Autumn Gardening

What is special about this course?

This highly practical course introduces horticultural techniques you may not have tried at home as well as giving you an understanding of garden design in context and the biodiversity of our native plant ecosystems. 

This course is ideal for anyone who would like to improve their skills for gardening at home, improve their wellbeing through horticulture or who are considering starting a career in horticulture and would like an introduction to basic horticultural skills. 

You will learn to:

  • identify different garden design styles and features
  • identify native plants and carry out ecological plant surveys
  • carry out a wide range of garden maintenance techniques including pruning, propagation and lawn care

This is a practical course delivered face to face in the wonderful surroundings of Hermitage Park, Helensburgh.


Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements, just an enthusiasm for gardening. 

The course will allow you to

  • Recognise different garden design styles and features which make gardens unique - you will go on day trips to explore different gardens in the Helensburgh area
  • Identify and survey native plants in their ecosystems to understand the biodiversity of natural areas as they compare to areas with higher human impact.
  • Develop a wide range of practical gardening techniques including specialist pruning, propagation by air layering and other specialist layering methods, autumn lawn care and autumn and winter ground preparation methods.

This course contains no exams or tests. It is assessed through practical work and some short written records of work you have carried out, for example garden design styles you have recognised and data you have collected when carrying out ecological surveying and identifying native plants.


Warm clothing and waterproofs in case of inclement weather, and sturdy working boots.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time



How long will my course last?

17 Weeks

Where can I study my course?

    • Helensburgh Learning Centre

Start date

Late August

The course will run on Fridays, 9.30am - 4.00pm 


This course consists of 3 SQA units and costs £258.

If you are on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits may receive a fee waiver. Please refer to page 2 of our Fees and Funding Guide to see if you are eligible. You can download a FEE WAIVER FORM here.  If you would like help or advice on fee waiver, please contact your nearest learning centre.

If you do not qualify for a fee waiver, you may be able to apply for an Individual Training Account (ITA) to cover up to £200 the cost of this course.

This course is not available to students who require a Tier 4 Home Office visa to study in Scotland (international or EU).

What can I do on completion of my course?

When you’ve successfully completed this course, you can move on to study at a higher level with courses such as: 

  • NC Horticulture 
  • HNC Horticulture 

Employment options in this sector could include gardening work or applying to work at a garden centre, nursery, market garden or horticultural charity.

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

‘We are excited to welcome you to this wonderful course exploring garden design in real life situations, understanding the need for, and importance of, biodiversity and putting into practice practical skills that you can use in work or in your own garden’

Andrew Garven, Horticulture Lecturer

Apply for Autumn Gardening

I want to start in 2024/25

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Argyll. UHI Argyll operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.