Great Garden Design Formula

Online Course

Learn to design like a pro without spending thousands or years studying

Simple Design Formula

Learn which design layout will suit different shape and size gardens. Getting this right is the key to design success.

Maximise Space

Make the most of the available space and make the garden look and feel larger using simple designer tricks.

Add the WOW Factor

Make any size or shape garden have the WOW factor with correct placement of features to create the most impact.

  • no complex software required
  • suitable for complete beginners 
  • methods taught work anywhere in the world
  • suitable for any shape of garden
  • 100% online - works with computers & mobile devices

Become a master designer without expensive years of study

The Great Garden Formula is the fast-track way of learning garden design to an advanced professional level (in weeks not years). 

International garden designer Rachel Mathews has put her 25 years of experience designing every conceivable shape and size of garden into a simple step-by-step formula. She's designed in countries all over the world including the UK, Malaysia the USA, Australia, Africa, Switzerland and Spain, to name a few.


Learn the pattern, not the theory...

Traditional teaching methods rarely use practical how-to steps. Trying to learn how to design from academic theory takes a long time and entails lots of trial and error and frustration.

A simpler and faster method is to study what works in certain types of gardens. For instance, long, narrow gardens require a completely different design layout from wide, square or awkward shaped gardens.

You'll learn all the things they don't teach in books and traditional college courses.

Who is the Great Garden Formula Design Course for?

  • Aspiring garden designers wanting to take the first step towards a new career 
  • Qualified designers wishing to fast-track their skills to the next level
  • Landscapers wanting to learn design without spending years at college
  • Keen hobbyists wanting to learn everything about garden design


Meet the course tutor, see inside the course & examples of student designs


Great Garden Formula Modules and Bonus Courses


Get started with the KEY design principles you’ll need to know to successfully create a stunning garden. The module shows you how to start and how to know which style of garden suits your needs.


Delve deeper into the ‘Shape First System’ that’s KEY to successfully designing your small garden. Rachel walks you through how the system works while showing you a formula to getting the proportions right for any garden.


Rachel demonstrates the rules for different design shapes and styles of garden. So if the garden is long and narrow, how you arrange the shapes will be completely different to those in wide or square gardens. Awkward shaped gardens also have their own rules.


Here’s where you discover the formula that took me years to develop, which creates really successful results time and time again. It brings together all of the principles and design tricks in a way that will speed up your garden planning process and get you the results you want quickly and easily.


Even if you don’t think you are a creative person, this guide will help you use your full potential. It can be easy to get creatively stuck when you first start. Over the years I’ve been stuck a lot (before I worked out the Great Garden Formula) and I have developed some very effective techniques that are guaranteed to free your creativity if you find yourself getting stuck.


In this module you will learn how to completely change the look and feel of any design with the materials you use. With the correct materials choice you can make your design look contemporary, traditional or anything in between. This module also covers fencing and walling choices.


There’s a lot more to getting the right features correctly positioned in a garden than you might think. In this module you’ll learn methods to know if a pergola, gazebo, planting rail or statue will not only suit your garden, but how to position them in the best place to enhance your garden.

BONUS – Survey Your Garden Mini-Course

Before you start the design process, it’s really important to have an accurate scale plan to work from. That way you will know that your design fits your garden accurately. You’ll also be equipped to order the correct amount of materials to build your garden. Drawing a scale plan isn’t as difficult as it sounds. The downloadable PDF guide and 4 short video tutorials guide you through the entire process step-by-step. There’s also a BONUS video included that shows you how to make a simple drawing board.

Bonus – Plan Drawing Formula & Cheat’s Guide to Visualising

If, like me, you’re not a natural artist or have trouble visualising, The Cheat’s Guide To Sketching and Visualising will be a life saver! I’ll show you all the cheeky tricks I use to produce perspective sketches which help with visualising the way the finished garden will look. You’ll also learn some tricks that don’t even require you to sketch! And the Plan Drawing Formula will show you how to ink up your sketches and designs to presentation standard.

PRO Designer Formula

Rachel shares her tips on how to interact successfully with customers including what to say (and what not to!). She also shares her ideas on how to  get work, how to quote, as well as how to create a customer- capturing website and more!

