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Campus Gardens

Botanical Aspects of Horticulture BIO 125-01

J. Sears

Course Syllabus
Course Requirements

Spring 2001 Course Syllabus

1 Jan 30, Feb 1 Introduction to Horticulture and Origins of Agriculture; Plant Classification Write Garden Autobiography for Thursday Starting seeds and cuttings in class Visit web sites for examples of plants Ch 1 & handouts
2 Feb 6, 8 Cellular structure and function; plant structure assign. Sketch and label a twig Ch 2 & handouts
3 Feb 13, 15 Plant structure and growth Descriptions of 5 woody shrubs Ch 2 "Example description"

Feb 20, 22


Plant growth concl'd. Transplanting seedlings. Sketch of seedlings  
5 Feb 27, Mar 1 Vegetative (asexual) propagation work in greenhouse. First Mid-term exam Descriptions of 5 trees

Ch 4 (pp 84-91)pg 380-398, 400-403

6 Mar 6, 8 Sexual reproduction; significance of sex; seed production and hybrid seeds; Digging, balling and transplanting trees/shrubs Description of 5 herbaceous perennials Ch 3, 4 &handouts; 420-423 PP 423-428
7 Mar 13, 15 Sexual reproduction concluded. Plant nutrients and fertilizers Ch 4 & 5
  Mar 17-25 SPRING BREAK  
8 Mar 27, 29 Soils: physical, biological and chemical aspects; Importance of an organic component. Value & biology of composting & fertilizer Ch 5
9 Apr 3, 5 Soils concluded - Transplanting seedlings and trees and shrubs Title and topic outline of paper assignment due  
10 Apr 10, 12 Second Mid-term exam. Planting trees & shrubs on campus Water, drainage and planting for xeric conditions Ch 6
11 Apr 17, 19 Climate, light and the greenhouse effect Ch 7
12 Apr 24, 26 Outdoor Gardening; Pruning and control of plant growth Ch 8
13 May 1, 3 Outdoor Gardening concl'd.; Intensive Cultivation Ch 11 & 12
14 May 8, 10 History of Garden Design; Landscape Planning Ch 11 Reserve readings on design.
15 May 15 Review (Final Exam May 18. 11:30-2:30)  

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Text: Bienz, D. R. The Why and How of Home Horticulture. 2nd Ed., W. H. Freeman and Co. 1993.

Recommended: Cox. Landscaping with Nature Additional readings may be assigned during class from time to time.

You will find useful for reference the magazines: Horticulture, Garden Design, American Horticulturist, as well as their Newsletters, all of which are available for overnight loan from the shelves at the back of the room.

Another useful reference is the multi-volume The New York Botanical Garden Illustrated Encyclopedia of Horticulture and others in the reference section of the library.

Addresses of Web pages are provided in a handout.

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Course Requirements:

A botanical background is not required for this course, but I will assume each of you will have done the week's reading assignment prior to our discussion of the topic in class. I will give short quizzes on the readings and lecture from time to time. Quite often material not covered in the text will be presented in class, and thus attendance at all classes is expected.

You will have the opportunity to pursue a topic in horticulture in greater depth than we are able to cover in class on your own in the form of a written paper. This paper will be due near the end of the semester. Previous students' papers are available for review by my office for a general guide, but plan to cover your topic in 4-8 pages. The paper will be equivalent in grade to one of the midterms. Students will make a short oral presentation on their topic at the end of the term as time allows. More on content, style and expectations later.

Throughout the term I may introduce a variety of either indoor or outdoor plants. To encourage your awareness of these plants you will be responsible for their names, growing conditions and how to propagate them. These will come from collections in the UMD Arboretum, or from the greenhouse.

Two mid-term exams, times indicated in the syllabus, and one final will be given. The latter will include both a section on plant identification of selected trees/shrubs and a section on lecture/text material. You will also be graded on a Journal of Garden Patterns and your paper.

We will work in the greenhouse as much as time and space allow, some during class time and some outside of scheduled class time, some at each of your convenience. During part of this time each of you will have the opportunity to germinate seed, transplant seedlings for outplanting later, and propagation of several "house plants" through various vegetative techniques. We will add to the plantings of a demonstration garden of herbaceous perennials on campus with the plants you start from seeds in the greenhouse.

We will try to make a field trip to a local greenhouse or nursery and will spend at least one class period (possibly two) digging, preparing for transplant and transplanting trees out-of-doors. The UMD Greenhouse in on the roof of the Violette Building, and the Arboretum is outdoors between Textiles and the Violette Buildings. We will maintain a small nursery of seedling trees there.

We will spend some time discussing landscape design and installation as we consider natural landscapes for inspiration to design cultivated ones. As funds and time permits, we will do some 'hands-on-learning' by planting trees and shrubs near and around the new "trailer park" near Dion and Violette buildings, weather permitting. There will be several opportunities for extra credit work outdoors to maintain some earlier class plantings and the nursery.

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My expectations are that by semester's end each of you will have developed:
  • an awareness of the value of plants and gardens in current society;
  • an understanding of horticulture and its relationship to science, technology and the arts, and;
  • the confidence and knowledge to help you work with plants, to garden successfully, and to further appreciate and think about what it means to garden.


2 mid-term exams @ 100 .................... 200
Class discussion, participation, quizzes;
1 final exam ............................................. 150
Assignments ............................................ 100
1 paper ..................................................... 100
Total .......................................................... 550

 Last Updated On: 2/25/04

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