Overview and Outline
This course provides an overview of plant and ecosystem relationships, through a brief review of ecosystem ecology, botany and plant physiology as it relates to choosing and planting a variety of native plants.
The plant identification component emphasizes native landscape plants including annuals, perennials, shrubs, deciduous and evergreen trees which are commonly used in the ornamental landscape for the temperate and colder northern hemisphere.
Here are some of the topics you will explore:
- Interdependence within ecosystems
- The meaning of "native"
- Native ecosystems and plant communities
- Formation of specialized ecosystems
- Ecology, politics & economics of invasive plants
- Creating wildlife habitat with native plants
Read the Course Outline
If you have any questions about studying online with Gaia College, please see our FAQs page.
- Unlimited access to our on-line plant database
- Unlimited access to our on-line course resources, community center, including resource library, discussion forums and much more
By Mail: Cheque drawn on a Canadian bank; Money order in Canadian funds
On-line: Visa, Mastercard
Please be sure you are familiar with our policies.
There are no academic prerequisites for this course, however students must
- be proficient in English (written)
- be comfortable with current computer and internet technology, including spreadsheets and word processing programs
- have an email account capable of receiving a large number of messages for the duration of the course
- have access to high-speed internet
- have access to a computer capable of running a current version of FireFox or Chrome.
It would be also very beneficial to the student to pursue the Organic Master Gardener Online Course / Organic Horticulture Specialist Online Course, either before, during or after this program.
There are no formal exams in this course, as the emphasis is on developing practical skills and the ability to synthesize information.
To receive a Certificate of Completion students must contribute to all on-line discussions and satisfactorily complete all assignments and quizzes.
"I was originally so disappointed that the course was only available online, but I must say that the content and how it is structured has taught me more than what I could have hoped for. The plant ID assignments have made me realize the importance of companion planting and on a more subtle level the importance of the right habitat and conditions for the plant to do well. So, thumbs up from me! This is the second course I have taken through Gaia College and love it! The course content focuses on what really matters i.e., sustainable practices, native environments, soil chemistry etc."
Meera Suresh, Toronto
Douglas W. Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home - How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Timber Press, Portland, 2009 – ISBN 13-978-0-88192-992-8
"After reading everybody's posts, the one thing that astonishes me the most is the environmental "usefulness" of each plant in its own native community. It certainly makes you rethink the landscaping value of native plants."
Julie Fredlund, Toronto
This program is eligible for Continuing Education Credits (CECs) with the following:
Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA)
Also applies to B.C. Landscape & Nursery Association and Landscape Ontario
National Association of Landcare Professionals (NALP) – American
International Society of Arboriculture: Certified Arborist
International Society of Arboriculture: Board Certified Management Arborist
7.5 Credits (Science)
International Society of Arboriculture: Municipal Specialist
B.C. Society of Landscape Architects
As per Society guidelines - eligibility of this program has been confirmed
Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc. (MGOI)
Canadian Society for Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL)
Pre-approved: 6 Credits
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Canada
Pre-approved: 3.02 Credits
Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA)
Pre-approved: 4 Credits
This course partially satisfies the requirements of: