Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture

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Landscape architecture is concerned with the arrangement of land, water, plant forms, and structures, for their best
and greater enjoyment. It deals with land-planning problems such as building sites, gardens, outdoor living areas,
playgrounds, and parks.
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International Correspondence Schools, Scranton, Pa.
Fundamentals of
Landscape Architecture
Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects
6417-1 Edition 2
International Correspondence Schools, Scranton, Pennsylvania
International Correspondence Schools, Canadian Ltd., Montreal, Canada
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Fundamentals of
, 1 This text, “Fundamentals of Landscape Landscape Architecture
V ; Architecture,” has been technically edited by
; David T. Jones, Director of the School of
. J Architecture and the Building Trades, in
. ''■■*** ^ Yl which the instructional service for tliis text
*S Provided. l*1 editing this text, Mr. Jones’
aim has been to ensure that the material pre­
sented to the student meets the high standards
of technical accuracy, ready application, com­ By
pleteness, and readability to which every ICS
text must conform. KARL B. LOHMANN, B.S., M.L.A.
Mr. Jones is a graduate in architecture of the University of Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects
Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Institute of Archi­
Member, American Institute of Planners
tects, the Pennsylvania Society of Architects, and the Construction
Member, American Society of Planning Officials
Specifications Institute. He has had extensive experience in the
field of architecture.
Serial 6417-1
© 1963, 1961 by International Textbook Company
Printed in the United States of America
All rights reserved
International Correspondence Schools j
ICS *A Scranton, Pennsylvania/
International Correspondence Schools Canadian, Ltd.
Montreal, Canada
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What This Text Covers . . . r-rrr
Here is an outline of the instruction text you are about to study..
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Refer to this outline while you are studying. It will give you a
helpful general view of the contents of the text. You might also
i Fundamentals of
check off each, item of the outline as you complete the corresponding i
section in the text. Later you can use the outline to help find
Landscape Architecture
those parts of the text to which you would like to refer again.
1. Underlying Principles Pages 1 to 9 Underlying Principles
A brief description of landscapes in ancient times points
Importance of Landscape Architecture
up the factors that must be considered in landscape design.
Various landscape terms are defined here. 1. Landscape architecture is concerned with the arrange­
; ment of land, water, plant forms, and structures, for their best
2. Land and Water Pages 10 to 19
Proper use of land and water in landscaping calls for a use and greater enjoyment. It deals with land-planning prob­
knowledge of topography, soil, drainage, and surfaces. lems such as building sites, gardens, outdoor-living areas,
Water can be utilized as streams, ponds, lakes, dams, pools, playgrounds, and parks. It requires a knowledge of design
and fountains. and construction that overlaps in the fields of architecture,
3. Vegetation Pages 20 to 43 engineering, horticulture, botany, and other branches of the
Plants, shrubs, and trees offer a variety of sizes, textures, arts and sciences.
and colors for landscape designs. A lawn forms one of the The field of landscape architecture is known by such other
best ground covers, but requires careful preparation and
maintenance. names as landscaping, landscape gardening, landscape design,
landscape planning, landscape engineering, landscape con­
4. Enclosures Pages 44 to 56 tracting, and landscape nursery work.
Landscapes are bounded by floors, walls, and. ceilings, You can realize the importance of landscape architecture
which may be either natural or man made. Walls may
be used to ensure privacy, to hold back earth, or to serve by comparing buildings that have been adequately landscaped
seating purposes. with those in which the landscaping has been neglected. Such
comparison will show that a poor arrangement of the land­
5. Circulation Pages 57 to 59
scape can greatly decrease the value of a well-designed build­
Flow of movement in landscaping can be directed by ter­
races, walks, and paths. Automobile traffic must be ing. Proper landscaping, on the other hand, can provide a
provided for. beautiful setting for a building. It can add to the comfort of
0. Layout of House Grounds ...............................Pages 80 to 72 1 the occupants by providing shade and windbreaks and by
The grounds of a house are laid out to include the living screening off undesirable views.
and service areas. The landscaping should define the i
different areas. Purpose of This Text
7. Neighborhood Landscaping Pages 73 to 79 I 2. The purpose of this text is to give you a working knowl­
Such initial considerations as access, and planting for wind­ edge of the principles and problems underlying the practice
breaks, shade, and privacy, are explained here. The cluster of landscape architecture, and of its applications, primarily as
plan for a community is illustrated.
they relate to domestic architecture.
4. 1 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture
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Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 3
A knowledge of landscape architecture, which helps people
: to achieve a better way of life through the fullest use of the villas followed the slopes, with three or four terraces faced
1 out-of-doors, is especially important to the architect, land- with stone and equipped with balustrades and steps. The
scape architect, draftsman, homeowner, landscape contractor, lower level contained the flower garden proper and the prin­
gardener, nurseryman, and realtor. cipal approach, the second levels contained the house, and the
upper levels included the woodland. Water was used to
Landscaping in Ancient Times achieve spectacular effects.
