Lexicon Of Contemporary Planting Design


The language of planting design is not an isolated vocabulary. As the theory of landscape architecture, urbanism, and their allied arts and sciences evolve, so must the language of planting design coevolve. The lexicon of contemporary planting design borrows, or coevolves with landscape theory and history, but is grounded in the art and science of plant selection and arrangement.

The Lexicon assignment is a visual and textual exploration of the language of contemporary planting design. Readings for each assignment are provided in the course syllabus, and your lexicon words/term must be directly quoted from these texts. The Lexicon is a cumulative assignment, and requires interpretation of readings, creativity, and thoughtful reflection. Your task is to select design terminology from the required readings and translate these terms into a visual and textual composition that heightens our comprehension of the terminology in the context of planting design.


  • Read the assigned articles and select 10 key design terms/words for inclusion in the first page of your assignment. 2) Define the ten terms on a single page using you own words that synthesize the reading and dictionary definition. 3) Explores the use of the term including, a quote from the article, the dictionary definition, and a visual interpretation of the term in graphic form. 4) DON’T FORGET TO CITATE WHERE THE WORDS COME FROM THE BOOK AND ALSO WHERE THE QUOTE COME FROM THE BOOK




  1. List of 10 words selected from the readings w/ you definition ( i.e. a combination of the dictionary definitions and use in the reading)
  2. Reading List Citation (what papers or chapters did you read in order to create this lexicon?)
  3. A QUOTE from reading that includes the DESIGN TERM
  4. A dictionary definition of the design term (you may have to combine definitions for composite terminology)
  5. CITATION of the reading that the QUOTE is extracted from




–           The Mollea Canal in Abenra. In: Andersen, Sven-Ingar. C. Th. Sorensen: Landscape Modernist. 1993

–           Harkness, Terry. Garden From Region. Francis, Mark, and Randolph T. Hester. The Meaning of Gardens: Idea, Place, and Action. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1990.

–           Rose, James C. Plant Forms and Space. Pencil Points. April 1939

–           Rose, James C. Plants Dictate Garden Forms. Reprinted From Pencil Points. February 1939

–           Chapter 3 & Excerpts. Loidl, Hans-Wolfgang, and Stefan Bernard. Opening Spaces: Design As Landscape Architecture. Basel: Birkhäuser-Publishers for Architecture, 2003.

–           Garrett Eckbo, “Small Gardens in the City,” Pencil Points, September 1937: 573–586

–           Treib, Marc. Axioms for a modern landscape architecture. In Treib, Marc. Modern Landscape Architecture: A Critical Review. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1993. Print.

–           Piet Oudolf (2014) Compositions, Journal of Landscape Architecture, 9:3, 32-41

–           Chapter 2 & 3. Oudolf, Piet, and Noël Kingsbury. Planting: A New Perspective. London: Timber Press, 2013. Print

–           Texture. Robinson, Florence Bell “Planting Design” McGraw Hill 1940

–           Oudolf, Piet. Combining Colors

–           Meyer, Elizabeth K. “Sustaining Beauty: The Performance of Appearance.” Landscape Architecture 98.10 (2008): 92-131.

–           Petra Thorpert & Anders Busse Nielsen (2014) Experience of vegetation–borne colours, Journal of LandscapeArchitecture, 9:1