Plant Studio: Landscape Design History for Beginners

This flexible online course will remain open for registration until 6 days after the course start date. Note the "Schedule" of each session for more information.
"Travel the globe" during this survey of European, American, Chinese, Japanese, and Islamic garden traditions, while exploring a wide range of iconic examples-from private gardens to public parks. You'll learn about the theories and principles that have shaped landscape design traditions, and design your own pocket garden.

This course features pre-recorded lectures featuring our plant professionals-Mark Bunnell, Marta McDowell, and Caitlin Merritt-as well as a behind-the-scenes virtual tour of NYBG's Rare Book Room in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, brimming with treasures of landscape design history from past eras.

Weekly Content Overview:
  • Week 1: Dig into the history and basic principles of landscape design.
  • Week 2: Examine Italian Renaissance gardens.
  • Week 3: Explore Chinese and Japanese gardens, including iconic gardens like the rock garden at Ryoan-ji in Kyoto, Japan.
  • Week 4: Study French Baroque style like that found at the gardens of Versailles.
  • Week 5: Journey through English garden design from the 18th to 20th centuries.
  • Week 6: Conclude your study with 19th and 20th century American landscapes, including ones found at the New York Botanical Garden. Apply your knowledge by designing a small garden of your own and ponder possible garden designs of the future.

Throughout this course, your course facilitator (who is identified as "instructor" in the session info below) will be with you every step of the way, by providing feedback on assignments and answering questions through discussion boards. This course also includes one live Zoom session with your course facilitator.

For more information about how Plant Studio works, view our FAQs.

Available Sessions