Return to the Professional Gardener Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Best Training Programs in the US?

Posted by lightstays NY (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 16, 14 at 11:59

I am a 35-year-old career changer ready to make the leap from teaching high school to garden design. I have dabbled in it for years so I know, more or less, what is involved and, no, I don't expect it to be easy and, yes, I'm ready to invest a few years into getting started. My goal would be to have my own native plant garden business or partner in one.

I'm interest in a certificate program such as the ones offered at NYBG. I live in New York but have plans to relocate to California this spring/summer.

So I'm looking for recommendations for bg's or university extension programs in the Bay Area but I am open to areas outside of the Bay Area as well. There seem to be a host of programs out there but it's difficult to judge them apart online.

I'm looking for affordability, rigor and hopefully the option to complete it in a year.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Best Training Programs in the US?

The availability of garden design courses seems to be closely aligned with regions :-)) The more urban areas of the east coast offer many, as do similar areas on the west coast. And there are quite a few good choices in the Great Lakes areas - Chicago, the twin cities, etc. My suggestion is to look for one in the area YOU wish to relocate to - regionality is always going to play a factor with regards to popular "styles", climate/weather conditions and plant selection.

There is a difference between a career as a garden designer and that of a landscape architect. Garden designers typically focus on residental projects while LA's are often invloved in a wide range of commercial and institutional projects as well as residential. There is a significant difference in training required between the two, so make your choice of career path before you start your education.

While some programs can be completed in a single year, I think you will find that most are two year programs, typically ending with an AA degree. These are often offered via community or technical colleges. These tend to be quite affordable and also flexible in their hours, so that those working a day job can take advantage of them. All are going to offer somewhat similar courses........enough to provide the basic skills. It is important to understand that "book learning" or a structured educational environment is only the beginning - hands-on experience is essential and that is usually only avaiable working in the field as a laborer or apprentice.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Professional Gardener Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here