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Course of the week | The Principles of Gardening

The Principles of Gardening

A science-focused, environmentally-friendly course

This course offers a science-based, ‘green approach’ to the principles of gardening, and should appeal to both professional and leisure gardeners alike.  With an emphasis on the use of organic manures and biological control methods, it asks searching questions on fruit, vegetables and flowers, plus horticultural principles of plant botany, physiology and the effect of the environment.

  • A broad-based course that should be of particular interest to ‘green’ gardeners
  • Flexible home-study learning so you can fit your learning around your work and life
  • Quality course material and excellent tutor support – to help you achieve your goals
  • On successful completion you will receive an HCC Certificate
  • Suitable for both amateur and professional gardeners
  • No previous experience needed

The Principles of Gardening is a 12-lesson study programme – you will be formally assessed on your choice of 10 of the 12 lessons:

Lesson 1 – Vegetables and their cultivation, including rotation, crop growing

Lesson 2 – Soils for fruit growing, winter pruning. Soil composition and soil types

Lesson 3 – Manures, fertilisers and lime for fruit and vegetables, trace elements

Lesson 4 – Flowering plants, annuals, perennials, herbaceous, bedding plants, cut flowers

Lesson 5 – Planting trees and shrubs, soil preparation, after-care. Notes on trees, shrubs

Lesson 6 – Potting composts, cucumbers, melons, rock wool and nutrient film techniques

Lesson 7 – Plant propagation – seed requirements, genetics, propagation, hormones, mist

Lesson 8 – Pollination and fertilisation, flower/seed structure, nutrition, osmosis

Lesson 9 – Fungus diseases, insect pests, life cycles, control principles

Lesson 10 – Lawns from seed, after-care, manures and top-dressings, weed control

Lesson 11 – Garden Planning

Lesson 12 – Plant Selection & Maintenance


We are proud of our friendly, caring ethos and aim to do all we can to help you succeed.

Our tutors are all experienced, highly qualified and passionate about sharing their love of their subject. You can phone or email your tutor throughout the course – to ask questions, for advice, encouragement or to draw on their wealth of knowledge.

You can also contact the support team who are here to help you Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

All learners are eligible for an NUS Extra card.


There are no exams. On successful completion of this course you will receive an HCC Certificate*, graded to show the standard you have reached. The HCC’s reputation means this can be highly regarded on a CV and, combined with your portfolio of coursework, is evidence of your achievements (whether you are applying for a job or a more advanced study course).

* The HCC Certificate will be issued once you have successfully completed your course and finished your course payments.

Enrol now

There are two ways you can enrol on this course. You can:

  • Pay the total course fee in one sum of £295 and also receive a special Gift from our selection – free. Please click here to view the gifts
  • or
  • Pay with a deposit of £95 now, followed by 4 instalments of £50

To enrol by phone, please call us on Freephone 0800 083 9191 or 01409 220 777. Or go to our website and follow the link.

01409 220 777

Free Phone:
0800 083 9191

Email Address:

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Course of the week

HCC – The Horticultural Correspondence College
Lyne Akres
Brandis Corner
EX22 7YH

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