3. To understand the principles and problems underlying The Spanish gardens of the Renaissance were also notable.
i the present-day practice of landscape architecture, you should They occupied lofty sites and had arcaded courts. They made
i be aware of some of the achievements of the past in this field. use of channels, fountains, and jets of water, rows of potted
I These achievements have accompanied the development of plants and tile decorations. Palms and orange trees framed
! architecture through the ages. more distant vistas.
The gardens of ancient Egypt reflected climatic, physical, Some of the Renaissance gardens of France achieved great
and religious influences. The gardens of a high official, for distinction. The grounds at the Palace of Versailles were
instance, usually occupied a square of land and were sur­ among the most distinguished and spectacular. They were
rounded by lofty walls. The dwelling houses within the walls developed in the so-called grand manner, with no stinting of
were carefuly hidden away and shaded by trees, and the money, labor, or talent. Among their most outstanding fea­
grounds were enlivened by ponds, waterfalls, and green bor­ tures were an intricate pattern of cross-connecting avenues,
ders. In the middle of the gardens were vineyards and rows an amazing display of statues, cascades, and fountains, and a
of trees. canal a mile or more in length.
The gardens of the Persians were rectangular and enclosed The basic characteristic of the Renaissance garden' was its
by high mud walls. They were divided by intersecting raised formality; it was balanced and orderly. Its planes, patterns,
paths and low fences, and embellished with little tunnels and and shapes were those of geometry, not of nature.
blue-tiled pools, pavilions, kiosks, and canopied summer houses.
Outdoor features in the early Greek cities included baths, Chinese and Japanese Influences
stadiums, open-air theaters, porticoes, and colonnades. 5. From the Orient, the landscape artist accepted two
The monasteries of the Middle Ages in Europe were important concepts. The first is that nature itself is beautiful
grouped around central courtyards that were framed by col- and good. Chinese painting reflects this attitude toward
onnades and enriched with central fountains, beds of flowers, nature. To the Chinese painter the untouched landscape is the
and statues of the Christian saints. noblest subject matter.
Renaissance Gard ens The second concept is that if native forms are the most
beautiful, they are to be copied literally. Thus man-made
.i ^vi^as of Renaissance Italy were distinguished, for
forms are abandoned in favor of naturalistic ones.
tn fV, Were uPon and were closely adapted
Chinese gardens represented or suggested actual scenes,
ta ian Asides. The major lines of the plans of those hills, and streams. Paths ran through the gardens in pebbled
5. Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture
4 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 5
patterns; doors were often circular, or octagonal. Weird, con­
j torted, water-worn rocks and petrified plant forms were used
as sculpture, along with guardian dogs and other features of
stone. Water flowed quietly, or lay calmly in lakes or ponds.
i The Japanese derived their landscape inspiration from the
I Chinese and included in their layouts meaningful stones and
! stone lanterns, trees, pagodas, arched bridges, and character­
i I istic fences and gates.
i While much of the spirit of the informal and naturalistic
garden came from the Far East, it was developed markedly in
eighteenth-century England. In the United States the informal
garden did not become popular until after 1800.
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Landscape Design in the United States
6. Landscape design in the United States has certain qual­
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IP CQ J ities in common with all the great landscape traditions of the
7TS l ! world: Chinese, Japanese, Persian, English, Spanish, French,
5 and Italian. Originally, these traditions were localized in cer­
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tain sections of the country: the French influence was evident
in New Orleans; the English, in New England; the Spanish,
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h in California. Today, with the development of rapid methods
of transportation and communication, sectional differences in
the United States have almost disappeared, so that among con­
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| .• •] f¥7 temporary gardens, the typical New England or California
; garden, for instance, is very rare.
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New Expression in Landscapes
7. As you have seen, landscape design has developed along
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the lines of two principal traditions, the formal and the in­
formal. The formal tradition, as shown in Fig. 1, has behind it
elements of order, proportion, rational planning, and beauty.
It revealed an intimate formality in the earlier English gardens
; Too often, however, the formal tradition led to a slavish regard
for preconceived patterns and designs, and to undue drafting-
| board influence.
6. FUNDAMENTAJLS of Landscape Architecture
6 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 7
which not just views but also the use of space, space relations,
and new materials, as well as freedom of form, are important
considerations. The design may be formal or informal, or a
combination of the two.
■y. Perhaps the biggest change that has occurred in landscape
architecture is in the concept of the relation between house
and garden. Until recent years the garden was designed to
walk in or through. Today the garden is designed to live in,
and the use of glass walls has made the garden a part of the
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living area of the house.
