Advanced Planting Design

Subject ABPL90173 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 04-Jul-2016 to 15-Jul-2016
Assessment Period End 20-Jul-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 06-Jul-2016
Census Date 08-Jul-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 15-Jul-2016

Quota: 48
This subject is a quota subject and places are limited. Students may provisionally enroll via the Student Portal, but places are not guaranteed until selection is completed. You will be notified in writing by the Student Centre if you are selected.
Selection criteria: Selection is run on a first-come, first-served basis.

For detailed information on the quota subject application process and due dates, refer to the EDSC Quota Subjects webpage:

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours in total: 6 days x 5 hours & 1 day x 6 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Admission into one of the following courses:

MC-LARCH Master of Landscape Architecture
MC-LARCH2Y Master of Landscape Architecture (200 points)
MC-LARCH3Y Master of Landscape Architecture (300 points)


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

705-318 Advanced Planning

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Mr Paul Thompson


Subject coordinator:

Current Student:

Subject Overview:

This is a studio-based subject that develops advanced skills in the theory and practice of planting design. Through a series of design exercises, a range of topics are progressively explored including:

  • three-dimensional design principles and formal aesthetic considerations of planting design;
  • the psychological and behavioural aspects of human relationship to nature via vegetation in the landscape;
  • ecological characteristics and spatial patterns of vegetations and the use of plants for various utilitarian functions.

Principles of planting design are explored through a series of design exercises, within the context of various environment types, from urban to natural sites, culminating in preparation of an imaginative final planting design proposal for a complex site.

This subject addresses advanced theory and practice in planting design where students are expected to apply what they learn in lectures to design-based assignments.

Learning Outcomes:
  • To develop an understanding of the aesthetic, functional and ecological contribution of native and non-native plants and plant communities to the contemporary landscape.
  • To develop the ability to select plant material palettes and prepare planting plans for a range of project and site types.
  • To expose students to the theoretical considerations associated with the use of plants in the landscape.
  • A series of 3 graphically presented design exercises collectively worth 50% (equivalent to 2500 words) due July 6, 10, 13
  • A final assignment worth 50% (equivalent to 2500 words) also due July 18.
Prescribed Texts:

Thompson, Paul, Australian Planting Design, CSIRO Publishing, 2012 (electronic source available through Unimelb library).

Handreck, Kevin, Good Gardens With Less Water, CSIRO Publishing, 2008 (electronic source available through Unimelb library).

Recommended Texts:

The planting design handbook. By Nick Robinson

Professional planting design: an architectural and horticultural approach for creating mixed bed planting. By Scott C. Scarfone

Planting design: gardens in time and space. By Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury

Planting design. By Theodore D. Walker

Elements of planting design. By Richard L. Austin

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Written, verbal and visual presentation of ideas
  • Correct use of technical terminology
  • Information gathering and critical synthesis
  • Application of generic theories to specific examples
  • Appropriate use of design terminology
Related Course(s): Master of Landscape Architecture
Master of Landscape Architecture
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 point Master of Landscape Architecture
300 point Master of Landscape Architecture
Melbourne School of Design multidisciplinary elective subjects

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