Course Detail

Plant & Soil Science: Create & Design Flower Gardens

PSS 196 OL1 (CRN: 60038)

3 Credit Hours

The period for adding the course PSS 196 OL1 has ended.

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About PSS 196 OL1

Courses or seminars on topics beyond the scope of existing department offerings. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.


Leonard Perry ()


Dates: May 19-June 27, 2014

More Information

Section URL

Section Description

Dr. Perry gives a brief course overview (just copy this link into your browser): --Knowing perennial flowers is only the beginning. Knowing how to combine perennials and do so well (or at least pleasing to you and sustainably so they will last with the least care) is the main objective of this online course. This may seem intimidating with all the thousands of choices blooming at all different times of the season, but this design process really is fun, and there are many options you?ll be exposed to in this course. Keep in mind gardens change with time, and are ongoing projects subject to change with plant growth and your desires, so don?t worry about getting it ?right? the first time. There really is no right, just many options that will work well, just with different results.

Section Expectation

Prior knowledge of perennials, either from experience or other courses, is not required but is useful. Whether you have this prior knowledge or not, a good photo book or more on perennials, or some catalogs, may prove useful in addition to the plants from the course book. The internet too is a great resource. My website ( may be a good starting point for plants, articles, and links to useful sites. text: The Perennial Gardener?s Design Primer, Stephanie Cohen and Nancy Ondra, Storey Publ., softcover. (available from bookstores and online). Using the course book, and the accompanying online quizzes (open book on blackboard), you?ll be exposed to the basics of design, approaches, many ideas for combinations and a simple process you?ll actually use. Next you?ll learn some uses of perennials, both aesthetic and functional, with some plants for each. Lastly, you?ll incorporate what you?ve learned into a perennial bed design. It may be helpful to look over the quiz questions prior to reading the appropriate chapters in order to have the key concepts they cover in mind. Pre and post quizzes are for fun, not credit, and to give you and me an idea of your knowledge at that point. As this course shouldn?t consume all waking hours, and is just an introduction, we?ll keep the design focused to just a garden bed (with minimal requirements linked elsewhere) and not a whole property or landscape. You can use an existing site and situation, or make up one. You?ll choose whether to establish a new bed, expand one, or renovate one, following tips in the respective book chapters on these. You can choose a ?theme? or use from those in the book, or other. Plants can be those from the book, or others and other cultivars found elsewhere. The goal, and what you will be graded on, is a design that works functionally (appropriate for the site, right number of plants) and aesthetically (not whether I like it, but rather that it incorporates basic design principles you?ll learn). Emails with questions as you develop your plan with the instructor are encouraged, and consultations can be arranged to discuss ideas and drafts. There are no time limits, rather you proceed at your own pace in this course. You should find that this course will take some time, but it should be fun so time should pass quickly; you should learn some new plants and lots of new ideas and approaches to design; and you should end up with a ready-to-plant plan for yourself or even another that will be pleasing and successful.


Quizzes (3, 100 points each) 300 points Plan considerations 100 points Appropriate plants for use, site 100 points Plan (plant placement, design) 300 points TOTAL 800 points


Course runs from to



Online Course (View Campus Map)

Important Dates

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