Course Description

This online course is to provide an opportunity to further your plant identification skills while learning about the use of plants in a specific context, in this case, the creation of what has come to be called the ‘new prairie landscape'. As part of that, you will learn about the natural landscape movement from the late 19th century to the present time. The course will help you understand the ecology and creation of a landscape influenced by the prairie biome, and supportive of wildlife. You will learn about natural succession and its management in naturalistic meadow landscapes. You will explore the use of plant associations in garden design, and why they are important, and how to use native plants in sophisticated ways. This course is about creating a modern garden that provides freedom, ease and harmony. It’s because of the importance of this ‘prairie garden’ style that I developed this course as a way to share the information with you.

Course Outline

Module 1: Plant Identification

  • Identification and use of plants suited for creation of gardens in the New Prairie Landscape style.
  • Perennials
  • Bulbs 
  • Ornamental Grasses
  • Trees and Shrubs

Module 2: Creating Gardens in a New Way

  • Introduction
  • Garden innovation and History
  • Garden ecology
  • Designing in the Prairie Landscape Style
  • Planning the Garden Layout
  • Grade Changes
  • Plant associations
  • Creating structure in landscapes 
  • Block planting v/s filtered planting
  • Architectural plants
  • Covering ground 

This is an independent study program. You have up to five months to complete a course, but the pace for completion is up to you.   The course will provide you with a suggested study plan to help you keep on track. Students who are most successful with this approach to learning are those who are self-directed and self-disciplined.  It is suggested that you plan on studying the material at least three to four hours per week instead of studying it all at one time.

Recommended For

This is an optional module within the Master Gardener Training Program and is not part of the Master Gardener Training Program. 


"Yes, I would recommend this course"
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Section Title
Ecological Gardening
Online - Self-Paced
Mar 01, 2024 to Jul 31, 2024
Total Learning Hours
Instruction Delivery Method(s)
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $295.00
Section Notes

Tuition is refunded if a course is cancelled by Extended Learning. Tuition is also refunded if the applicant notifies Extended.learning@dal.ca in writing prior to the registration deadline for the course or program.

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