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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Landscape Architecture (LARCH)

LARCH 341 Plants, People and Place: Plants in Landscape Architectural Design (3) The ecological, historic, and aesthetic values of native and ornamental herbaceous and woody plants and their use in landscape design.

LARCH 341 Plants, People and Place: Plants in Landscape Architectural Design (3)

LARCH 341 is concerned with the key roles of plants and plant communities in the design, planning and management of the land. Students study the ecology and dynamics of native communities including plant geography, plant/soil/water relationships, plant community succession, forest ecosystem dynamics, plant/wildlife relationships, invasive non-native plants, and landscape restoration. Another focus of the course, bearing upon the role of plants in creating place, will be to study the cultural history and human ecology of the use of native and non-native plants. The course will also address the management and protection of sensitive native plant communities, the value of plants in the management of storm-water and the protection of soil resources, and the critical role of plants in sustainable design.

The design suitability of native and non-native ornamental woody and herbaceous plants will be studied through fieldwork, case studies, hand and computer rendering, and digital and photographic resources. Students will study plant taxonomy and the use of identification keys. Using these tools, they will be expected to develop a personal handbook of planting design resources, including an illustrated collection of plant species characteristics, based on their field work experiences, for use in later courses and professional practice. They will record their observations on the cultural values and meaning of plants, as well as their uses in design. This course is part of the preparation for later courses in planting design in the landscape architecture professional curriculum.

Planting design is shaped by the availability and distribution of woody and herbaceous plants and seeds. Students will be provided an overview of the processes of production, installation and management of plants in the landscape, with special reference to regionally native materials, and including visits to nurseries, greenhouses, and seed production farms as well as guest speakers from horticulture and agronomy. Methods of plant and seed installation will be reviewed and field trips to landscapes under construction will be arranged in order to observe those processes directly. The use of mulches, geo-textiles, mycorrhizal inoculation, soil management and amendment, site protection, and arboricultural protection in the establishment and management of contemporary landscapes systems will be studied.

Course Objectives:
a) To develop an understanding of the functional and ecological contribution of native and non-native plants and plant communities to the contemporary landscape.
b) To explore such areas as bioremediation and hydrology
c) To expose students to the therapeutic values of plants and plant communities
d) To investigate the use of vegetation in noise and pollution control

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2006
Prerequisite: LARCH 241

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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