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How to create award-winning landscape designs


AHC50616 Diploma of Landscape Design learner Katie Westle sees nature as her greatest source of creativity, inspiring her to gold for Achievable Gardens at the 2019 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

Outside class, Katie runs her own design business – Kuku Design – using a range of sustainably-sourced timber to create unique, hand-made works. Now, her landscape design course has allowed Katie to expand her design focus to outdoors.

Katie believes learning has two main purposes – to develop your skills and increase your career opportunities. These two drives led her to Holmesglen.

So, what advice does she give to someone who wants to follow a career in landscape design?

Explore your environment and get plenty of experience

Before her recent high profile award, Katie received accolades at the Life Instyle Awards and her Kuku Design work also featured in the Herald Sun and Home Beautiful Magazine.

“Get as much experience in the horticulture industry as you can. In my opinion, when creating a good landscape, plants should be the main focus, so get as much hands-on experience working with plants and in gardens as you can. This will all help in creating a timeless landscape design/garden,” Katie says.

Research, work hard…and be creative

Katie recommends careful site planning and researching plants to get the best result.

“I would do a detailed site analysis to gain knowledge on existing conditions, the natural ecosystems and to gain further understandings on the desired function of the space. Then I would start sketching the site and concepts, while taking into consideration the client brief, and the site assessment findings.

“I would then research plants to work within the landscape and with one another, and check their availability; this is the fun part. I would then get as creative as I can and then work hard to refine the design to make sure that it all works harmoniously. I look at shapes, colour, form, function and ideal growing conditions of plants and create a design from there.”

Find out where a landscape design course can take you at our Horticulture course page.

All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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