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Landscape Layout

A DIY Landscape Design Online Course

How to create your own landscape design plan

A Laptop Featuring Module 3 of Design Your Own Landscape Layout, a Landscape Design Online Course

What's in the course?

This course is like having a landscape designer by your side, to guide you through the design process, so you can create your own, DIY landscape design.

Step by step, learn practical design strategies and create a practical, hand-drawn "layout plan" (a landscape design plan that shows the layout of the finished design) in this on-demand, 6-week online guided landscape design course for do-it-yourselfers.

You will learn:

How to survey your site for characteristics that will influence your design (saving you time and money by playing to the strengths of the space)
How to easily collect ideas and inspiration, and apply professional design strategies to bring inspiration to life in your own space
How to measure your yard and make a base map (a hand drawn, to-scale map) to realistically test ideas that match the size and scale of your space 
How to research low-maintenance plant possibilities, and keep your planting plan organized for efficient plant shopping and installation

You'll create a hand-drawn "layout" plan that will act as your installation guide

In this course, you will learn how to create a "layout plan" (a top down drawing of what goes where… your intentions and goals for the space)

Careful planning is an opportunity to test your ideas for practicality (After all, it's much easier to test ideas on paper than after they're installed).
You can break your project down into phases for less stressful installation.
You can experiment with ideas that match your budget, and create a system for adding up costs, to avoid surprises.
A good plan will save you time, energy, and money, and help you accomplish your goals sooner.

"My design confidence has exploded, and I have tapped into my own creativity and found my own style"

Naomi D.

Course Outline: Here's what to expect, inside...


Collect inspiration, prioritize your goals, and take some time to learn about your design area to best play to its strengths.

Videos Inside Module 1:

   (4 min) Intro to Module One
   (22 min) Collect Inspiration
   (10 min) Define Your Needs
   (11 min) Identify Rooms and Views
   (10 min) Site Survey
   (2 min) Final Tips


Head outside to take some measurements and make a "base map" (a map of your design area, drawn to scale). You'll use this map throughout the whole course!

Videos Inside Module 2:

   (9 min) Intro to Module Two
   (24 min) Base Map Basics
   (16 min) (Optional) Mapping Slopes
   (19 min) Strategy 1, Part 1
   (20 min) Strategy 1, Part 2
   (7 min) Strategy 2
   (12 min) (Optional) Tips for Blueprint Sized Maps
   (10 min) Tips for Measuring and Drawing
   (8 min) Finalizing Your Base Map
   (6 min) (Optional) Additional Methods
   (4 min) Prioritizing Needs


Learn how to break your inspiration down into pieces that you can put together, as you draw a concept plan.

Videos Inside Module 3:

   (7 min) Intro to Module 3
   (10 min) Design Requirements for Common Elements
   (15 min) (Optional) Examples: How to Fill Out the Spreadsheet
   (5 min) Your First Bubble Map
   (17 min) Microclimate Mapping
   (4 min) Site Survey Design Base Map Exercise
   (9 min) (Optional) Privacy Design Strategy and Base Map Exercise
   (5 min) Back to Bubble Mapping: Site Survey and Microclimate
   (6 min) (Optional)Bubble Mapping Privacy
   (7 min) Breaking Down Inspiring Pictures
   (21 min) (Optional) Examples: Learning from Inspiring Pictures
   (19 min) (Optional) Design Layout Concepts
   (23 min) (Optional) Landscape Design Styles
   (9 min) (Optional) Mapping Rooms, Views, and Dead Zones
   (1 min) Update Your Bubble Map
   (14 min) Concept Planning
   (4 min) (Optional) The Concept Planning Challenge


Use your base map and your research to start designing, using activities and "design exercises" that will make the creative process easier.

Videos Inside Module 4:
   (6 min) Intro to Module 4
   (8 min) Use Mapping
   (14 min) Low Maintenance Landscaping
   (22 min) Soil Covering and Edge Mapping
   (21 min) The Magic of Organic Waste in Landscape Design
   (8 min) Irrigation Zone Mapping
   (9 min) Estimating Basic Costs
   (14 min) Installation Phase Planning
   (3 min) Stage it out!
   (5 min) Drawing Additional Details


Research plant possibilities, create a planting plan, put all the pieces together, and finalize your plan.

Videos Inside Module 5:
   (3 min) Intro to Module 5
   (25 min) Your Design Palette, Part 1: Colors, Textures, and Cohesion
   (17 min) Your Design Palette Part 2: Making a Materials Plan
   (5 min) Naming Your Planting Zones
   (3 min) Plant Design Brainstorm
   (6 min) Intro to Structural Plantings
   (14 min) Designing Structural Plantings
   (12 min) Right Plant, Right Place
   (15 min) Filler Plantings & Year Round Interest
   (19 min) Plant Research
   (16 min) Drawing Your Landscape Design Layout Plan
   (8 min) Resources and Final Steps

What is it like to take this course?

How much time does it take?

The quick answer, typically this course takes about 5 or 6 weeks to complete, though you can complete it as quickly or slowly as you’d like. The course itself has 5 modules, and about 10 hours of video content. So it’s like watching a movie per week for 5 weeks. Some people like to watch some of the videos at double speed, others like to slow it down. 

How long do the homework activities take?

I’ve broken the design process down into steps (homework activities) that guide you through you the landscape design process. After watching a video, you’ll need some time to do the work. 

Many steps only take you a few minutes, like a quick brainstorm. Others will take a few hours, like drawing out your base map. 

Most can take as long as you want to spend on them. For example, you can make up names for "planting zones" in your yard in about 30 seconds, or wait to discuss name possibilities with all your friends or family. If you’re short on time, just skip the optional steps.

What are "design exercises"?

"Design Exercises" are activities I've created to make it easier for you bring your ideas to life, one step at a time. They are fun ways to come up with new ideas, test them out for practicality, and see how everything fits together in your design space. Most involve drawing possibilities onto a map of your design area, with prompts, tips, and instructions. 

Your homework will include completing various design exercises, which will guide you easily through the design process

What are the videos like?

I built this course so you feel like I'm sitting right next to you, guiding you through the design processMost videos are around 10 minutes long (though the longest is about 25 minutes, and the shortest is only about 2 minutes). They are filled with design examples and step-by-step demonstrations. There are closed captions, and you can speed the videos up, or slow them down if you prefer. 
You get access to the whole course when you purchase, and can watch the videos anytime. 

Start Designing Today!

Landscape Layout

Online Course



Design-Your-Own Landscape Layout


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