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Campus Gardens

Landscape and Garden Course

Schedule: Landscape and Garden - Spring 2001


Readings and assignments are to be completed by the date they are listed.

Sept 5: Experiencing the UMD Campus as a Landscape

Introduction to the course, its history and projects of previous classes. Presentation of this year's project and central organizing concepts for campus Inner Ring Circuit Walk, including circuit walk, landscape place and journey.

Field experience: Tour of landscapes at UMD planted by "Landscape and Garden" classes of previous years.

Sept 12: Opening Ourselves to Nature

Becoming sensitive to natural settings and developing awareness of how nature affects our experience; how this translates into garden design; and the role of gardens in an industrial world. Introduce concept of "Genius of Place" and personal relationships to the landscape. Slide show on landscape gardens and circuit walks. Nature design journal explained in class.

Field experience: Cedar Dell Sward and Village.

Reading: Cox, pp. 1-27, "Intro and Learning from Nature"; Messervy, pp. 1-37, "The Art of the Garden" and "Archetypal Places." Pollan, pp. 1-41, "Two Gardens" (a model garden autobiography).

Project: (a) Observe project site, the outer ring road and its users as well as possible places along an "inner ring walk." (b) Turn in a 1-2 page Gardening Autobiography using Pollan's as a model.

Sept 19: Working With the Genius of Place and Person

Identifying and enhancing a place's personality. Taking direction and inspiration from that 'genius of place' through an understanding of natural plant communities at the UMD campus. Work on plant identification. Quiz on readings to date, including today's.

Field experience: Places at UMD; the journey between places at UMD.

Reading: Cox, pp. 28-85, "Features of the Landscape"; Messervy, pp. 38-71, "The Inward and Outward Sites;" Jens Jensen's "Nature as Inspiration."

Project: Begin to visit sites on the inner ring walk with an assigned team to interview users--pedestrians, walkers, grounds crew, maintenance workers, and others. Questions to be generated in class; this work can be divided up by the team. Be prepared to present interview results on Sept. 26. Continue your own nature and design journal.

Sept 26: The Elements of the Garden

Basic garden design patterns; their identification and use; their relation to patterns in nature. Identification of basic contrast between natural and formal garden design; examples of both visited.

Field trip: Sears-Huse garden and formal garden on Chase Road.

Reading: Cox, pp. 86-118, "Creating a Natural Garden;" Messervy, pp. 72-129, "Primary Elements of the Garden,"); H. Johnson, 2 xeroxed pp (190-191) on "Language of Design".

Project: Research teams report on interviews (see Sept. 19) and begin mapping the project site. Read Messervy on mapping the site, pp. 234-251. Continue nature and design journal and turn in photocopied entry from the journal. Start to think about your personal site design in the same terms the group is using to develop the inner ring walk.

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Oct 3: Garden as Place; Garden as Journey

Making garden places with emphasis on the use of native trees and shrubs. Connecting different places by a journey.

Field trip: Blithewold Garden, Bristol, RI

Reading: Cox, pp. 119-184, "Landscaping with Nature;" Messervy, pp. 130-173, "Stroll Journeys and Mind Journeys" ; Pollan, Chapter 12, "The Garden Tour".

Project: Today, turn in a preliminary one page proposal on your personal garden design for your home, a place in your town, or a place on campus: include location, people who use it and sketch of site. Continue to document images of natural places from your Nature & Design Journals and ways of translating these into garden designs for the Inner Ring Circuit Walk; present to project team Oct. 17.

Oct 10: No class today (Monday schedule)

Continue with readings and assignments listed below. Continue to develop the complete team design for the walk.

Reading: Cox, pp. 185-253, "Plants in the Natural Landscape;" Messervy, pp. 174-211, "Dreaming the Big Idea," Smaus, pp. 36-39, "Principles of Design." excellent succinct article on reserve. Be sure to keep taking concise notes on readings to incorporate into both your designs and your written papers explaining your designs.