Garden Style Wizard Software

A great online tool for assessing your customers’ tastes. Simply show your clients the series of images in the Wizard and it will work out their style for you, and email you a report which you can print out. The Garden Style Wizard is particularly helpful if you don't have an extensive portfolio of work to show your clients.

Bonus – 5 Minute Plant Expert Mini-Course

After the design process, the next step is choosing the right plants. The good news is you don’t need as much knowledge as you think to be able to choose the right plants for your garden. By knowing a few basic things to look out for, you’ll know exactly which plants to grow where. Everyone will be impressed by your ‘Plant Whispering’ skills by the time you’ve read this. 

BONUS *NEW* Course - The Food Garden Formula

This course shows you how to turn any garden into a beautiful food producing one as well as how to preserve and store the produce to last you through the winter months.

Small, Medium & Large Garden Plan Packs

Contains over 120 professional garden design plans that you can modify to suit your garden or get ideas for your own unique design. There are a mix of different shapes, sizes and styles of garden for you to choose from. Includes front, back and side gardens (though the majority are back garden designs).

Pricing Options

Choose how you want to learn




100% online - start anytime

7 downloadable design PDFs 

14 fast-track design video tutorials

25 garden inspiration galleries

Lifetime access to the course

BONUS Survey Formula Course

BONUS Plan Drawing Formula & Cheat's Sketching Guide

BONUS Garden Style Wizard

PRO Designer Formula (£198)

5 Minute Plant Expert (£48)










100% online - start anytime

7 downloadable design PDFs 

14 fast-track design video tutorials

25 garden inspiration galleries

Lifetime access to the course

BONUS Survey Formula Course

BONUS Plan Drawing Formula & Cheat's Sketching Guide

BONUS Garden Style Wizard

PRO Designer Formula (£198)

5 Minute Plant Expert (£48)

Plant Design Formula (£198)

FEEDBACK from Rachel on 5 coursework plans (£1,245 if purchased separately)

Successful Garden Design DIPLOMA upon successful completion of coursework

Business listing on the Successful Garden Design website for **diploma certified students



BUY NOW FOR £1,699

Gift Purchases

If you wish to give the course as a gift, after purchase email us the details of the recipient and we will send them the course on the date you specify.

Frequently Asked Questions

Immediate, lifetime access to the Survey Formula, the Great Garden Design Formula, 5 Minute Plant Expert, Plan Drawing Formula & Cheat's Sketching Guide & PRO Designer Formula and ability to ask Rachel questions in the members' area (though she's rarely needed as the courses are so thorough).

No. Absolutely not. The course is designed to show both complete beginners, experienced gardeners and landscape professionals a really simple design method that can be used to transform any size, shape or style of garden, quickly and easily.

There are 7 in the Survey Formula Course and 95 in the Great Garden Design Formula (20 of which are image galleries). There are 13 lessons in the 5 Minute Plant Expert, 26 in the PRO Designer Formula and the Plan Drawing Formula & Cheat's Sketching has 12.

The course is 100% online, with immediate, lifetime access. So you can view it any time that is convenient for you, as many times as you want.

Yes. The design techniques shown in the course work on any garden, anywhere! The principles of design do not change. The landscaping materials and plants will need to suit your location but the underlying framework of good design is a constant and not location specific.

You will definitely learn something new. The methods I teach in the Great Garden Formula are ones that I’ve developed over the last 25 years as a professional garden designer, so you won’t have come across them anywhere else. Good design is a completely different skill to gardening. What you’ll learn in the course will enhance your existing knowledge.

That will depend on how much time you devote to it each week and your individual learning style. As a rough guide, the main design section of the Great Garden Formula can be completed in 40hrs. The PRO Designer Formula and Plan Drawing Formula and 5 Minute Plant Expert courses can be completed over a couple of weeks.

No. The Fundamental version doesn't include the Diploma but the Professional version does.

You can ask Rachel any questions you have about the course material in the members' area of the website.

This isn't something that's included in the course, but as a Great Garden Formula student you can purchase a plan review service from Rachel at a reduced cost, if you want her to double check your design.

If you have a question that hasn't been answered above, please email us here.

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Watch Rachel's FREE small garden design web class

Learn exactly what's involved in making a small space garden look great with a free demonstration