smallest size or you will have trouble drawing long vertical lines. The length of the longest side should be around 250-3OOmm (10-12"). When you do your final drawing in ink, make sure you buy your set squares with angled edges that eliminate smudging.), Scale rule (A scale rule (or scale either metric or imperial depending on country of origin) is a narrow strip of plastic the length of a normal ruler and either flat or triangular in shape. It has varying numbers of divisions along each edge on both sides. The divisions are in proportion to actual distances and dimensions and are used for making plans drawn to scale. The scales you will most often use are 1:20,1:50,1:100,1:200 but you will probably find that most scale rules go up to at least 1:12), 25m role of 60g tracing paper, Circular template (HELIX H67), Roll of masking tape, Optional extra - Drawing board - A1 with parallel motion. 


How to Design Your Garden

How do you design your own garden?  Or even how to become a garden designer?  Why not learn from the master himself.  John Brookes is one of the world's greatest garden designers (with dozens of books to his name).  John teaches you the best kept garden design secrets.  There are online garden design courses to suit all levels of ability and all sizes of garden. Please take a look at the online gardening courses listings.  
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