Designing with Plants

Subject HORT20026 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Burnley - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 54
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment (including non-contact time): 108 hours.
Prerequisites: Nil
Corequisites: Nil
Recommended Background Knowledge: Nil
Non Allowed Subjects: Nil
Core Participation Requirements:

Students undertaking this subject will be expected to regularly access an internet-enabled computer.

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Mr John Rayner


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Land & Food Resources (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject explores designed vegetation in urban landscapes.

The content includes:

  • an overview of planting design and plant selection;
  • developing criteria for plant selection;
  • using and analyzing sources of information for plant selection;
  • developing criteria for plant selection;
  • using and analyzing sources of information for plant selection;
  • principles of 'sustainability' in designing vegetation;
  • establishment and management considerations in designed vegetation;
  • the study of aesthetic, functional and ecological outcomes from vegetation;
  • recognition of representative plants and case studies of plant use and management in urban landscapes.

On completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • describe a process for planting design, including definitions, theory, applications and practice;
  • analyse the selection of plants in designed landscapes, including aesthetic, functional, ecological and management criteria;
  • recognise, name and describe a selection of landscape plants;
  • select appropriate plants for a range of designed landscapes, including streetscapes and traffic treatments, parklands, reserves and open space, residential landscapes, public gardens, institutional and specialised landscapes.

One 60 minute plant materials test due mid-semester (25%), a planting design assigment equivalent to 2500 words due late-semester (50%), and a 60 minute plant materials test due end of semester (25%)

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts: Spencer, R., Cross, R. and Lumley, P. (2007). Plant names: a guide to botanical nomenclature. 3rd Edition. Royal Botanic Gardens/CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • source, interpret and apply information from written and electronic sources to better understand planting design and plant selection;
  • use scientific and technical literature to answer specific questions and aid problem-solving in plant selection;
  • investigate and analyse issues pertaining to plant use, design and selection;
  • use their developed written and verbal communication skills;
  • manage workloads and use their time efficiently.
Related Course(s): Associate Degree in Environmental Horticulture
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Landscape Architecture
Landscape Management
Related Breadth Track(s): Exploring Landscape Architecture
Greening Urban Landscapes
Living with Plants
Natural systems and our designed world
Natural systems and the history and ecology of our designed world

Download PDF version.