Garden Design in Large and Small Spaces - Northern Beaches Community College

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Garden Design in Large and Small Spaces

Course Outline:

Nowhere to relax or entertain outdoors? Is your outdoor area looking tired? Whether you have arid acreage, a barren balcony or a cluttered courtyard, you can transform it into a stylish sanctuary.

Discover how to use space effectively and the concepts of good design. Recognize your soil type and determine how to choose appropriate plants and materials. Achieve a professional, cost-effective design with minimum effort. Comprehensive course notes are provided and places are limited.


  • Introduction to the Course
  • Define the function of your outdoor areas – analyse individual needs/wants
  • Assess your site – climate, topography, aspect, soil, mulch
  • Containers - types, potting mix, mulch, etc.
  • Draw up a plan to scale – equipment, procedure, etc.
  • Select plant material for specific conditions - sun/shade, wet/dry, privacy, etc.
  • Implement principles of good design – unity, simplicity, variety, movement, etc.
  • Perspective - the use of colour; techniques to make a small garden seem larger
  • Establish a theme – formal, Mediterranean, tropical, native, etc.
  • Maintain plant material – watering, fertilising, pruning, mulching, etc.
  • Organic control of pests and diseases
  • Transform problem areas
  • Course review

This will be an interactive classroom environment with plenty of time for all your questions to be answered.

What to Bring:

Notepad and Pen

About the Tutor:

Judith Sleijpen graduated from Ryde School of Horticulture with distinction in Urban Horticulture and gained experience in the retail nursery industry for several years. As a Member of the Horticultural Media Association, Judith writes a monthly gardening column for “Peninsula Living” and has also published articles in “Landscape Contractor and Manager”, “Better Homes and Gardens”, ”Gardens and Outdoor Living” and “The Garden Gurus”.Passionate about plants, gardens and bees, she is a Member of the Australian Institute of Horticulture, a former Committee Member of the Sydney Executive Committee of Open Gardens Australia and a former member of the Speakers’ Bureau of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Apart from conducting her garden design and horticultural consultancy business, “Gardens, Balconies and Beyond”, Judith is a tour leader for the David Jones Flower Show and judges garden competitions in Ryde, Camden, Campbelltown, Bayside and Randwick.

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

Course testimonials:

  • Judith has an incredible knowledge of the subject and was very engaging . It was never boring. Always go, go, go . We loved it
  • Trainer was interesting and engaging and clearly very knowledgeable
  • Judith is a very interesting and engaging presenter - really enjoyed the session and looking forward to the next ones
  • Judith's enthusiasm was infectious. It was a really informative, and fun class. A nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I feel inspired to get into my garden!!
  • I enjoyed the atmosphere of the class. I felt included and there was plenty of time to ask questions.