The use of glass, more than anything else, is responsible for
the great interest today in Japanese gardens, since the Jap­
iiiiiii anese with their sliding walls have for centuries done away
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with the ironclad division between the indoors and the
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IIIHH In the United States the technological revolution which
accompanied the early twentieth century abolished pumps,
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IIIIUI Hum outhouses, and chicken runs, and eliminated the distinction
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between front and back yards, thus making it possible to place
the contemporary house in the midst of a garden.
Utility and Beauty
8. The business of landscape architecture is to achieve
utility and beauty in the out-of-doors. This means that the
layout, including construction features, must be practical and
functional, and must be artistically composed. To be func­
tional, the layout must operate smoothly and conveniently and
fit the topography and surroundings as well as climatic
Fig. 2. Typical Informal Landscape conditions.
: Beauty in a landscape usually requires the consideration of
The informal type of landscape design was irregular, in" <
formal, simple. An informal landscape design is shown in certain factors of architectural design.
Fig. 2. The informal design reached its lowest status when H
Design Factors
included a careless scattering of plants and meaningless
9. Landscape architecture, like building architecture, is
concerned not only with construction but also with such
Today we have a new conception of landscape design, i11
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1: Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture
: factors of design as scale, unity, proportion, contrast, color,
and emphasis.
Scale. The term “scale” as applied to a building is used to
describe the sizes of the parts of a building, such as windows
and doors, in relation to their purposes and uses. Since build-
ings are built only for use by people, the scale should be
selected with this fact in mind. The scale for a landscape
design should be determined in the same manner. Whether
the scale of a design is large or small, is, therefore, determined
by the relation which certain of its parts bear to the require­
ments of man.
Landscapes may vary in scale according to their purposes.
In the garden for a residence, for instance, the parts are made
small in scale. But in the landscaping for a government build­
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! ing, the parts are made larger and more impressive. In other
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words, the scale may be larger in public and important land­
scapes than in domestic landscapes. In any design, however,

! the scale should be uniform throughout. i ¥
Unity. Any landscape design must have unity; that is, the
different parts of the design must be united and should express Fig. 3. Contrasts in Color and Texture
their purpose in a single harmonious composition. Where the
i! landscaping supplements a building, landscaping and building
; must combine to produce a harmonious whole.
! roportion. Proportion is the relation of the shapes of the
anous features and parts of a landscape design to each other.
® must be a harmonious relation, between the various
and the masses of a design, as well as between the
masses themselves.
Proportions cannot
design f .r°poition Is cl°sely allied to scale. A landscape
scalp m' Ut- ,StaiJce’ vv^ose proportions are pleasing at intimate ■
cated nf C 1SaStlOUS ^ same proportions were dupli­ i
cated at monumental scale.
8. Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 9
Color. The color of the various parts of a landscape design
must be harmonious, regardless of the materials used. Where
the landscaping adjoins a building, the color of the landscap­
ing must be in harmony with the color of the building.
Contrast. Contrast in landscape design means variety in
design. It should not be so apparent as to produce unharmon-
ious results or to affect the unity of the design. Contrast may
occur in form, size, color, or texture. It adds variety and inter­
est to a design. A common contrast is dark against light, as,
for example, dark foliage against a light building. Contrasts
in color and texture are shown in Fig. 3 in the different values
provided by the walk, the lawn, the flowers, and the shrubs.
Emphasis. The landscape architect tries to give satisfying
form to an area and to the three-dimensional parts that com­
pose it, while at the same time fulfilling various practical
needs. He must consider the different ways of covering floor
areas, the different types of enclosures and kinds of ceilings.
All aspects must be thought of in relation to one another.
After these matters have been weighed, the landscape archi­
tect may consider the details.
One of his early decisions will be the relative emphasis he
wishes to give to the various parts of his composition, and
what part he wishes to make the center of interest.
10. Landscape architecture involves much more than
planting a few shrubs around a building after the building
has been completed. The primary objective of landscape
architecture is to achieve beauty and utility in the fullest use
of the out-of-doors. It is concerned with the arrangement of
natural and man-made forms, and with land-planning prob­
lems of every kind. It requires a knowledge not only of design
but also of construction.
The landscaping of a building should be planned when
the building is being planned. The building should look as if
9. 10 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture
Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 11
it belongs to the site, and the site should blend with the sur-
roundings. Proper landscaping can provide a beautiful setting 911.3 PROPERTY LINE 908.1
for a well-designed building. By providing shade and wind­
breaks, it can make a building more comfortable.
The history of landscape architecture covers centuries and
has developed along the lines of two principal traditions, the
formal and the informal. For an appreciation of landscape
architecture, you should be aware of past achievements as well
as of contemporary movements in this field.
In recent years the biggest change that has occurred in
landscape architecture is in the concept of house and garden.
