Landscape Design School

Landscape Design is one of four schools offered by National Garden Clubs. Landscape Design School introduces attendees to the basic principles of landscape design. Students incorporate these principles into personal gardens and promote positive changes in communities. Participating in the course develops a greater sense of appreciation, pride and knowledge about private, public and historic gardens.


Landscape architect Paul Skidmore talks about the council ring designed by Jens Jensen which is found on Madison’s arboretum’s property.

Landscape Design School consists of four two-day sessions. It is offered over a two-year period at about six month intervals. Garden Club members passing all exams, at the completion of each course, become Landscape Design Consultants. This certification does not qualify members to practice professionally but it is a significant achievement among NGC members. It also provides some members the opportunities to serve on local park boards and committees. The classes are open to all, not just garden club members.

The school addresses a wide range of topics. This includes history of landscape design, landscape design process, basics of a site plan, color and structure in the landscape, designing for the environment, plant selection – including native species and evaluation of landscapes. In all there are 40 classes given. Current instructors are professional landscape architects and instructors from UW-Madison.

The next Landscape Design School will be held in the spring of 2021.