Sustainable landscape design focuses on long-lived plants that thrive in their growing conditions. Too often, gardeners are wow’d by the visual aesthetics of a plant and neglect to take into account its optimal growing requirements – and whether the site they are selecting for meets those requirements. The Plant Elements of Design plant selection program supports the landscape design process by providing a tool for selecting plants based on matching their characteristics to the site. This program is useful as a reference for various audiences including horticulture students and educators, landscape designers and architects, Master Gardeners, home gardeners, nurseries and garden centers, and landscape contractors, managers, and maintenance firms. This free, online database is populated with 2745 woody and herbaceous plants including over 5000 downloadable images. Plants can be chosen using 19 different plant characteristic and 350 site categories such as plant type, size, soil type, light requirements, texture, seasonal interest, design use and landscape use. All perennial plants in the database are considered hardy in USDA zone 4 with adjoining zones indicated. Users can print plant data sheets including images, and select and export selected plants to a .csv file for use as a plant key, project management, and landscape planning. The Plant Elements of Design was developed over 15 years and currently information provided for each plant is based on the knowledge and experience of University of Minnesota specialists, experienced gardening educators, and industry professionals.
Weisenhorn, Julie; Alvarez, Tomas; Baker, Amy; Makela, JoAnne; Frazier, Maggie.
Right Plant, Right Place, Right Purpose: The Plant Elements of Design Plant Selection Program.
University of Minnesota Extension.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
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