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Landscape architecture survey: Is plant knowledge passé?
Date:12/14/2011

MISSISSIPPI STATE, MISSISSIPPIAuthors of a recent study examined an ongoing debate in the discipline of landscape architecture: exactly how much plant knowledge is required for professionals in the field? Robert Brzuszek, Richard Harkess, and Eric Stortz evaluated the attitudes and perceptions of practicing landscape architects in the southeastern United States with regards to the importance of horticultural knowledge. The survey results were published in HortTechnology.

"Many recent discussions within the landscape community have focused on the decline of plant materials knowledge within the profession", explained Brzuszek, the report's corresponding author. "Historically, plant knowledge and the ability to select and incorporate plants into the design process has been a cornerstone in the practice of landscape architecture. However, a 2009 study reported that only two courses in planting design were required by the vast majority of accredited landscape architecture programs."

"Landscape firms that provide planting and management plans as part of their site-based services need employees with sufficient plant knowledge, or at least need someone in their office who has a specialization in plants", noted Brzuszek. "Our study was designed to survey and evaluate the perceptions of practicing landscape architects in the southeastern United States to better understand the importance of plant knowledge within the profession of this region".

The researchers mailed a 20-question survey to 120 landscape architects. The survey questions were designed to reflect the diversity of job types within the profession of landscape architectureranging from urban and regional planning to transportation planning to historic preservationand included questions related to plant education and experience. The majority of the 63 respondents were seasoned landscape architects specializing in residential and commercial markets; responses came from professio
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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

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