Formerly, the garden was designed to walk in or through.
Today the garden is designed as a part of the living area of
the house.
Land and Water

Nature of Landscape ■
11. The landscape consists of such familiar elements as
ground, water, sky, and structures. The landscape architect
deals with humanized landscapes, such as private gardens, the 914.7 <> $-912.3
public grounds adjoining buildings, and parks and such areas, -WATER MAIN
which have been planned for use by people. SEWER
Problems of the Ground Fic. 4. A Topographic Map
12. All landscapes are subject to natural or human modifi­
cation. The landscape architect is concerned primarily with Topography
the problems that accompany human modification. The land­ 13. A contour map, or topographic map, is shown in Fig.
scape architect has opportunities either to utilize existing 4. All the points on each contour line are at the same level,
earth forms or to model new ones to suit the needs of man. since they are a fixed distance above a definite point, or datum.
Consideration must be given to the soil, to drainage, grading i The usual datum is sea level. When the slope is gentle, the
of terraces, banks, and slopes, balancing and measuring, contour lines are far apart; when the slope is steep, they are
excavation and filling operations. close together. When the slope is uniform, the contour lines
Actual examination of the piece of ground to be land­ are equidistant from each other.
scaped is of first importance. Such an examination is facilitated The grading of land may involve leveling, building up,
by use of a topographic, or contour, map. cutting away, or a gradual passing from one plane of earth to
10. 12 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 13
another. The object of grading is to beautify and at the same or standing in pockets. The water must be spread out or else
i time to achieve a better use of the land. controlled mechanically or structurally. Some soils, however,
are so open and dry as to pose no drainage problem.
Kinds of Soil
The drainage of an area is facilitated*by proper surfacing,
14. In planning a landscape, you must take nature into but it can be assisted by underground drain tiles or pipes laid
account. To appreciate nature and its elements and to use i
in lines from 20' (feet) to 40' apart and from 3' to 4' deep,
them effectively in the landscape, you must understand and depending upon the kind of soil and climate. For heavy soils,
j * appreciate the basic natural forms. You must realize, for the drains must be closer together. The bottoms of the
: example, how vegetation is related to certain soils and how it trenches for the tile must have sufficient fall throughout their
appears as particular families of plants. lengths to provide ready flow to the outlet.
I There are many types of soil, which may be narrowed In general, the land near a house should slope away from
j down roughly to clay, sand, and loam types. Clay soils have the house at a rate of approximately one inch per foot. As
a greater capacity for holding water than other types, but are far as possible, the existing drainage relations of an area, such
j rather difficult to handle. Their physical structure is improved i as the points of inflow and outflow, should be preserved.
by the addition of sand, humus, weeds, manures, and grass
clippings. Sandy soils are easy to work, but they leach easily. Terraces and Banks
They are improved for growing purposes by the addition of 16. Terraces and banks may serve a variety of purposes,
organic material. and may assume a variety of shapes and sizes. Terraces should
I Humus consists of organic material such as peat, leaf mold, be almost level, with a pitch of not less than 1" (inch) to each
and compost, and plowed-under cover crops (soy beans, 10'. Grass banks should pitch not more than 1' vertically
alfalfa, and clover). A mixture of sand, clay, and humus pro­ for every 4' horizontally. Such banks, especially if they are
duces a vegetation-sustaining loam. The addition of humus of a light, sandy variety, may need to be retained with roots
improves the structure and character of the soil as well as its of vegetation. The contours of the slopes should have a
water-absorbing capacity and its texture. smooth-curving flow.
Drainage of the Land Levels and Slopes
15. The drainage of surface water from land often presents 17. The level, or nearly level, plane is most suitable for
a problem. Good drainage is needed for the protection of the areas where people gather together, such as a terrace, or for
given site; for the comfort of those who are to use it; and, not areas and courts where physical exercise and games are pursued.
least, for the good of the plants to be grown upon it. Few Any grade below 3 or 4 per cent approaches a level plane.
plants succeed in cold, damp, undrained soil. Most plants 1
This implies less than 3' or 4' in a vertical plane for every 100'
require warmth and air at their roots. of horizontal distance. Slopes of 4 to 10 per cent make walking
Any water that falls upon the area must be kept moving, and running difficult. Slopes that are above 10 per cent are
; t.iough at not too fast a pace. The land needs to be shaped steep and usually require steps for their utilization and treat- .
so as to carry surface water away, and to prevent its collecting ment. A hill site for a home therefore offers complex problems.
11. Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture
34 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 3.5
but these are often compensated for by the sense of space that water, the adaptability of the terrain, the possible holding
comes from the extended views. qualities of the lake bed, the depths sufficient to restrain objec­
The building up or cutting away of land to achieve a tionable vegetative growth in the water, and the construction
desired result usually involves disturbing the topsoil. This of a water-holding dam. Possible loss of lake capacity through
always happens where walks, drives, and foundation walls silting should not be overlooked, since it may become a serious
are being constructed. Where cutting is necessary, the top­ j threat. Adequate controls of erosion must be established for
soil should be stripped and placed to one side for future the feeding streams.
replacement as needed.
i i
Convex and Concave Surfaces 21. Dams up to 30' in height may be built of earth, rock
IS. Besides ground levels and slopes, there are the varia­ fill, arched masonry, or buttress and timber forms. A dam
tions in ground that come into play with convex and concave constructed of earth is sensitive to the erosive action of water

surfaces. The treatment of such surfaces passing from one and is subject to speedy deterioration. This type of dam can
plane to another with modulated gradations that shade into be advantageously modified by the addition of rock fill. The
each other provides the landscape architect with one of his cost of maintaining timber dams exceeds that of maintaining
j most interesting problems .in design. These gradations are other more durable ones.
important on embankments, where, instead of abruptly joining A dam should be fitted into the lines of its lake. This
planes, there may be a blending of natural forms. can be done by making it irregular in plan and section, and,
The necessary shaping of the surface can often be deter­ upon occasion, by laying the lower courses in natural ledges
mined by eye with the use of a line and stakes. But, on other of rock.
jobs, the aid of leveling instruments may be required in
J staking out the plot. Shore Lines and Islands
22. In man-made lakes the original configuration of the
: Use of Water ground itself may produce satisfactory shore lines. In any
19. Water is one of the most satisfying elements of design event, the shore lines should follow long, sweeping curves,
the landscape architect has to work with. It varies endlessly with alternating bays and projections. In cross section they
in character and emotional appeal. It can be used to provide may either lead away from the water gently, or break sud­
j evei-changing vistas; it contrasts against and reflects foliage
and sky. It offers opportunities for the preservation or creation
denly into cliffs or rocky crags. Large stretches of water
require sizable trees grouped boldly on or near the banks.
of streams, lakes, ponds, fountains, small dams, and pools. It Shore lines can be planted with water-loving plants backed
offers a medium for growing plants. by masses of shrubby growth.
To protect against erosion, and to maintain slopes at steep
: Lakes
angles, stones may be thrown together loosely over the sloping
20. Either natural or man-made lakes can-serve as land- surfaces. Concrete walls or stone masonry may be utilized in
J scape features. Man-made lakes depend some instances where flood and ice conditions are severe.
■i upon the available
12. Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 17
—tl-5'f -26-0"- Slone Coping
Flagstone Walk .Slone Coping .Water Level /Turf Walk
Reinforced Concrete 8" rroter-
4 H proofing
Vile Drain Ti|e . Outlet Pipe
Large Stones.. TurL
Waier Level-
— Concrete-
‘ Cinders 8“
LOverflow Pipe
Oram Outlet
(a) Reinforced concrete pool
(h) Informal pool
Fig. 7. Construction of Pools
Planting of native and deep-rooted trees and shrubs—such as
Fic. 5. Pool, Rock Garden, and Stone Steps
black locust, honey locust, willow, sumac, matrimony vine,
; and aspen—may be used to give special protection to slopes
of lakes.
If islands are to be created, they should be placed so as to
simulate the results of natural forces. They should appear to
be emerging hilltops or extensions of promontories that jut
out over the water, or to match irregularities that occur on
the adjacent shore.
i Pools
23. Garden pools should be located and shaped to suit the
style, size, and shape of the garden. They may be geometric
or natural in shape. Two natural-looking man-made pools
are shown in Figs. 5 and 6.
The depth of a pool will depend on the purpose for which
it is intended. As a general rule, the pool should be shallow
where there .are children. For growing lilies, a depth of 18"
Fig. 6. Pool with Natural-Appearing Outline to 24" is required. Moving water is desirable for fish.
13. Fundamentals of
Landscape Architecture Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 19
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Fig. 9. Free-Form Swimming Pool
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& elaborate sculptural creations. Fountains should always be in
’XT' ‘ proportion to their basins.
Fig. 8. Well Providing a Focal Point Against Garden Wall Swimming Pools
Pools are commonly constructed of concrete, brick, or tile. 25. Private swimming pools have become quite popular.