Project: Continue to develop preliminary team project site design. Develop site analysis (Messervy 242-51), Primary elements plan; Journey Plan; Big Idea plan.

Oct 17: Composing the Picture: Projects Site Design

Bring assigned maps to class for group work session in class. Preparation in class of each group's Master Design Plan. Possible Field trip: Buttonwood Park circuit walk and two local gardens.

Reading: Cox, pp.254-289, "Elements on the Natural Garden;" Messervy, pp. 174-212, "Building the Dream," Pollan, 178-208, "Planting a Tree."

Project: Preparation of group Master Plans for the Inner Ring Circuit Walk.

Oct 24: Landscaping with Nature. Planting the Dept. Pub. Safefy garden

Discussion of the tradition of landscaping with nature and its major representatives.

Reading: Articles on Frederick Law Olmsted; Jens Jensen; William Robinson. J. Sears , "Genius of Place - The Shattuck's Landscape;" Rene DuBos, "Hidden Aspects of Reality."

Project: Group project design due in class.

Oct 31: Aapects of Personal Garden Design

Our focus turns individual garden designs and the plans you are developing for your own home, community or some other site on campus. We will review the same principles and ideas we have been developing throughout the course.

Reading: Review of Cox and Messervy to be assigned. Pollan, pp. 65-92, "Why Mow? (on the American lawn), and Compost and Its Moral Implications," pp. 65-98.

Personal Project: Prepare a plan measuring your personal site (Messervy, 236-7); begin interviewing users of your personal site. Continue thinking and writing in your Nature and Design Journal.

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Nov 7: Aspects of Garden Design

Reading: Pollan, "Weeds Are Us," pp. 116-138; "Planting a Tree, " pp. 178-208. Sections of Cox and Messervy to be reviewed as announced.

Personal Project: Prepare grading and sun diagrams of your site (Messervy. pp.240-241; be thinking of favorite elements on nature, archetypes, places and journeys, big ideas.

Team Project: You will receive your team plans back in class today. Continue to work on how the project will be presented to whole group on Nov. 21.

Nov 14: Aspects of Garden Design

Reading: Pollan, "Green Thumb" and "The Harvest," pp. 135-177.

Personal Project: Prepare psychological site an analysis of your garden based on your interviews (pp. 242-3), and a primary elements plan based on your reading of Cox (pp. 101-118) and Messervy (pp. 244-245). Be writing an explanatory paper about your design based on these texts and including reference to reading, lectures, field trips, etc.

Nov 21: Public Presentation of Team Design of Inner Ring Walk

Public presentation of your group's Master Plan for team project. Large formats for your designs prepared in dark ink, along with illustrations and perhaps models will be effective in this presentation. Presentation is made to all interested parties at UMD including building and grounds staff, interested students and faculty; administrators or their representatives.

Reading: Pollan, pp. 116-162, "Weeds are Us," and "Green Thumb."

Personal Project: a stroll and journey diagram and big idea plan (Messervy pp. 246-9) for your personal site.

Nov 28: The Wilderness Ethic VS The Garden Ethic

Reading: Pollan, pp. 209-241, "The Idea of a Garden," which explores the idea of untouched wilderness as opposed to the human made garden.

Personal Project: Prepare a Master Plan (Messervy, pp. 250-1) for your garden.

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Dec 5: In-class presentation of Personal Site Plans.

On last day of class.

Dec 12: Study Day

Dec 15: The following assignments are due at Prof. Sears's office (II:328a, Biology area)

  • Individual Site plans and an analytical paper exploring your design in terms of ideas and the texts from this course;
  • Nature and Design Journal and related garden designs including references to our texts;
  • A record and analysis of your personal contribution to the team project ( the inner ring circuit walk), and an analysis of the group process of your team and the whole class.

Two slide or video programs: one on English Gardens and the other on Portuguese Gardens will be presented where time allows or when poor weather precludes a scheduled outdoor activity.

 Last Updated On: 2/25/04

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