Taught by: David Hopman, M.L.A.
The professional landscape architect uses both hardscape (paving, fences, walls, arbors and other structures) and softscape (trees, shrubs, ground covers, vines and other plants) to form and manipulate the landscape for human use and enjoyment and for ecological processes. Planting design enables the student to learn how to use plants to accomplish the ends desired in landscape design.
This planting design class begins with a study of the basic vocabulary of planting design utilizing The Planting design Handbook by Nick Robinson. The class continues with a series of exercises to develop a personal vocabulary of landscape forms and plant combinations suitable for professional practice. These studies culminate in one or two major service projects that the student develops from a concept design to a formal schematic design presentation for faculty, guest critics, and members of the community.
At the conclusion of the class, students will:
- Produce schematic planting designs for a wide variety of vignette design problems that illustrate the student’s understanding of planting design principles,
- Demonstrate through written tests an understanding of the basic principles of planting design enumerated in the required texts and lectures, and
- Produce a schematic design and planting plan for a major service project to the standards of a professional office.
Service Learning Project
Master plan and planting design for proposed city of Denton, Texas Administrative Complex Botanic Garden
The project began with student analysis of the site including:
- Physical Survey: Topography, Hydrology and Drainage, Climate and microclimate
- Biological Survey: Soils and Geology, Vegetation, Potential for Fauna
- Human Survey: Existing uses, Existing Structures and Services, Existing management of flora and fauna, Access and circulation, Historic uses, Public perception
- Visual Survey: Views into, out of, and within the site, Landmarks and focal points within and without the site, Visual quality and character assessment of the site and surroundings
The students were then divided into two teams. Each team produced a complete design package including:
- A Graphic design for the team board layouts,
- bubble diagrams, site specific concept diagrams, and visitor experience diagrams,
- image boards showing examples of specific plants, plant groupings and design precedents,
- A master plan and enlarged detail plans of specific areas,
- an overall birds eye perspective and vignette perspectives,
- a planting plan in CAD drawn like a construction document, and
- an opinion of probable costs
Partners: Denton County Horticultural Agent and ten Texas Master Gardeners