Garden History & Design

Subject HORT90006 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours
Total Time Commitment:

96 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

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 fo 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:


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

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject examines the history of garden making in Europe and Australia and the influence history has had on contemporary garden design. The focus is on the 18th to the 20th Century. Notable gardens discussed include those from Islam, Medieval Europe and the areas of Renaissance and Baroque Italy. The influences of the Arts and Crafts movement, modernism and postmodernism and their relevance to contemporary design are explored. Elements of and approaches to contemporary garden design are explored within an Australian context. Guest lecturers and site visits will include successful practitioners in the field. Management and design issues relating to large gardens such as a Botanic or National Trust Garden will be explored through lectures provided by operational managers and via excursions to Australian heritage, botanical and contemporary garden sites.

Learning Outcomes:

The objects of this subject are intended to extend the participant’s ability to read a landscape and be able to:

  • discuss historical garden and landscape styles and their relationships;
  • discuss contemporary design issues and elements and their relationship to garden history;
  • describe processes and practices used in residential and small-scale landscape design;
  • understand management issues in a heritage, botanical or contemporary landscape

A 3,000 word essay worth 50% (due mid-semester), a design portfolio worth 50% (due at the end of semester).

Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:

Penelope Hobhouse " The Story of Gardening"

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

At the conclusion of this subject the student should be able to:

  • discuss historical and contemporary garden and landscape styles and their relationships;
  • describe design principles and plant composition and applications;
  • outline the processes and practices used in residential and small-scale landscape design;
  • analyse planting design using outcome-based criteria; and
  • demonstrate an understanding of contemporary issues in garden design.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Bachelor of Environments (Honours) Landscape Management
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

Download PDF version.