Ornamental Horticulture Education and Outreach Activities

Mary Haque
Department of Horticulture, Clemson University

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Wooded Wildlife Habitat Garden Project and Landscape Implementation Class

A one hour landscape implementation course was taught for the first time in spring, 1996. Students gained "hands-on" experience in a variety of areas including estimating, bidding, planting trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, installing irrigation and hardscapes, and installing accessories. Mr. Dawson Luke from Agricultural Engineering introduced the class to the landscape estimating software program developed with Dr. John Kelly and provided the class with both a teaching session and copies of the software. Campus landscape architect Andy Anderson gave us an excellent tour of the Military Heritage Plaza construction site and discussed landscape contracting issues associated with larger projects.

Funding by Mr. John Hopkins for the Wooded Wildlife Habitat Garden enabled students to take one project and to work with the South Carolina Botanical Garden Staff to gain experience in landscape implementation. This garden was designed by Mr. Steve Wilson as an independent study project when he was an undergraduate student at Clemson. Undergraduate students worked with Mac Sprott and John Bodiford of the South Carolina Botanical Garden installing irrigation, plants, bird, bat, and butterfly houses into the garden and have also worked on installing Metromont's pavers on the walkway. Students worked with sculptor Patrick Doughtery to put the finishing touches on "Sittin' Pretty " by laying sod and pruning surrounding trees and shrubs.

In an effort to introduce students to the concept of community service, teaching others, and marketing of plans and projects, we sponsored a community service work day where the implementation students paired up with Pack 235 Cub Scouts and Master Gardeners to plant, build and install birdhouses, and rescue daffodils from future pathways through the garden. Debbie Dalhouse's news coverage of the event enabled the students to get a feel for how press releases and news coverage can promote a project. Students learn the value of writing as a means of marketing their future businesses, and each student is required to submit written assignments as part of their final portfolio. To gain further experience in oral communication and to get feedback on the project, we hosted a presentation and walk through the garden for representatives of several different organizations including the S.C. Wildlife Federation, Department of Natural Resources, and the S.C. Native Plant Society.

Independent Study Projects

Encouraging independent study is an important part of our ornamental horticulture program. Undergraduate student Mr. James Johnson worked under Professor Haque to develop an educational program promoting environmentally sensitive wildlife habitat gardens. His methodology involved many components including design, writing, implementation, and teaching. He completed several residential designs as well as a public demonstration garden design during the '94-'95 academic year, and has successfully had the National Wildlife Federation certify some of his work in '96. Jim presented the results of his work at the American Society for Horticultural Science meetings in Montreal, Canada in July of '95. He also presented his computer model of plants for Wildlife Habitat Design to representatives from the South Carolina Wildlife Federation and the Department of Natural Resources.

Ms. Amanda Travis, another undergraduate, was interested in continuing her design education after taking Hort. 308. She recently completed a master plan for a "Garden Aviary" off Old Cherry Road beside the Morgan Poultry Center. She and her advisor, Professor Haque, worked closely with Dr. Mickey Hall, who developed an attractive brochure to accompany Amanda's project for fund raising purposes. Amanda's plans were displayed at the Daffodil Festival, and she presented them to the Animal Science Faculty and Poultry staff in April of '96. Amanda completed a paper on her project which we will submit for publication in a poultry journal. She has also submitted an abstract and plans to present her work at the ASHS meetings in the fall of '96.

Southern Living Custom Landscape Design Project

The Department of Horticulture has formed a partnership with Southern Living Magazine to implement an innovative new approach to marketing landscape design. We have established a mail order custom landscape design program utilizing computer-aided design to provide customers with full color plans, before and after renderings, and a booklet of plant profiles and implementation and maintenance information. Under the supervision of Mary Haque, graduate student Walt Ray has completed 60 designs for Southern Living over the past year, and Southern Living Designer Rebecca Bull reports that the program has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any of the Southern Living Programs.

Mary Haque, Walt Ray, Rebecca Bull, and David Price offered a computer-aided design short course for members of the South Carolina Nursery Association this past spring where industry representatives from across the state learned some of the techniques involved in this process.

Interfacing Students with Professionals

We appreciate the involvement of invited guest speakers in ornamental horticulture and allied fields to give our students a sense of how various professionals interface. Invited speakers in Mary Haque's Landscape Appreciation class during the 95-96 academic year included the famous author and ethnobotanist Dr. Mark Plotkin who spoke on rain forest conservation and medicinal uses of plants. Ms. Karen Smith lectured on the Economic Benefits of Urban Trees, Mr. Ying Hung Li from Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department conducted a survey on the Psychological Responses to Aesthetics of Forest Management, and Ms. Perrin Queen spoke on how to establish and manage a design/build firm.

Students in the introductory landscape design class worked on residential design projects, the Avenue of Champions for IPTAY and variety of public service projects. Field trips were scheduled to industry sites like Head/Lee Nursery where Mr. Bill Head gave a tour and then allowed students to break up into groups of five to select plants and organize them into design compositions for texture, form, and color analysis. Mr. Dale Westemire, City Horticulturist for the City of Greenville gave students a tour of Greenville's parks and downtown renovations. Milliken Corporation and Metromont Materials have also given our students educational tours of their facilities and programs in recent years.

Last Updated 2/1/97