In Fig. 7 are shown sections for two pools whose basins are Although swimming specifications ordinarily call for rectangu­
; to be constructed of concrete. A pool should always be con­ lar proportions and for specific relations of deep to shallow
i structed so that it can be drained and cleaned when desired. portions, private pools need not adhere too closely to these
requirements. Whatever the type of pool, it should respect
Fountains the use, form, and space relations of the garden. An irregu­
24. Many garden pools include a fountain of some kind. larly shaped pool is shown in Fig. 9.
Fountains may be free standing and serve as central orna-
ments in themselves, or they may be part of a terminal vista,
26. The landscape consists of such familiar elements as
say at a wall or on a terrace. A well used against a garden
ground, water, sky, and structures. Landscapes are subject to
wall in this manner is shown in Fig. 8.
change brought about by man and by nature. The landscape
Fountains may be quite simple, with but a single jet, nr
architect is interested primarily in landscapes altered by
with additional jets operating from different points so that
man. The process of grading a landscape, a man-made
their streams interlace. Or they may be complex, including
14. Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture Fundamentals Landscape Architecture 21
20 of
change, involves the consideration of plane, concave, and elements, or upon plants and flowers that are easy to manage,
convex surfaces. and to avoid plantings that require laborious trimming.
Water is one of the most satisfying elements the landscape
arcliitect has to deal with. It provides a contrasting and Plant Forms ,
reflecting surface for sky and foliage, and may be used in 28. Plant forms should be chosen to fit the spaces for
either formal or informal landscape designs. It becomes an which they are intended. Nowhere will you find this rule more
element of landscape design in the form of lakes, pools, dams, generally violated than at the foundations of homes, where an
and fountains. It offers a medium for growing plants. i overabundance of planting or meaningless vertical forms are
frequently seen. The selection of plant forms is subject to the
Vegetation guiding principles of good design, such as scale, balance,
rhythm, unity, harmony, and proportion.
General Characteristics and Uses A three-foot hemlock may look just right under the window
27. Among the most important materials used by the land­ when it is planted, but it is a forest tree, and in five years will
scaper is an infinite variety of plants, including shrubs, vines, cover the window entirely.
trees, grasses, perennials, and annuals. The proper use of these
plants can contribute greatly to the usefulness and beauty of Textures
a landscape. Depending upon the effect desired, the land­ 29. Plants vary in texture according to the size and shape
scaper may group them in masses, arrange them in rows, or of their leaves. Leaf sizes range from the smallest leaves of
set them out individually in isolated but strategic positions. heather and juniper to the sizable leaves of magnolias, palms,
Plants have varying characteristics of flowering and fruit­ and elephant ears. Leaves may be linear, like pine needles,
ing; varying degrees of suitability to soil, temperature, light, or lance, oval, or heart shaped. Individual leaves may vary too
and moisture; and varying resistance to pests and disease. in their edges and points, their degree of thickness or stiffness,
Plants may be used for a landscape cover or for enclosure. their veining, and their smoothness or roughness. The foliage
They may be used to provide shelter and fragrance; to yield arrangement—thin, dense, even, bunched, erect, stiff, pliable,
fruits, herbs, and vegetables; to enrich the landscape. The tremulous—may affect the texture. Trees may lose their leaves
! use and choice of plants is affected by the demands of design, in winter and show their branches and trunks.
the physical needs of the plants, and human preferences. All these factors account for the different textures in vege­
; With their varying habits, forms, textures, and colors, tation, ranging from soft, delicate textures to the coarse
! plants may be used to create interest and beauty as well as textures of large leaves. Textures in turn may produce emo­
to serve practical needs. tional reactions in the viewer, such as cheerfulness at the
The design and maintenance of a landscape are closely sight of glossy, gay leaves sparkling in the sun. An impression
related. The manner in which plants are used often depends of majesty is conveyed by thick textures, one of quiet restful­
upon the amount of care that can be given to them. Where ness by uniform textures, where leaves are small, regular, and
care must be limited, it may be necessary at the outset to sub­ thick. Sparse, scattered, and broken textures may produce
stitute paving for grass, to depend largely upon structural restless effects.
15. 22 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 23
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16. 24 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 25
Small textures may be used to give the illusion of distance o
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Colors o
30. Color plays a large part in the selection of plants for 2*
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a landscape. It is present most strikingly in flowers and fruits,
and, to a lesser degree, in foliage and plant structure. Foliage
ranges from gray to green to purple and red. In certain sec­ 1
tions of this country, foliage bursts into riots of color in
the autumn. Different types and colors of plants are available o 'Vs £„
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selected to obtain agreeable color patterns. The bark of trees ------^ LU
varies in color from the whites (of birch) through the grays,
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browns, and reds to near black. u
In general, color should be used in a disciplined manner as fc-
part of the overall design. Strong accents may be used to z
strengthen the visual effect. Gaudy showings in fancifully con­ a
ceived shapes without organic relation to anything are to o ss 2^ SS ss S w
be shunned. 3 w
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In selecting plants, you should be familiar with the ranges :\S
of color available, and the possibilities for harmony and
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31. Trees are found in a variety of sizes, forms, colors, and
textures. They may be symmetrical like a sugar maple or irreg­ 3 SS SS 5 Vs
ular like a mossy-cup oak. They may be square (when -11 'Vs ssf 5
clipped), round, elliptical, pyramidal, columnar, vase shaped,
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low branched, or high branched. Trees may have colorful
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leaves, flowers, fruit, or bark. They may vary in texture, as do
a plane tree and a Kentucky coffee tree, a catalpa and a honey
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locust, or a tulip tree and a willow. These differences in
texture make it possible for the landscape architect to achieve if
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various harmonies and variations. The sizes and formation of
various trees are shown in Figs. 10, 11, and 12.
