Sabtu, 08 Desember 2012

Getting a degree in green fingers: horticulture or garden design?

Q. I am both interested in studying horticulture and garden design. What would be a smarter thing to do: to get a degree in horticulture and then pursue some sort of specialisation in garden design or vice versa? To what an extent do these two things intertwine in real life?

A. I am in college right now for a degree in Horticulture. I want to do Landscape Design, and hope to go on to Landscape Architecture. As of right now, my community college only offers a degree in Horticulture, classes only for Landscape design. I am trying to get all my Gen Eds done before going for my Bachelor's Degree.
In Landscape design, you need to know the growth habits of the plants you are using in your design, how they will mature, the Latin names because that is how they are identified in the industry, soil requirements and many other things. Your horticulture classes will teach you that.

Where can I find a good garden design for a shady area of my house?
Q. I live in Zone 6 and would prefer a long flower blooming season.
Would prefer something low maintenance.
The area measures 60' x 10'

A. Try your local public library. There are tons of great books on gardening of all types which will inspire you. Do not limit yourself to looking up works on shade gardening. One fantastic book is "Creating Small Gardens" by Roy Strong.... it is chock full of nifty garden plans.

What's a good online tool for garden design?
Q. If an online tool isn't available, I'd also take software suggestions. I'd love to have it also have plant suggestions, ect.

I just bought a house and it has a lovely backyard that is all dirt at this point. When spring hits, I have to start planting!

A. My son gave me the Better Homes and Garden's 3D Garden and Deck Planner several years ago that I enjoyed every winter since then. I'm sure what's available now is even nicer, but this came with an encyclopedia of plants of all kinds, with information for each plan about how big it gets, what kind of light and water it needs, etc. You map out your yard and can put your house, fences, driveway, etc. You "drop" plants in from the overhead view, and then you get to take a virtual walk through it in a 3D view. You can also go at it another way, starting with a photo of certain areas of the yard, and then add plants to the foreground. Lots of fun.
I lovely backyard that is all dirt... Sounds like a perfect place to find a corner to compost in for starters.
Have fun.

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