Introducing landscape design techniques to horticulture students

Hunter, A., Forrest, M., Elliott-Kingston, C. and Murphy, L. (2016) Introducing landscape design techniques to horticulture students. Acta horticulturae (No.112). pp. 119-125.


Students majoring in Horticulture Landscape and Sportsturf Management take an introductory module in Landscape Design. During a seven week period through a series of lectures, studio based graphic and design exercises and site visits students are introduced to landscape design principles. Following an introduction to garden history each student prepares a precedent study based on the work of an international landscape designer. Furthermore, they must prepare a domestic or commercial landscape design plan. In the last academic year the class was invited to develop landscape design proposals for Beech Hill College in Monaghan. Ordnance survey maps of the site were obtained in preparation for the site visit and meeting with the School Principal who outlined the specific requirements. The students were sub-divided into three working groups and assigned a specific area of the school campus to survey and evaluate existing vegetation. Each student created design proposals, drew cross sections and a planting plan for their areas. At the end of the semester each student presented their work to peers, staff and the School Principal and was given immediate feedback. Student response to the project was highly positive and in comparison to previous years, the design proposals were suitable for implementation. Students participated in individual and group work, developed critical thinking skills, presentation skills, and all transferable skills required of university graduates. Engaging in a "live" project for a school campus emphasised their contribution to a local community. The students have been invited to return and to further develop the site.

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