17. 26 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 27
A few trees are listed here according to certain
Small trees noted for bloom
Acacia, cherry, carnelian cherry, crabs, flowering dogwood,
hawthorn, magnolias, redbud, and shad-blow
Small trees noted for autumn color
Flowering dogwood, Amur maple, Tatarian maple, and
2 sour gum
Large trees distinguished by autumn color
a Sugar maple, oaks, sassafras, and tupelo
w Small trees conspicuous for fruit
< Mountain ash, cockspur thorn, and wahoo
o Trees desirable for street planting
w Sugar maple, Norway maple, oaks, tulip tree, sycamore, hack-
Q berry, American linden, ashes, sweet gum, Chinese elm, and
locust (These trees are long lived, strong, neat, not brittle,
CJTi free of insect damage, with good foliage.)
Trees undesirable for street planting
£ American elm (currently threatened by Dutch elm disease and
phloem necrosis), silver maple (brittle and dropping
\ branches), box elder, tree of heaven (messy), catalpas
(untidy flowering), poplars, and willows
Columnar-shaped trees
Deciduous trees: Pyramidal European linden, columnar Nor­
way maple, columnar English oak, Bolle and Lombardy
Conifers: Arbor vitae, Cryptomeria, red cedar, Hicks yew
18. 28 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 29
Weeping trees
o* *
Horticultural varieties of numerous species: Maple, birch,
•5 sl-s 5 1 beech, poplar, oak, willow, and elm
2 5 o
£ x5 1* Trees for Windbreaks and Solid Screens
Su Poplar, willow, spruce, hemlock, American beech, white pine,
o and hornbeam
tu *§ UJ 5 1! Evergreen trees
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Fir, cypress, Cryptomeria, holly, juniper, spruce, pine, hem­
lock, thuja (arbor vitae), and Sciadopitvs (Evergreen trees
retain their green mantle throughout the year and have
many valued uses in landscapes. Some are pyramidal (firs),
loosely pyramidal (umbrella pine and Japanese cypress),
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*! strong and beautiful (pines), graceful and dignified (hem­
1? Aril r'iif
S ill lock). They are chiefly fine and dense, and vary greatly in
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X -• — X color. Their character is distinct, positive, assertive. They
complement and intensify the warm colors of other plants;
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<1 they furnish dark shadows and heavy contrasts.)
M -ifeggi 32. Shrubs offer a wide range of characteristics. They, too,
s.Infill are both deciduous and evergreen and grow to various forms
and heights. Some of the shrubs are shown in Fig. 13. A few
o ♦1 0 Vs o §
shrubs are classified here according to certain characteristics.
Low-growing shrubs'
*£ 'I Deutzia, Kerria, yellowroot, Thumberg’s spiraea (or spirea),
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„ 'PI -HI goldflower, coralberry, and snowberry
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Medium-growing shrubs
« « Withe rod, Regel’s privet, aralia, flowering currant, Japanese
snowball, Van Houtte’s spiraea, Rhodotypos, dogwood,
forsythia, and Japanese bush cranberry
19. 30 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 31
Tall-growing shrubs Calcareous (limestone) soil: Alnus, Berberis, Betula, Ceanot-
Tatarian honeysuckle, Japanese bush honeysuckle, mock hus, cercis, Cornus, Corylus, Crataegus, Kerria, and rhamnus
orange, weigela, sheepberry, hybrid golden bell, lilac, and Peat soil: Arbutus, andromeda, kalmia, leucothoe, rhododen­
wayfaring tree dron, and vaccinnium
Smaller evergreens Seasons of bloom among shrubs
Prostrate juniper, mugho pine, dwarfish Japanese yew April: Daphne, golden bell, Juneberry, and Japanese quince
Broadleaf evergreens May: Barberry, white kerria, lilac, and silverbell
June: Fragrant amorpha, Kerria, japonica, Deutzia gracilis,
Azalea, hybrid rhododendron, Pieris, Japanese holly, mountain and oleaster
laurel, abelia, mahonia, and leucothoe (These are available July: Button bush, pepper bush, St.-John’s-wort, and Spiraea
in dwarf and tall varieties, in diverse form and foliage.) Douglasii
Shrubs for edging of walks and garden borders August: Sweet alder, Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora, and
blue spiraea
Hardy evergreen azalea, dwarf box, small-leaved holly, bar­
September: Witch hazel, blue spiraea, and Spiraea conspicua
berry, meadow rose, and Tom Thumb arbor vitae
Shrubs for hedging
33. Annuals are flowers that grow from seed, blossom, and
Low: Barberry, box, yew, Cotoneaster, dwarf cranberry, die down in one season. They are obtainable in every color,
Spiraea Anthony Waterer, snow garland, and thyme can be used in a variety of ways, and can be raised at small
Tall: Acanthopanax, arrowwood, winged euonymous, and cost. They may be mixed effectively with perennials.
