Landscaping Technology

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your Landscaper Program consists of courses designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in your new career.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal. Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers. Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: The Landscaping Technology Career Diploma program prepares students for an entry-level position in the field of landscape technology.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Understand how to confer with clients, engineers, and building architects to understand a project
  • Demonstrate understanding of preparing site plans, specifications, and cost estimates
  • Identify how to coordinate the arrangement of existing and proposed land features and structures
  • Prepare graphic representations of proposed plans
  • Recognize how to select appropriate materials for use in landscape designs
  • Identify how to analyze environmental reports on land conditions, such as drainage and energy usage
  • Understand how to inspect landscape work to ensure that it adheres to original plans
  • Identify how to seek new work through marketing or by giving presentations

Course 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Introduction to Landscaping

Get an introduction to the landscaping profession.


  • Understand where landscape technology fits in the larger sphere of landscaping.
  • Describe key concepts and benefits of sustainable landscapes.
  • Identify employment and business opportunities in landscaping technology.
  • Understand psychological and physical abilities required for a successful career in ornamental landscaping.

Course 2

Ornamental Horticulture

The landscape industry is just one of many specialty trades that make up the larger and more diverse field of ornamental horticulture. In addition to the landscape industry, which encompasses the design, installation, and maintenance of landscapes and gardens, the field of ornamental horticulture includes the growers who supply the landscape and floral trades, the researchers who breed new varieties of plants, and the wholesale and retail operators who connect products of the trade to its customers.


  • Discuss historical aspects of ornamental horticulture and garden design and the influences that have shaped gardens.
  • Identify the individual crafts that make up the broader field of ornamental horticulture.
  • Describe the opportunities for employment in the professions of ornamental horticulture. 
  • Identify the qualifications for employment in each area of ornamental horticulture. 
  • Discuss the psychological and physical abilities required for a successful career in ornamental horticulture.
  • Describe the relationships among the professions of ornamental horticulture.
  • Outline reasons for the growing interest and demand in sustainable landscapes.
  • Identify the key concepts and benefits of sustainable landscapes.
  • Discuss business opportunities in sustainable landscapes.

Project 1: Research

The purpose of this project is for you to gain further insight into the landscape industry and potential career opportunities. Research landscape businesses and conduct an informational interview with a local landscape professional. Write a report on your findings.

Additional Course Materials

Textbook: Ornamental Horticulture

Course 3

Garden Ecology

Ecology is the term used to describe the scientific study of the relationships that occur among living organisms and between living organisms and their environment. This course presents the concepts of garden ecology and examines both the living and nonliving natural components that form the framework of gardens and the larger landscape.


  • Understand the important roles plants play in the Earth’s ecosystem.
  • Describe the process and importance of photosynthesis.
  • Describe the components of soil and the environmental factors that affect plant growth.
  • Understand the principles of pest control and integrated pest management.

Additional Course Materials


  • Ecology for Gardeners
  • Gardener's Guide to Common-Sense Pest Control

Course 4

Landscape Plants

In this course, you’ll learn general identification of plants and how to choose plants for your landscape.


  • Use plant hardiness zones and zone maps.
  • Identify sunlight, moisture, and soil requirements for specific plants.
  • Identify invasive plant species and their characteristics.
  • Describe what makes specific plants desirable for use in the landscape.

Additional Course Materials


  • The Sibley Guide to Trees
  • The Homeowner's Complete Tree & Shrub Handbook

Course 5

Landscape and Garden Design

Landscape design is one area of specialization within the diverse field of landscape technology. This course will introduce the basic concepts of landscape design and present a step-by-step approach to creating a landscape design/plan.


  • Conduct a site and client-needs assessment.
  • Create a base map and preliminary design for a project.
  • Use design principles to create a landscape.
  • Select plants and hardscape elements for a landscape design.
  • Understand the typical functions of residential and commercial landscapes.

Project 2: Develop a Landscape Plan

Practice what you’ve learned about landscape design. Use the provided information to perform a site and client assessment. Then create at least two concept plans for the requested landscape design.

Additional Course Materials

Textbook: Designing the Landscape

Course 6

Landscape Construction, Installation, and Maintenance

Once you’ve completed the creative process of designing the landscape on paper, it’s time to construct and install the design. This course teaches the proper tools and techniques to create and maintain an attractive and sustainable landscape.


  • Construct hardscape and structural elements in the landscape.
  • Install irrigation and lighting systems.
  • Plant, prune, and maintain landscape plants including trees, shrubs, groundcovers, bedding plants, and bulbs.
  • Select and sustain a suitable and healthy lawn.

Additional Course Materials

Textbook: The Complete Guide to Landscape Projects

Course 7

Your Landscaping Business

In this last course of your program, you’ll be introduced to the many facets of starting and running your own landscape business. 


  • Identify legal forms and necessary insurance coverage to establish a business.
  • Determine the physical capital needed for a landscape business.
  • Know where to find financial assistance in start-up costs for a business.
  • Keep good records, manage cash flow, and calculate profits.
  • Hire and retain quality employees.
  • Calculate and then present bid numbers to a customer in a well-written contract.


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.