Regel's and Amur privet A few of them are listed here for convenient reference:
Shade-loving shrubs Some hardy annuals
Acanthopanax, coralberry, ninebark, and privet
Larkspur, calliopsis, poppies, sweet alyssum, nigella, corn­
• Shrubs with shoivy fruit flower, pansies, and zinnias
Japanese barberry (red), yellow honeysuckle, bittersweet and Drought-resisting annuals
Cotoneaster (orange), fringe tree (blue), and buckthorn
White: Dahlias, larkspur, baby's-breath, candytuft, petunias,
sweet alyssum, and verbena
Shrubs according to soil preference or tolerance Yellow: Sunflower, zinnias, calliopsis, marigold, and portulaca
Clay: Cornus species, Crataegus, forsythia, Kerria, spiraea, Orange: Heliopsis, African marigold, and California poppy
and Viburnum opulus Red: Cockscomb, Helichrysum bracteatum, poppy, and rose
Sandy soil: Cotinus, Elaeagnus, Ligustrum, Lonicera, Rhus, moss
spiraea, symphoricarpos, viburnum, and yucca Lavender: China aster, Drummond phlox, and hemiptelea
20. 32 Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture 33
Blue: Cornflower, larkspur, lupine, ageratum, verbena, and l'-2': Achillea, ptarmica, fragrant balm, columbine,
forget-me-not Funkia subcordata, Lychnis viscaria, and Ice­
Annuals according to height land poppy
2'-3': Bleeding heart, Canterbury bell, cardinal flower,
Less than 1': Sweet alyssum, ice plant, lobelia, pansy, and flameflowers, gas plant, and peony
portulaca 3'-4': Adam’s-needle, giant daisy, larkspur, Oriental
l'-2': Baby’s-breath, marigold, mignonette, and poppy, sunflower, and tree peony
petunias 4/-6/: Coneflower, hollyhock, Japanese eulalia, joe-pye :
2'-3': Amaranthus, Bertolonia, cotton, poppy, and weed, and zebra grass
scabiosa Over 6': Bugbane, giant rye grass, giant reed, sacaline,
Over 3': Castor bean, cosmos, giant hemp, and Nicotiana and sunflower
Perennials Ground-cover perennials for embankments
34. Perennials are flowers that live on for three or more Moss pink, Japanese spurg, bearberry, and periwinkle
seasons, while the so-called biennials live but for two years —
they grow from seed one year, and flower and die the next. Perennials according to color
There are some 2000 species and variations of perennials, and White: Achillea, ptarmica, Adam’s-needle, Astilbe japonica,
if the iris and the dahlia are included as well, the number daisy, day lily, and rock cress
amounts to some 5000. Lilac, magenta, purple: Beardtongue, blazing star, gas plant,
Perennials are easy to manage and need little care. They fringed pink, rock cress, and shooting star
grow under trees, among shrubs, in rockeries, along ponds, Blue: Anemone blanda, Clematis davidiana, Rock Mountain
on banks, in borders, and in shade or sun. columbine, forget-me-not, Iris laevigata, and larkspur
Most effective results may be obtained by planting peren­ Yellow: Columbine (chrysantha), coneflower, gaillardia,
nials in masses of lights and darks, in a harmony of hues and golden tuft, Iceland poppy, and sunflower
tones, rather than by introducing many kinds with spotty Pink: Bleeding heart, hollyhock, Lychnis viscaria splendens,
results. moss pink, peony, and dianthus
A few of the perennials are listed here in selected groupings: Red: Anemone japonica, fragrant balm, cardinal flower,
Clematis viorna coccinea, coral-bells, and peony
Perennials for massing
Fragrant perennials
Delphinium, Pyrethrum, columbine, Shasta daisy, violet, sweet
lavender, coreopsis, sweet william, foxglove, and Canter­ Gas plant, golden tuft, groundnut, rock cress, rocket sweet,
bury bell and Scotch pink
Perennials according to height Perennials for shady places
Less than 1': Candytuft, English daisy, forget-me-not; moss Anemone Pennsylvania, bluebell, bugleweed, Helleborus niger,
pink, rock cress, and shooting star Phlox divaricata, and shooting star